protrusions or areas where he could
get caught or hit his head if he rears.
The Distracted Horse
If the buddy horse that you’re riding
is pulling to the gate and toward
his friend at the barn, correct him.
That is disobedient behavior and you
should acknowledge it as such.
Just steering him away and acting
as if nothing ever happened makes
him think you didn’t notice his
disobedience, so he does it again
and again. Your horse should not be
allowed to look out at his friends or
slow down at the gate.
What to Do: Over time, if you allow
a horse to glance at the barn, look at
his buddies, or pull toward the gate,
the behaviors will escalate. Soon, you’ll
have a horse that stops at the gate and
won’t move. Or you’ll have a horse that
won’t walk a straight line, but instead
pulls away from the direction you’re
riding. Soon, he’ll be the one deciding
where to go and how fast to get there—
perhaps galloping back to the barn.
If you correct these little behaviors—even a slight glance away—by
scolding your horse or lightly bumping with your outside leg and inside
rein and pushing him forward, he’ll
soon learn that he must focus on his
work and not his buddy.
Build in some time to make sure
that you separate buddy horses on
purpose. Let them know that they may
not always be together, and if they are
separated they will still be safe.
Put one horse in another pen as
practice before you need to separate
the horses for the farrier or veterinarian visit. If you have a plan and practice, your horses will trust that they
are safe—even when separated.
JULIE GOODNIGHT shares her lessons on
her RFD-TV show, Horse Master (also online
at tv.juliegoodnight.com), and through clinics
and expos. HEIDI MELOCCO (
www.whole-picture.com) is a lifelong horsewoman,
equine journalist, and photographer.
Shop locally or online.
Vetericyn.com | 866.318.3116
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Cinnamon Horse @cinnamon_horse • 21s
Why do I always get stuck with the trailer hog?
Don’t wait for your horses to tell you
why they have gastric discomfort.