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Herd bound to humans & bossy

Good evening,

I hope you can help me. I have a 22 year old gelding walker who does not play well with others. Duke is a very good boy one on one, unfortunately when my other horses come near he tries to bite and kick them. He is especially bad when it comes to going into the stalls for meals. He blocks the barn doors and dares anyone of them to come near. When he is told to do into his stall he goes, but once I leave the barn you hear him kicking. If I stay with him the entire time and talk to him he is fine, until one of the other boys wants my attention.

Thank you for your time and help, Cheryl

Hi Cheryl,

Your horse is somewhat insecure and very attached to you and getting atttention. As he is older, his behavior is extremely habituated and would not be quick to modify.

Here is one thing to try to keep him from kicking the stall. Take a short length of soft cotton rope (perhaps 18-24 inches long) and tie it around a front foot just above the hoof (the foot he usually kicks with). If he kicks the stall he actually hits himself gently with the rope. He will not hurt himself this way, but it will get his attention enough and be unpleasant enough that it should stop the stall kicking.

As far as how he is with other horses at feeding time, I would make him wait for his food until he is a gentleman. You would have to set up the situation so you can fend him off from his food until he is acting as you like (letting other horses go ahead or whatever) then reward him by letting him eat. You could hold a dressage whip or some sort of wand in your hand. You would need to actually take the time to train the horse to behave as you would like. You would need to set up the situation to train the horse which means modifying the feeding proceedure for a while during the training period. This could take a few weeks (perhaps less, but be patient).

Do you understand the proceedures I am suggesting?

Let me know....

Best Regards, Franklin

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