When To Start Your Young Horse

There seems to be many answers to this question. The answer I generally give most people who ask me is “it depends.” Everyone has their own rules and ideas, just like child rearing. Nowadays with all the training fads out there and some natural horsemanship stuff and child laws I see more and more spoiled whinny kids and spoiled rotten horses! What every happened to giving your child a solid foundation? That does not mean be nice and give them anything they want. What ever happened to working for it? My mom used to make me actually do something, clean my room, do the dishes, take out the trash before I got a reward. I was taught this at a young age. The same should go for our horses. Teach them to respect young and they will grow up to be well mannered horses.

The Pawing Horse

Your horse has been standing quietly in the crossties while you are grooming him. It is early in the day and the other horses are being led past your horse for turnout. Your horse usually gets turned out at this time as well, but for whatever reason you decided to come early today. Your horse sees his buddies being turned out and he starts to show signs of worry. His head comes up, be begins to move around in the crossties and then he starts to paw. You ignore it at first, but the pawing becomes so frantic and worsens as the other horses are taken from his view. At this point, you are afraid to get close because he is completely focused on the other horses and has no regard for you or your space.

Aggressive Horse Behavior- Charging the Stall Bars

Does your horse charge at the bars of his stall with ears pinned and sometimes teeth bared whenever another horse or human passes by or comes too close? When someone enters the stall, he is reluctant and grumpy to be haltered, or have someone clean the stall? Or maybe he simply put his ears back and acts annoyed at your presence?

Over Imprinting The Young Horse

When it comes to training a horse there are many different theory’s and methods. Training in some cases is considered to start as soon as the foal hits the ground, this is called imprinting. It is thought that by exposing a young horse to various circumstances at a young age that it will make the training process smoother. Things like clipping, brushing, picking up feet are common practices used at a very young age. I do believe that for the most part all these things are positive and may actually have some sort of pay off at the end of the day but it is easy to over do it.

The Biting Horse

You are in the barn, minding your own business, and you casually pass by your horse’s stall. Suddenly he snakes his head out over his doorway with his ears pinned flat back. His mouth is open and he viciously makes contact or tries to make contact with your body. Does this sound familiar?

Does your horse bump, step or walk into you?

When you are out working with your horse, does he sometimes cut in too close to your body, or bump you, and that makes you step out of his way? Does he come running to you in the pasture, and then push a shoulder into you as he walks by? When you groom him or tack him up, does he make you move your feet around him or else you feel like he will step on them?