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The problem with treats and too much 'babying'


My name is Krystal and I just bought my first horse 4 months ago. She was the sweetest little mare. She is 20 and I baby her. I try my best to make sure she is happy, but in the past week or two she has gotten a real bad attitude. She is always pinning her ears back and acting like she is going to bite me. I can't even go up to the fence without her acting this way. It's like once she finds out I don't have food for her she gets mad. I really love this horse but beings it is my first horse I am new at this and have no idea how to handle her now. I don't want to let her intimidate me but I can't seem to help it. Please let me know what I can do I am getting very discouraged by this behaviour of hers.

Thank you so much

Hi Krystal,

What you are experiencing is the result of feeding treats to often and from your hand and too much 'babying'. This will probably be too much for you to accept, but she does not need nor want to be babied. You have the need to baby something. It is not of her asking. This horse is not a baby, it is a horse and its needs and desires are very different. A horse wants a great, compassionate, confident, kind and appropriate leader, appropriate for a horse that is. If this were a human child and all that happened was that it was given presents of food all the time (or just constantly bribed to be good), how do you think the child would turn out. This situation is similar. A child needs a great parent/leader/guide in order to thrive and survive. So does a horse. Your horse doesn't give a hoot about you or respect you. It is all about the treat. Pretty basic.

To change things you must first stop giving the horse any treats. Next when the horse is in a small paddock, Carry a rope and halter in your hand and push the horse forward by waving the halter and rope. You lead the dance, you say to the horse go around in a circle. Then you say HO! and stop moving. Then you move the horse some more. You do this for half an hour minimum (just making or requesting the horse move forward away from you. If it runs a short distance fine. You must remain steady, firm yet gentle, focused as to what you want. This is the beginning of how you modify the horse's behavior and attitude by becoming the leader of the dance, the one who controls or dictates what goes on in mutually occupied space. Until you begin to actually ask the horse to do something (move forward away from you, then stop and then move some more) do not expect anything to change, in fact it will worsen rapidly.

I offer coaching in horsemanship via the telephone and internet, if you are interested. I can easily teach you a lot in just a few sessions. Please consider this cost effective, efficient, and conventient way to receive very practical techniques to assist you with your horse.

Anyway, you need to begin to 'lead the dance' and the horse's attitude and behavior will change. Let me know how it goes.

Sincerely, Franklin

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