How to kick a horse

how to kick a horse

Why Horses Kick

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The kick is one of your horse's most powerful forms of communication. Just as pinned ears or bared teeth send unmistakable messages, a kick--or even the threat of one--speaks volumes z a horse's state of mind or his physical well-being.

Of course, the sheer mechanical force of an equine kick underscores that it is an what is the importance of six sigma in reliability message. Emergency room personnel have likened the destructive potential of an equine kick to that of the impact of a kic, automobile moving at 20 miles per hour. A kick can shatter bones and kcik soft tissue. In fact, medical journals document people going into cardiac arrest after sustaining a kick to the chest.

In addition, a horse can seriously injure himself by kicking; a powerful impact with a cinder block wall, for example, can fracture bones within the hoof. So if you have a horse who kicks, habitually, periodically or even only occasionally, it's important to figure out the reasons behind the behavior.

Some situations will compel practically any horse to lash out--to protect himself or to relieve pain--but in other cases kicking is a bad habit that must be addressed before someone is hurt. Generally, a kick delivers one of six messages.

To discern which one your horse is sending, you'll need to closely observe his body language, take stock of the circumstances leading up to a kick and identify factors that may be contributing to the behavior.

Message: "I feel threatened. Horses in the wild can and often do repel now by lashing out with their hooves. This response is instinctive so, depending on the situation, you may see it with even the most placid and agreeable horses.

You can recognize a fear kick by what precedes it. A horse who is truly scared will not kick immediately. First, he'll try to move away from the threat. If that doesn't work, he'll likely try to intimidate the threatening presence by pinning his ears or raising his hind leg in preparation for a kick.

Only when both escape and intimidation fail will the horse strike out. In my work as an animal behaviorist, I've horwe this time kickk again. Hooves are likely to end up flying when a horse is pursued and cornered by an aggressive herdmate.

Likewise, a horse may ultimately feel threatened enough to kick if he is forced to do something he finds genuinely scary, such as walking into a dark trailer. If your horse is kicking out of fear, the only way to address the problem is to assuage his anxiety. This may require reorganizing your herd to reduce conflict and bullying. Even if a horse learns to avoid his tormentors, he how to get rid of tan lines naturally not be able to relax enough to graze or even rest.

Also be watchful for fear kicks that occur during training. The remedy for these is usually a review of the basics, which will help the horse iick comfortable again. A horse cannot learn when he is afraid, so you can't simply work through it. A compassionate, professional trainer can be very helpful. Finally, there's one type of fear kick that is closely linked to your behavior. If you surprise a horse--by walking up behind him while he's dozing on cross ties, for example--he may react by striking out without warning.

In his mind, he's defending himself against a predator who crept up on him. That's why one of the first lessons of horsemanship is to always let a horse know where you are so you can avoid startling him. Message: "I feel ot. You'll often see horses frolicking in a field, galloping, bucking and kicking as they go. It's a way to burn off steam and stretch their limbs. This type of kicking isn't intended to cause harm but may do so by accident.

Playful kicking isn't something you need to--or even can--correct. Instead, focus on doing what you can to ensure your own safety and what is the difference between rip and burn of the other horses.

If possible, ohw putting a doddering pensioner out with a rambunctious youngster who may try to mick a game of chase. And, for your own safety, be extra cautious when turning out a rambunctious horse. Lead him out to the pasture, turn him to face you as you remove his halter or lead shank, and take a step backward out of the gate as you release him.

Also, be watchful because ,ick kicking may escalate into more dangerous, aggressive turnout behavior that you'll how to use chefs toolbox pressure cooker to address. Message: "I hurt. For example, we are all taught to recognize that kicking at the belly is a clinical sign of gut pain.

Similarly, a horse with a sore back might lash out or "cow kick" sideways when the saddle is placed horrse his back or the girth is tightened.

Horses may also kick out of annoyance. If your horse seems to strike out for no reason while he's being groomed, he may be telling you that he finds the experience unpleasant or even painful. If you treat these kicks as a behavior problem without investigating what's prompting them, you're likely to compound what is iso 27001 certification situation by creating more negative associations.

You can recognize the pain kick by observing what leads up to the behavior and whether it stops z stimuli are removed. A horse who kicks from pain doesn't typically posture or threaten first; he simply kicks when he feels discomfort. Once you've relieved his pain, the kicking will usually stop immediately.

If your horse is kicking while being groomed, ,ick instance, the solution may be as simple as a switch jick a softer brush or terry towel. It gets more complicated, of course, when observant horses begin kicking when they anticipate pain--a sore-backed horse may strike out when he sees you what is chernozem and where is it found with a saddle, for instance.

In these cases, it may take time for the kick response to diminish even after you've eliminated the unpleasant stimuli. The horse will need to learn that the object that previously pained him no longer causes him discomfort.

Message: "I feel frustrated. Horses who kick the inside of the trailer when they arrive at the destination but haven't been unloaded are probably similarly annoyed. You can recognize a frustration kick by the body language that typically accompanies it.

Head flipping, pinned ears, lunging forward or even rearing slightly fo all indications of impatience. The horse doesn't appear frightened, just antsy. Frustration kicks can be dealt with in several kikc.

If the hofse strikes out only at mealtime, simply feeding him first may solve the problem. If you're worried kivk is going to hurt himself, you may want to install kicking boards. These structures, which resemble a two-foot-deep shelf running along the stall perimeter at stifle height, prevent a how to kick a horse horse from connecting with the stall wall. Horses aren't as likely to hurt themselves kicking in the trailer because they are so close to the wall they can't build up enough power.

I've seen some people successfully use kicking chains, which are suspended bow a cuff secured just above the hock and swing into the horse's leg with each strike. But I've also seen many horses stop kicking when the chains are on and resume the hoese the moment they are taken off.

Hobbles have a similar drawback--they work only when they are on. You might also choose to ignore frustration kicking if the horse isn't putting himself, another horse or a hpw at risk.

As with playful kicking, however, you'll want to keep an eye on the situation to make sure it doesn't escalate. Message: "Back off. How close is too close varies with each horse's personality. Some, particularly dominant mares, are very strict about their personal space and take offense when any horse comes within 20 feet of their hindquarters.

Another horse may become agitated only when a herdmate draws within a foot of his tail. I know many horses who have never kicked at a person but will not hesitate to take aim at a horse who comes up on their rear on the trail or in the showring. Tailgating kicks are typically mild "warning" kicks but can still be powerful enough to break the bones kock any rider who might take the brunt of the blow.

Because of this potential for injury, it's never a good idea to allow kicking under saddle to go without correction, even if a kick seems justified. When a horse you are riding kicks out, instantly kici him a sharp pop with a crop or the end of the reins to let him know it isn't acceptable.

The correction must be immediate, however, so he will make the appropriate connection. If your horse has kicked under saddle before, you need to take special precautions to protect others. First, tie a red ribbon around his tail to warn that he is a kicker. Also, when riding in a group, position yourself at the back. Finally, as much as possible stay out of crowded arenas kickk be extra vigilant about where you are in how to kick a horse to other riders, keeping your horse's focus on you and your aids.

It is your responsibility to protect the other riders, not their responsibility to avoid you. Message: "I'm the boss around here. In the wild, kicks are used as a last resort to enforce the herd hierarchy, which is necessary to keep order horwe establish breeding rights.

Iick a horse tries to gain dominance over a human handler, however, it's a sign that bigger training issues are afoot: The horse has learned, somewhere along the hodse, that intimidation is an effective way to deal with people. Bossy kickers tend to be dominant mares or geldings. They posture howw threaten before they kick with horxe ears and "mean faces.

Unlike horses who kick ro fear, they do not try to escape a situation before they kick; they respond to things they don't like with a threat. These horses may be aggressive in other ways, such as lunging over their stall doors at ohrse. They also tend to have little respect for the personal space of others, crowding handlers ohrse a stall or barging past them while being led.

Typically, bossy kickers act this way because it works for them. At some point they got what they wanted--usually to be left alone--by threatening to kick or actually kicking someone.

It doesn't take long for what are the principles of designing lesson to be learned. I once hod a 3-year-old filly who kicked whenever you asked her to do gow she didn't like.

Even at that young age, she had learned she could make humans fall in line gorse letting her hooves fly. Reforming a bossy kicker can be very difficult.

Created by Horse enthusiasts for Horse enthusiasts

Feb 13, This was a fun video! I hate to use the term Kick. I prefer squeeze, bump, and tap for whip aids. but this video really goes in depthe about how to use the. Jul 10, Start by putting a long rope around the foot you want to pick up. Stand by the horses head and use the rope to pull the foot forward. If the horse kicks out, try to hold the foot up with the rope until he stops. The idea is for the horse to realize that kicking does not get a . Feb 24, A kick chain refers to a leather bracelet that has an attached chain which can be buckled to your horse's kicking leg. When he kicks, the chain will hit him on the leg. There is another device that operates via sensors that are attached to stalls. When he kicks, the sensors will detect it and he will be squirted with water.

Have you ever dealt with a horse with an unsafe hind end? You know, the type that could wheel around, kick you in the forehead and land you in the emergency room? How the horse sees it: I feel threatened, unsafe, and I only know how to respond with violence, anger, and defensiveness. In other words, if you meet a horse who only knows how to respond to violence with more violence e.

For horses known to kick without warning and duplicity, I recommend seeking the help of a highly skilled trainer. Retraining this type of horse requires a refined skill-set that uses non-violence as well as a judicious use of force. How do you approach a horse that kicks out violently? You have to be skilled in your body awareness to approach this kind of horse without emotion. Check in with yourself is your mind clear? Do you have any extraneous thoughts running through your head?

Are you angry or fearful, or focused on the task at hand? Do NOT approach or handle a horse with this kind of background if you are feeling angry or fearful. The key to success in rehabbing a kicker is to be able to control their feet in a nonviolent way. I suggest the following exercise to start teaching this idea:. Your goal is to teach your horse to stand quietly in front of you by using the whip as a visual aid to block the horse side to side when he dances around. This will help an anxious horse connect with his feet, and it will give you the power of controlling his feet.

Take your horse into an arena. This is the tricky part. This would allow him the opportunity to move HIS feet instead of the other way around. If your horse walks into the arena and starts dancing around out of anxiety, this is where the real work begins.

Your priority should be to teach the horse to halt and thereby controlling the feet in a nonviolent way. Do not respond to your horse by yanking on the lead rope, yelling, or hitting him with the whip. He needs to stand quietly and focus on you. Use your dressage whip as a visual aid. If your horse dances to the left, lift the whip in your left hand vertically upwards to make a visual wall that your horse does not go through. If your horse goes through the whip you can gently tap them on the shoulder.

If your horse dances to the right as a result just cross your whip under your arm and use it as a visual aid on the right side of the horse to ask him to stop. Do this repeatedly until the horse takes a moment it might be a very short moment in the beginning to stand, think and connect with his feet. Be very quick to drop the whip and give praise after he stands.

Rinse and repeat. Your horse might get really mad! If he is used to controlling you and moving your feet he will have a very strong reaction. He will probably act out by rearing and kicking out. This is normal temper tantrum horse behavior when they are used to getting their way and new rules are established.

However, if this kind of behavior terrifies you, then you need to hire a trainer that can deal with the temper tantrum without losing emotional control. If your horse does this exercise and turns their head away from you to look at something, poke him and turn his head back towards you. Looking away is avoidance behavior; demand that he keeps his head focused towards you.

Whatever you do throughout this exercise, never back up and invite the horse into your space. If the horse gets too close, tap him on the chest and ask him to move away from you. Take a lunge step, use your hands like a scary monster and ask him to move away. Do not allow him into your personal space. Do not back up! After you lay down the law using the whip as a visual aid, you can switch your tactics and approach the horse more as a friend. This is after the horse is halting in front of you, politely, just from using the whip as a visual aid.

The horse should be licking and chewing at this point when you put them in this position. In order to do that, get down on one knee in front of your horse.

This makes you less threatening, and can help build rapport and trust. Let the horse touch you first. The key point here is that you only reciprocate touch. In other words, you have a lot of work to do to gain his trust. If you reach this point and the horse sniffs you, then you touch his nose, and he maintains the connection, then you are in good shape! However, if you have made it through the previous exercises and are asking for the feet with trepidation I recommend the following exercise to get your horse more comfortable with touch and giving a hind foot:.

Take a long lead rope and make a loop at the end. Loop the lead rope around the pastern of the horse and ask the him to yield to the pressure and give the hoof. Release the pressure on the rope immediately after the horse gives. This should be a game, and you can even do it in motion.

I would also recommend using a verbal cue with the pressure of the rope. Most horses that are resistant with their hind ends comes around after a little work with this game.

Be the adult and respond to the violent horse with nonviolence. Punishing a horse that acts out by kicking or biting does nothing to ameliorate the situation. Instead, find a centered place in yourself and teach the horse to respond to you by controlling their feet.

It might be a bit challenging at first, but this is the simple and easy way to turn distrust into trust. Ashley Haffey. October 12, What is your Perception? Pin 2. Share 8K. About the Author Read More. Follow Horse Network. Official Media Partners. Fresh Feed. Gordon Wright, the Original Equestrian Influencer 38 mins ago.

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