Having a horse that wants to be
/ Changing the Behavior /
with you is satisfying. You get there
by becoming a leader and doing pro-
ductive groundwork. Build in time for
groundwork, grooming and care.
Make sure that your horse knows
that when you approach, there is
something good for him—it’s not
always hard work. But he must meet
you with respect before you pile on
There is a quicker fix to correct the
behavior of turning away from you.
You must put in the time to develop
the relationship, but this technique will
solve the dangerous behavior of having
a horse’s back end pointed at you.
When you are anywhere near or
do anything around a horse’s behind,
kicking is a real threat.
Assume your horse may kick out
hard, and stay out of the danger zone.
I use a long lead or lariat so I can stay
If he doesn’t turn to face me, I hold
out of the kick zone and use the tool
instead of my body.
If you’re walking into a large pen,
carry a lariat. If you’re walking into a
stall or run, use a 12-foot training lead
and rope halter.
I begin by announcing myself to
the horse so that he knows I’m there.
the end of the lead rope and toss the
halter end at his rump. Keep in mind,
you’re just tossing the rope lightly.
It’s just to motivate him to think and
Being left alone is better than any
make a change. Stand well away, as
this tossing of the halter is meant to
be annoying to him and may make
him kick out.
I then reel in the halter and toss it
at his rump again until he turns back
to face me. Once he faces me, I turn
away, shut the pen or stall door, and
Turning his behind to you is not
safe. What your horse wants is to be
left alone; this is why you turn and
walk away once he turns toward you.
treat or any praise during this initial
Do not offer treats in this situation.
You already have a respect issue, so
giving treats will complicate that issue. Your horse would learn that every
time he turns his butt to you, he can
then turn around and get a treat.
/ Training Time /
If you only have an hour to work with
your horse, take 15 minutes and approach the horse’s stall three different
times, turning and doing something
else when he turns to face you. Take a
break for a few minutes then repeat.
Your horse will see your approach as
a whole new training session. Then
use the rest of your training time to
go ride or groom or do what you’d
If you do this training technique
for 15 minutes a day for a week, you
should see the behavior go away rath-
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.
with you is satisfying.
You get there by
becoming a leader
and doing productive
groundwork. Build in
time for groundwork,
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