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Kicking Problem

Longshot Cattle Co

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I have a 2 1/2 yr old gelding that I've had for about 3 months now. No problems at first, but lately when I enter his pasture, he comes running at me and turns at the last minute and kicks/bucks with his hind legs at me. I'm unaware of what I did to have him start doing this as he has always followed me around like a puppy dog. When I try to longe him, he rears up and refuses to move anyway but towards me. Any suggestions?
 

certherfbeef

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I had a colt start doing that to me after my sis thought it was funny(she was feeding him while I was in Denver). I ended up using the wip on his hind end every time he swung around.
 

kjerckie

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Had a yearling once start that. I'd come home after working graveyard, change clothes and go outside to feed. He'd do that same action then run for the barn, knowing that's where I was headed. So I started walking back towards the house when he turned to run for the barn. I'd wait 15 minutes and try again. Took about two hours for him to figure it out. After that, he met me at the barn.
 

CattleAnnie

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I'd work that colt's attitude out of him in the round pen if he was here. Sure changes their outlook in a hurry. As it stands right now, he's giving you the equine equivalent of the Pierre Trudeau salute....(you know, you make a fist but leave that middle finger extended in an upright position). If his behaviour isn't altered quickly he'll probably put a hoof sized dent in someone in the near future, given half a chance.

Take care.
 

cattle_gal

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Longshot,

I'll post the kicking section from my website for you.

Kicking

Classifications
1) Responding out of habit
2) Dominance (same as #3 in biting)
3) Not doing what is asked/resisting
4) Playing

All Kicking can not be classified into one category. The horses intensions are each addressed and handled in different ways. No such thing as one size fits all. Since horses do not speak in words they communicate through the body. It is up to the handler to become a true horseman and speak the horses language.


The habit
Primarily horses that have not been exposed to touch. For this use a crop and use the crop as an extension of your hand. Do like you would when petting a horse. The hand follows the formation of the horse gently.

With the crop start at the croup and run down the horses leg. When ever the horse kicks out start over again and just act like the horse did not kick out. Soon the horse will think nothing of the touch.

Dominance

This horse would be out to hurt you and get you out of the country. With these horses I do what is called whip train . You do not touch them but you let them know that this behavior is not expectable. And if the horse lashes out the horse gets lashed in the heels in mid air on his own..

This should only be done by someone that is experienced and can read the horse even before the horse acts out. In the end this horse will not be afraid or resentful of the human or whip as a) the whip did not do anything wrongful b) the horse will have great respect for the human. How? it is psychological not physical. The horse will end up following you anywhere.

Do the same thing as in the biting(see below to reference of that section). Swish the whip back and forth and let him hit the whip. Sometimes big lashers (the horse) standing next to a wide wood board fence will kick out and hit the boards. They will punish themselves by kicking the fence. If he wants to do that so be it. He runs into the fence not the fence running into him. It does not feel good and he will think "ouch that was stupid of me".


Some horses are stall kickers, but that is another problem of it’s own away from this. If the horse does kicks you kick him back, but only the instant it happens. Do not do a little soft kick, kick like you are killing him but only for 2-3 seconds. You may feel like you are killing him, but he will feel like he was spanked. If you go away from the horse from the pain he gave you and then coming back to punish him. The deed has gone away for to long to be punished for the crime. And you will have to chalk it up as a learning experience to be on your feet the next time.

Resisting

Does the horse lash out because of something you did that he responded to only kick. Does the horse know what you wanted? If you prick him he has every right to come back at you. Time to think of a better way to communicate to the horse what you want in a way that he understands.

Sometimes horses lash out because they have been ill handled/trained. An over "gushy" handler will only spoil as horse. The horse will be trained to believe that he doesn't have to listen to anyone.

A horseman will praise a horse, but they make sure the horse also does something that deserves a reward. Patience is worthy of a reward in it's self.

Playing

If the horse thinks it’s time to cut loose and have fun when you think other wise. You need to show him that recess is not in session and that he needs to keep his mind paying attention to you.

In reference to the biting section - Classification #3- Fighting

Fight behavior/revolting

This horse means business to get rid of you. This is a dominance issue that is very dangerous. Do not do with the horse what you did in behavior 1 or it will get you hurt. Stand your ground and show the horse that you are not a low man on the totem pole and that the horse can not run you out of the country. Pushing the horse will not do anything. To him that is an annoying itch and asking to get chased out of the country. If he wants to kill you, you have to kill back. The horse is playing fight to win. And if you move the direction he wants he wins and has control over you. So the next time he confronts you when he is not tied let him run it to your fighting back technique.

You know the horse is going to bite so be prepared be swinging back and forth vertical wise in front of your body with a crop. When the horse goes to do the biting he runs into the crop and smacks themselves. You did not smack him the horse did it themselves.

If the horse is a little more serious fighter that runs to attack you, the crop that is vertical would be replaced with a lunge whip that is horizontal. The horse would still be running into the whip. And the horse will be hitting themselves as you swish the whip back and forth. Not to be done like daydreaming but faster moving. But the length is enough that you can get out of the way if need be. Safety first. Always think of all the possibilities that could happen. And be on your toes.

A key to all this is that the human is the good guy and all bad comes from the horses negative behavior which he punishes himself. It is like playing basketball if player 1 runs in to player 2, player 2 gets fouled, because he did running into all by himself and punishes himself. If player 1 ran into player 2 but player 2 got punished he would think "I did not do anything" thus becoming cautious of doing anything good even. Just remember do not punish a horse for something he has not actually done yet.
 

Linda

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This is definitely a problem to be solved immediately by an experienced trainer. The horse is asserting dominance over you and in a way that is dangerous to your life. The training can be accomplished in a day or two and probably will be done in a round pen. It's good that you are asking the question regarding your horse's behavior.

cattle_gal, I question your advice to kick a horse back if he kicks you. A horse that would kick a human is a dangerous animal - extremely dangerous. I can't imagine advising a person to stay this close to a horse exhibiting this kind of behavior. I understand the theory behind your advice, but I seriously question the wisdom.
 

Longshot Cattle Co

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Thanks everyone for your advice...He will be going back to the trainer. Maybe the trainer can straighten both of us out!!! I will let you know how it turns out....
 

cattle_gal

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Linda,

If you are standing beside a horse at the barrel and he kicks out how would you punish him? A slap won't do it's is only a flinch. No lesson there. In nature that other horse is going to kick him back.
 

Linda

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cattle_gal":uik2nqdt said:
Linda,

If you are standing beside a horse at the barrel and he kicks out how would you punish him? A slap won't do it's is only a flinch. No lesson there. In nature that other horse is going to kick him back.

I do understand what you are saying. My colt a few years ago took careful aim and hit me right in the nose with his head. I disciplined him right then and there with my fist. He's 8 years old now and has never tried that again.

My comment was directed toward the safety issue. If a horse has so little respect for a human that it kicks a person, that horse needs to be trained and taught from a safe distance by a good trainer. Yes, they need quick correction, but remaining within kicking range of a horse that has shown it will attack is not prudent, in my opinion. I've had horses that have kicked at me in the round pen and the lesson they learned was they had to work every time they misbehaved. And there was complicated work with the halter and lead rope to teach the horse to stand quietly. Eventually, they figured out it was easier to behave than to work. By work, I mean starts and stops & reverses and trot, canter, walk, etc. Not to wear out the horse, but to ingrain in its mind through uncomfortable work that the human is at the top of the pecking order. Eventually they decide its easier to yield to humans.

My filly had to spend a few hours being trained when she decided humans weren't at the top of her pecking order. She merely refused to step up and walk beside me when asked. I asked her trainer how to teach her to walk beside me, rather than lag behind. It turned out the filly was showing signs of not yielding to humans. She learned some tough lessons in those few hours, but she's a dream to handle now. She had been handled a lot since we bought her as a weanling and is a very affectionate horse, but had just suddenly decided to test me. I'm so grateful our trainer was able to teach me what was happening and corrected the problem.

I applaud the original poster for taking the gelding to a trainer. There's nothing better than learning from someone who can see the cause of the problem and who is willing to teach both the horse and the owner how to progress. That makes for a great relationship.
 

certherfbeef

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Linda":rpm3d808 said:
cattle_gal":rpm3d808 said:
Linda,

If you are standing beside a horse at the barrel and he kicks out how would you punish him? A slap won't do it's is only a flinch. No lesson there. In nature that other horse is going to kick him back.


My comment was directed toward the safety issue. If a horse has so little respect for a human that it kicks a person, that horse needs to be trained and taught from a safe distance by a good trainer. Yes, they need quick correction, but remaining within kicking range of a horse that has shown it will attack is not prudent, in my opinion.

Linda, I understand your point as well as Cattle_gal's. But, Kicking range on a horse is a lot less leathal if you are right beside that animal (where you can disipline) then at the end of the fully extended leg. I don't like to be on the recieving end on a kick from anything. But surely not an equine.
 

Linda

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certherfbeef":22cvi1k2 said:
Linda":22cvi1k2 said:
cattle_gal":22cvi1k2 said:
Linda,

If you are standing beside a horse at the barrel and he kicks out how would you punish him? A slap won't do it's is only a flinch. No lesson there. In nature that other horse is going to kick him back.


My comment was directed toward the safety issue. If a horse has so little respect for a human that it kicks a person, that horse needs to be trained and taught from a safe distance by a good trainer. Yes, they need quick correction, but remaining within kicking range of a horse that has shown it will attack is not prudent, in my opinion.

Linda, I understand your point as well as Cattle_gal's. But, Kicking range on a horse is a lot less leathal if you are right beside that animal (where you can disipline) then at the end of the fully extended leg. I don't like to be on the recieving end on a kick from anything. But surely not an equine.

You are correct, of course. You can be hurt working with a horse from any distance, but being kicked while standing close is sometimes less dangerous, depending on the horse's agenda.

Heck, my husband's gelding broke my foot last year just by quietly standing on it for what seemed to be a lifetime.
 

Kelly

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A kick from even a weanling has some power to it. A couple years ago my daughter got kicked bya weanling that wanted to eat "right now" but she had to hang the feed bucket. The weanling kicked her in the face - fractured her sinus and did some serious damage to her eye & plenty of stitches. She has worked with horses since she was little & believe it or not still chose it as a major in college even after that! I of course wanted her to choose another path.
 

cattle_gal

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Linda,
Yes it is great that the poster is going to the trainer with this problem. It wasn't stated in that section I had on here, but another earlier section - if your not sure what to do and how, take the horse to a knowledgeable trainer. I would usually refer someone diectly to my site, but I'd like to keep a little identity hidden.

When they start to kick out that's why I like to use a long lunge whip. There is good distance there. And I made sure that I said it should only be done by an experenced horsemen. Whip training isn't for beginners. It's an art for those that can read a horse very well. It's almost a lost art. I've taught some who think they are experenced when come to find out they are beginers.

I'm glad your trainer showed you what your horse was doing when they were lagging behind. Makes life so much easier doesn't it. No horse I train can be called halter trained until I can lead them in any situation without them pulling back with a halter, then with a peice of twine around there neck, then putting my hand on there neck and then walking with out anything.

Kelly,

I guess I have to take your daughters side on going to college for Equine Science. I also did. Very rewarding. It's in her blood.
 

Alan

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My two cents, It may be good that the poster is sending this horse to a trainer, but the horse is trying to establish dominance over the owner. My point is the owner is the one that needs to work the horse. Longshot you need to have the trainer show you how to round pen this horse, know what signs the horse gives you, ie., chewing and licking. I agree that you need to be close to the horse to discpline it, but have the horse in a halter and lead rope or line. If the horse does something disrespectful you have about 3 seconds two respond to it or the connection between the horses act and your response will be lost. Much longer then a couple of seconds and the horse won't know why you are slapping it. Your horse will treat you different then it will treat others. We have 6 horses I have 4 my wife has 2. We handle each others horses (lead to turn out, feed, etc.) when I feed, my horses know to stand against a wall and not crowd me, her horses will pen thier ears get a sour look and try to steal a bite (I make them move back). When she feeds, her horses back off and wait nicely ( as nice as a horse can be when waiting for grain) but my horses give her crap every time.

When your round penning the horse use a whip or rope as an extension of you hand, this way you can put pressure on the horse (to establish dominance) at a safe distance. All horses that turn their butt to you are dangerous all the time. in a stall, round pen or pasture.

I was leading a mare and a day old to a turn out area last spring, let mom go, she did what she was trained to do but the day old started ripping around. I stood there smiling watching my new foal as it ran up to me turned and missed my face with a double kick by about six inches. I learned it is never to early to learn some manners.

Alan
 

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