Stall Kicking, Part 1

The reasons for a horse to kick at his stall, unfortunately, vary. However, finding the cause of this annoying behaviour, and stopping it, will save you money on stall doors and wood paneling!

Most times, stall kicking is because a horse wants attention. He sees you coming towards him, and wants to hurry you up – and up until now, this has worked marvellously. This post will focus on stall kicking because the horse wants food. The next will describe the method for dealing with kicking for different reasons.

Keep careful note of when your horse bangs on his stall door or wall. Often it will be when he sees food coming down the isle, or when his food is late (and he knows it!). If this is the case, you need to make a connection for your horse. He needs to realize that kicking makes his food come slower. And since he was kicking to make it come faster, he will soon stop, because the exercise is pointless.

So here’s how you do that. As soon as he starts banging, stop moving towards him and do something else until he stops kicking, even for one second. Then move towards him again. As soon as he begins again, stop moving. A horse’s brain works most efficiently through trial and error, although this is often the method that takes the longest amount of time. However, by being vigilant, you can stop the kicking very effectively.

If this is not working and the kicking problem is only getting worse, try backing up until he stops kicking, then proceeding forward when he stops. By doing this, you will make it even more obvious to the horse that kicking is not gaining him any ground, and in fact he is losing it.

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