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Horse kicking and aggression


About 4 months ago I purchased my first horse, a 5 year old paint gelding. I've worked around horses for years and know a lot, although I am still learning. My horse has a very sweet personality but he has bit of an attitude problem. Shiloh wasn't worked enough at his old place and now has some nasty habits. I've been able to stop him from doing a lot of them except for one big one. He will kick at you. It doesn't matter where he is or when. He will kick when he is lose, in his stall, and sometimes when you go to clean his hooves. I've gotten him over the hooves part some but sometimes when I tell him over he will purposely move towards me and try to pin me against the wall. When he is in the pasture and doesn't feel like coming in he will go towards me, turn and buck, kicking at me. He's kicked me twice so far, almost breaking a rib sometime. He's also kicked at my mom for merely going in the pasture one day so it really has to be stopped. Shiloh is good a lot of times but its when he doesn't get to do what he wants to do when he starts kicking. I've tried slapping him but he just kicks again in response and he'll come close to getting me. If I take a whip with me into the pasture he is good if a crack it once but I don't like the fact when he sometimes does it. Like I said before, he doesn't always kick at me in the pasture but only when he doesn't feel like coming in.... If you could give me some hints that would be great,
Thank you!

My parents are getting quite upset so I need to fix his problem ASAP.

fearful riders

Hi Veronica,

Not a good situation. Hitting him will make it worse. He has you intimidated (because he can). I think you need to make it hard for him to do this by having some activity (work) you can put him to when he looks like he is going to kick or gets pushy at all. Do you have a round pen? It is a great tool and would help with your problem. Please let me know and I will give you things to do in the round pen that will help. Assuming you do not have one, put a rope halter and lead rope on the horse and practice doing 'hind end yields' on the ground. These are tight circles where you face the horses butt and put short but firm 'tugs' on the lead rope to get the horse to pivot on his front feet and swing his hind end away from you. You need to get good at this. It is a great tool to modify many unwanted behaviors. The horse cannot kick you if you are doing this correctly. After three-four rotations put a HO! (stop) on the horse and let him stand quietly for a moment as a reward. The go the opposite direction 3-4 rotations. Practice this in a safe small paddock until you and the horse get very used to this action. Then you'll have it as a wonderful tool you'll use a lot to modify behavior you do not want in a non-abusive way. He need to learn that kicking does not give him a 'win'. There is a lot of initial risk with your horse. If he keeps winning by intimidating you and getting out of work or anything else he wants, the situation will get worse and worse. You need to begin training him out of this immediately and it will take a bit of time. Once he associates kicking with going to work, he'll stop it. But it will take some time. Let me know about the round pen. I can offer you telephone coaching and internet coaching to help get you through faster and safer. I can give you so much more in an hour on the phone than in a simple, little email. Consider it please.

Keep me posted. BE CAREFUL! Your safety is your first concern. If you are unsure and not confident, the horse will continue to intimidate you. Any hesitancy in your action or lack of precision, will prompt him to try to 'lead the dance'. Good luck.....

Sincerely, Franklin

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