Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Horse's Fear of Pigs


Hi again, had a question for you. I recently bought a pretty little buckskin mare. She was great.... until we brought her to our farm where she seems to be spooked by the pigs. What can I try to do to get her use to being around them. She does not have a problem with any other animal on the farm, just those scary pigs. Please help!!!!

Thanks, Penny


I just wanted to write and thank you for your advice on the "scary pigs". I did exactly what you said to do, and now my mare is fine with the pigs. It took a couple of weeks, but she is fine now. Thanks again for your help:)


Hi Penny,

Well, this is one of the more unusual questions I have gotten. The process to acclimate a horse to anything new and scary (pigs, tarps, ropes, trucks, motorcycles, cows, camels ) is the same. You can be riding the horse or do this with the horse in hand. Begin with enough distance from the scary thing so the horse will not just flee. If you have a horse there that is already accustomed to the scary thing, you might have that horse with you as well, being ridden or held in hand by another person. This other horse may help your horse stay calmer. Anyway, keep your horse facing the scary object and reassure him a lot. Ask for one step at a time towards the scary object, resting and praising your horse for each little step towards the object or whatever it is. Be sensitive to not push your horse too fast or too much towards the new thing. Go slow and be patient. Once your horse has come a reasonable distance from the new thing (has made some definate advances to the new thing), you have had a successful session. You could reward your horse big time then by putting him away. Many people just keep 'going for it' which is not always the best thing for your horse's learning that he is safe. If I am riding my horse and the scary thing is stationery, I will frequently keep him facing it and moving towards it slowly to the point he touches it with his nose. In your case, once the horse has come a reasonable distance to the pig, I would reward him by ending that session. If you can feed the horse and the pig at the same time, in separate areas not too far from each other, the horse will get used to the presence of the pig in a fairly short while. Living in proximity of each other, over time, is the best way. But there is this initial 'introduction' to go through. If your horse keeps freaking out near the pig, create more distance between them until the horse begins to settle and adjust to the presence of the offending swine. Please let me know if there is anything you do not understand about this process. I can coach you through it via a telephone coaching session for more clarity if you desire. Let me know how it goes.

Sincerely, Franklin

Look for: