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Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/my horse has recently been charging people

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Mr. Passons,
Thank you for your time. I am at my wit's end with my horse's recent behavior. I adopted him from a horse rescue about two years ago and I restarted him in NH and he has come along fabulous. He was gelded when he was 12, so he still has stallion tendencies. I can deal with the mouthiness and all the energy, but what I will NOT STAND FOR is him charging people. And I cannot punish him because he never does it when I am around, he knows better than that; at least I hope so. He does have respect for me and I hoped for others. This behavior has started in the past few months and he has not done it to me since the first day I worked with him at the rescue. I have tried all avenues; supplements, change in pasture mates, making sure no one was hurting or threatening him when I was not around; all to no avail. He srtuck a little girl in the leg across the fence line; the same little girl he would let climb all over him and play with him. I REFUSE to give up on him. HELP!!!
Thank you so very much,
Patience Turner

Answer
Hi Patience,
Your horse charging people and pawing at them is a strong sign of disrespect. Number one.....I would not tolerate a mouthy horse. My feeling on this is, "I can touch your mouth...but you can't touch me with your mouth". This goes right along with another one, "I can love on you...but you can't love on me". Number two.....You state he has "all the energy". If he has all that energy, put him to work. Move him forwards, backwards, left and right. Use that energy to your advantage. Work him until he does exactly what you want. He'll get tired I'm sure....so will you. But, he will soon learn to respect you by you moving his feet. This will in turn stop a lot of that bad behavior. I also keep a 4ft, 1/2 inch pvc pipe handy around such horses. If they try to charge me or paw at me, I give them a stiff whack and then I rub them with the pipe. It doesn't hurt them, but it gets their attention and makes a noise when it strikes. Don't worry about hurting your horse with it and don't be timid with it. As I said, it doesn't hurt them. You will find that between the control of his feet on the ground and a handy tool to stop any charging, he will soon learn to respect your space. Good luck and please stay safe.

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training

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Bobby Passons

Expertise

I can answer questions concerning horse training, foundation work, colt starting, western riding, rider confidence and problematic horses.

Experience

20 years in horse training. Starting colts, problematic horses, rider confidence and Western riding. I have specialized in training good/safe trail horses. Shown in western pleasure, halter and trail classes. I worked in West Texas gathering wild cattle.

Organizations
AQHA, APHA, NREMT

Education/Credentials
degree in prehospital medicine.

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