seasoned trails horses started kicking other horses

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seasoned trails horses started kicking other horses

Post by AnnOklah on Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:55 pm

I have a 17 and 20 yr old who were well behaved around other horses on the trails for years and never tried to kick or bite another horse.
All was peaceful at home and each horse new who the leader was. Leader was passive and never kicked or tried to bite the other. A look is all it took for the other to move out of the way.

We added another horse, a 7 yr old who is very playful and started rearing at them, turning and kicking at them trying to get them to play with him. Now, my other two have started kicking at him for bothering them. and when we took them out on the trail with other horses, my horse(the leader at home) kicked at a horse we've been riding with for years who shared the same hay bag and stood side by side over night.
What has happened and how do I fix this. My mare did the same thing to this horse, both my horses kicked at the other horse whom they have been riding with for years.
Is it something I did?
pleas hlep

AnnOklah
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Re: seasoned trails horses started kicking other horses

Post by Admin on Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:08 pm

Thanks for your question. I am notifying the trainers right now. You can expect at least one answer to your question in the next couple of days. All of our trainers are starting to get busier with the onset of warmer weather, so sometimes they are hard to pin down. Hang in there. We'll get you an answer as soon as we can!

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(moved topic to Behavior Q & A)

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:57 am

Just FYI- there was a similar question added this morning about kicking between mares which already has an answer- check that one out to see if it helps you as well!

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Re: seasoned trails horses started kicking other horses

Post by AnnOklah on Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:41 pm

Actually, I did seperate the new horse yesterday. Now to convince my other two while on the trail, it's not O.k. to kick at other horses, especially while under saddle.

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Re: seasoned trails horses started kicking other horses

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:55 pm

I know!!!! Makes you want to hire an equine communicator to tell them to "JUST STOP IT!". lol. I have a colt that rears and strikes out when mares pin their ears or squeal at him. Even under saddle. REALLY embarrassing on a trail ride.

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Re: seasoned trails horses started kicking other horses

Post by AnnOklah on Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:42 am

This is what I will try on my own.

I'll put him in a one rein stop, disengaging his hindquarters and have my friends start in a wide circle around him, getting closer and closer till they can touch his rear end and he is relaxed. Then I'll walk off and try it without the one rein stop and see what he does. If he backs his ears I'll use a switch and tap him on the ears to get his mind else where.
I saw this preformed today on RFD, they are not used to kicking out at other horses so hopefully this will remind him that It's not o.k. and you will be corrected.
He has just kicked out 3 time in the last 5 yrs but that's to many for me.
Wish me luck

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Re: seasoned trails horses started kicking other horses

Post by Admin on Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:54 am

Luck to ya. You should be getting an answer from Jeff Sanders today.. Let us know how it all works out!

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Re: seasoned trails horses started kicking other horses

Post by Cowboy Dressage on Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:24 pm

I would suggest that you study equine behavior. Dr. Robert Miller has a book out titled "The Ancient Secret of the Horses Mind." To understand or prevent this problem you need to know and understand the way a horse thinks. Horses are a herd animal and have a very defined and distinct pecking order. This order is established by control of movement. The "alfa" or head horse controls the others by controlling the movement of the lesser horses. The "alfa tells them when to move, run, back away etc. When you introduce a new horse you change the dynamics of the heard. The new horse must establish their place or position with in the herd. What you see as "playing" is most likely an attempt to establish this position. Because the herd has now been rearranged you horse may feel the need to re establish her place.

When you ride your horse, you are the "alfa." When your mare kicks out at another horse you must discipline her and let her know that is not acceptable. The timing of this is important. It must be instant and to the point. Do not over discipline or wait until after the kick happens. Try to feel when it is coming and stop it before it happens. Your mare will give you all kinds of behavioral signals.....you need to be able to "read" your horse's behavior and to know that you must first understand how they think. For you the key is education and control...just like the alfa in the herd.

Another thing is that the rider may be allowing the gelding to ride up on the rear end of the other horses....something that she did not do before...if this is the case ask her to keep a respectable distance. If you do not resolve this problem and wish to keep riding you mare put a red bow in her tail...a signal to others that she is a kicker.

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