A stubborn horse is no fun to ride or work with! They ignore and even resist your aids. These horses are notorious for pulling back on the lead rope, refusing to walk forward, acting spooky or uncontrollable, and being herd bound. It’s important to find out the root cause for their behavior and work through it!
Tips for Managing a Stubborn Horse
- Handle the issue right away! At the first sign of stubbornness or a refusal, look for ways to work through it. You don’t want your horse to develop nasty habits, so bite it in the butt quickly.
- Rule out pain and discomfort. Your vet can do a basic health evaluation to uncover lameness and sore areas. You should also have a saddle fitter out to inspect your tack. Many horses become difficult to handle when they’re in pain.
- Determine why your horse is acting out. After you rule out pain, examine their daily schedule and history. Are they refusing to come inside? Horses pick up on things quickly. If they only come in to work, then they may start to refuse. A simple change in their activities and schedule can help. You’ll have to evaluate your horse’s individual situation though.
- Be firm with your horse. Remember, you have to be their herd leader. Assertive energy is important. A trainer can help guide you. Make sure to earn your horse’s respect! Some stubborn horses quickly learn they can take advantage of their owners.
- Consistency is needed in horse training. Stubbornness can also come from lack of work. If your horse is use to hanging out in the field all day, every day, you may face some resistance when it comes to riding or working them. It’s beneficial to work your horse a few times a week, if even for short periods of time.
Horse training is a daunting task! If you’re up for the challenge, then get ready and be patient. Stubbornness can be hard to work through, but does get better in time.