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A disrespectful horse is dangerous! Some habits start off small and quickly lead to bigger issues. Your horse will be slow to obey your commands, invade your space and may try to push or drag you around. It’s important you set appropriate boundaries from the beginning!
Bad Horse Habits
- Rubbing their face on you: This gesture may seem minor, but it should be avoided. Many horses attempt to rub on their owners. It’s especially common after rides when they’re sweaty and itchy. Nip this in the butt quickly! Your horse shouldn’t be invading your personal space.
- Nibbling or nipping at you: A curious or bored horse may investigate their owner with their mouth. They could be looking for treats or simply exploring. The problem is a small nip can lead to an actual bite. You need to set boundaries and let them know to keep off you.
- Galloping when you turn out: Some horses will gallop away quickly when their owner takes their halter off. This puts the handler at risk for getting kicked by a back hoof. You should turn the horse toward the gate and encourage them to be patient and still. As soon as you exit and back away, then your horse is free to move.
- Jerking their hoof away: When you pick out your horse’s hooves, they should remain still. Some horses get antsy and pull their feet away from their owner. It may seem more like an annoyance than anything, but in reality it could be dangerous. Your horse may get stronger with their hoof jerks and actually pull their foot away. In the process, you could get stepped on.
- Can’t catch them: There’s nothing worse than spending half your day trying to catch your horse from the pasture. It’s a major sign of disrespect! If you allow your horse to continue running away from you, then it will get worse and take longer each time.
Some bad habits seem petty, but in time lead to bigger and more dangerous issues. Your horse should be respectful at all times!