Horses are not immune to developing nasty habits that are flat out dangerous! They can pick them up from other horses or even their handlers and riders. Some may act out because of pain, exhaustion, stubbornness, or fear. One thing is for sure, it’s essential to nip it in the bud right away. Here’s a list of bad habits to watch out for!
1. Biting: Either grabbing with his teeth or nibbling with his lips, a biting horse is hard to have around. The horse could be acting out in hopes of getting treats. He could also be frustrated, bored, or even showing playfulness.
2. Bolting: A bolting horse is one that sets off in a full gallop. He is eagerly trying to get away from the situation or person. This is a sign he is nervous, spooked, or spirited.
3. Bucking: Your horse’s head will lower and his back legs will kick out when he is bucking. It can be dangerous when a rider is on his back, as they can be thrown. He might be in pain or acting out in playfulness, frustration, or anger.
4. Head Shy: The head shy horse is very difficult to halter, bridle, brush, and clip. He will throw his head and avoid your attempts at touching his face and ears. Rough handling can make it worse.
5. Kicking: A horse that kicks can really hurt someone. He might lash out with one or both legs. It could be from sensitivity, discomfort, or aggression.
6. Rearing: The horse will go up into the air with his front legs and stand on his hind legs. This can quickly unseat a rider. In bad cases, the horse may flip over while rearing.
7. Spooking: If your horse is spooky, than you’ll notice him acting uncontrollable when put in a situation that makes him uncomfortable. He often ignores that a handler or rider is near him. This behavior is usually fear-driven.
8. Tail Swishing: Some horses will swish their tail aggressively when being ridden. It can signify an uncomfortable saddle or another type of pain. He could also be acting out in frustration.
These behaviors are usually a sign your horse is trying to communicate something to you. The misbehaving may start off small and unnoticeable, but can quickly turn into a problem if left unfixed. It’s important to listen to your horse and pick up on the small things.