How to deal with an unruly young horse
Published 12-06-2009 12:50 AM
I talked about how unsuitable a young horse is to a new horse owner in my last post, and I warned potential new owners to stay away from green horses. Well, so what do you do if you already own a green horse and you are an inexperienced horse owner?
There are actually a few things you can do. First of all, you can always sell your current horse and find a more suitable horse. The other thing you can do is find a reputable trainer in your area to train your horse and teach you how to develop respect, first on the ground and then under saddle.
You need to learn horse behavior. Horses give clear signs of when they are mad, when they are about to kick or bite, when they are uncomfortable, stressed, unhappy. They show these signs by their body language. You need to find a horse person in your area to teach you these signs. It is dangerous to be around horses when you don't have the "social skills" that are required to be safely around horses.
Horses establish dominance by aggression. And by being a herd animal, they will always include you as part of their herd. You want to be higher in the hierarchy than your horse. There are methods to establish this relationship. If your horse doesn't respect you it can be a very dangerous situation for you.
Most horses first threaten before they actually take action. Signs of aggression include pinned years, bearing teeth, switching of tail, aggressive look in their eyes. Signs of disrespect include turning their back to you, stepping on you, not respecting your personal space, crowding you, slamming their body against you, hitting you with their head. Signs of tension include tight lips, worried eyes, not wanting to move even when cued. These are signs that can only be understood and perceived once you have spent a lot of time around horses.
Horses have different personalities and some are more challenging than others. Some horses are naturally more aggressive and dominant, while some are more laid back and accepting.
So I urge you, if you have a young or green horse, find a reputable trainer that can teach you how to train your horse and establish respect and dominance, and teach you horsemanship skills. Do not try to do it yourself because you may end up getting hurt. Plus, by not knowing how to correct bad behavior, you will ultimately be rewarding bad behavior, which means your horse will get more disrespectful as time goes by.