Stall Kicking, Part 2

Once more, you need to find out why your horse is kicking. Another common reason is aggression. If you find that the horse either doesn’t like the horse in the stall next to him, or across the aisle, or he wants to get out and teach that horse passing by a lesson, then try the method below. I suggest you do not punish your horse for this display of temper. He has nothing else to do. The best remedy for this is to put him in a pen with other horses and let them sort out their differences. Horses are born to fight out their social order. If he isn’t allowed to do this he begins to feel very insecure. At least when he knows his place, be it top or bottom of the pecking order, he knows who he is subordinate to and who he can boss around and this makes him much more comfortable with his surroundings. Every horse needs to know his place.

Aggression toward humans is a more serious problem. As with the horses in the method above, he needs to know his place among his ‘herd’ of humans, and this knowledge does not enter his brain through beatings! The way to deal with this is a technique called round-penning. However, if done improperly, this can cause serious damage to the horse either physically or mentally. I do not at this time feel qualified to explain how this works, as I am figuring it out myself right now by trial and error. I am beginning to get a good grasp on it, but not good enough to teach about it just yet. I suggest you find a trainer, such as myself, to help you and your horse work through this problem.


The First Ride, Part 2

Your young horse can be mounted safely and calmly bareback. He puts up no objections to being slid all over, and when you jump up his head is not raised at all. You are ready to begin riding!

Step 1: Jump up and review all the previous lessons from The First Ride, Part 1. Make sure there are no holes in the training up until now.

Step 2: Gently pick up the reins and use just one of them in a direct rein to pull him over to one side. Do not use your legs yet, as he does not know that cue!

Step 3: Once he starts to move, remove the rein pressure. For this first ride, let it be enjoyable. Relax, look around, and let your horse go wherever he would like. If he stops, however, you can get him to go again by turning him with one rein. As you refine your signals, this one direct rein will slowly turn into an indirect rein.

Step 4: You can slowly begin to introduce leg aids with the rein you use to lead him off. Remember to always start with a gentle pressure and slowly work your way up until he responds, when you instantly remove all pressure. If you have poor timing the horse will learn very little, except maybe how to avoid the pressure, and he may become sour.

Good luck with your riding. If you have any questions, be sure to let us know!