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Discuss how do you stop a horse from kicking at the Horse Training forum - Horse Forums.

I have a rescue gelding that I have had for 2 years, he never had ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member+ mamaalwaysrides's Avatar
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    how do you stop a horse from kicking

    I have a rescue gelding that I have had for 2 years, he never had his feet done till he was two years old, that is when I got him. he is still bad with his back feet, especially with the farrier, he tries to kick him.

    any suggestions, I really want to work with him before the farriers next visit

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    Well I'm glad to say that if a horse ever tried to kick my farrier he'd kick em right back.

    Kicking at someone is not acceptable at all. Kick the horse right back, thats the way I see it.

    If a horse kicks out at me I'll either kick them, if I have reins in my hand I'll hit them on the butt with the reins a few times. It's just to dangerous for me to let slide.

    Also tell you farrier he is free to kick back when the horse kicks at him.

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    Senior Member UncleJohn's Avatar
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    I must admit, my first thought was to say, "kick him back." But honestly that's not going to train your horse to be calm with the farrier.

    We have a horse boarding with us that is 5 years old and basically never been handled much. In some ways, he can be pretty dangerous. His owner had a farrier up a couple weeks ago and had the same problem, no cooperation and a couple of near miss kicks.

    My wife is a gem in the round-pen, patient, but persuasive. She told the farrier to pick up all her stuff and follow her down to the round pen.

    She then made that horse do 20 minutes of sensless running with a lot of quick turns. Every once in a while she'd stop and go pick up his feet. If he was calm, he got to rest. If not, he ran some more.

    After a while, he was standing still and the farrier was able to finish doing his trim.

    A lot has to do with making the horse respect you. Dominant horses make other horses move their feet. It works for humans too, make them move their feet and they get more respectful. They essentially realize their position in the natural pecking order is lower than the human - so they are more likely to cooperate.

    It was also a case of making it's easier to stand still and get a trim than to kick or misbehave in any other way.

    Good luck - it takes patience and probably more than one session.

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    Full Member HunterQueen69's Avatar
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    If your horse tries to kick, smack him on his rump, tell him "NO!" and keep trying to get him to pick up his foot, keep smacking and telling him no every time he tries to kick.

    When he does let you hold his foot, hold only for a little bit, set it down- dont let him yank it out of your hand- and give him lots of praise. Just keep working with him, it will take time, my mare hated her back feet to be picked up too, and after working with her for about a week or two, she doesnt mind her feet messed with at all. Your boy realize that he'd rather be praised than be smacked! Dont forget to have patience!

    Also, depending on if you use chains or not, you can give a good jerk with a chained lead rope everytime he tries to kick. Good Luck!

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    Senior Member+ lvmypnt's Avatar
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    I agree with Uncle John. Take him to the RP and every time he kicks out send him off for some "productive" laps. Bring him back to the middle and try again. This is something you can work on without your farrier. The next time the farrier comes ask if he would mind doing his work in the RP. If the horse kicks out send him off. He will quickly learn that it is easier to have his feet worked on then not to have his feet worked on.

    Good Luck.
    Natural Horsemanship........It's not a NEW technique, it's an OLD way of thinking.

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    Teaching a horse to pick up his feet involves a lot of trust. He is in a precarious position with a leg held up, he can't run away if he feels the need. Horses are flight animals.

    Try firstly getting him use to the feeling of things on his back legs. Start with hosing them. Then you can use a leafy branch to rub his legs with. When he is fine with these things then just get him use to you running your hand up and down and around his legs.

    THEN ask him to lift his hoof. Not far and not high. When he is comfortable with this then ask for higher and further out.

    I had a horse that I rescued as a 3yo who had never had his feet picked up and had been taught to fight people hard. He use to try to remove my butt cheeks everytime I bent over to try to pick up a hoof. Perserverance paid off.

    Chasing a horse that has been abused around an arena is more likely to solidify the idea in its mind that people are not nice.
    "If your brain was elastic you wouldn't have enough to make a garter for a canary" (Prisoner, an Aussie tv show)

    "It's probably the worst idea since Hitler's dad said to Hitler's mum 'come up stairs Brunhilda-I'm feeling saucy tonight!'"

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    Senior Member+ lvmypnt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chester View Post
    Chasing a horse that has been abused around an arena is more likely to solidify the idea in its mind that people are not nice.
    Since when is lunging "chasing"?
    Natural Horsemanship........It's not a NEW technique, it's an OLD way of thinking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mamaalwaysrides View Post
    he is still bad with his back feet, especially with the farrier, he tries to kick him.
    He's kicking largely out of fear, from the sounds of it. For this reason, it would be VERY detrimental to kick him back or smack him.

    Does he kick out when you touch his legs, or only when you try to pick them up?

    If it's touching, then tie a glove to the end of a broom handle and desensitize him that way. Do NOT scold him for kicking, merely keep the touch there (or put it back). DO praise him for not kicking. Baby steps - start at his rump if that's what it takes, and move down as he shows acceptance of the touch. Once he accepts the glove all over his leg - inside and out - them progress to standing closer and using the glove. Then progress to it being your hand.

    If he kicks out when you try to pick the leg up, then use a large soft cotton rope to loop around his pastern and use that to ask him to pick the leg up. Only ask him to pick it up a smidge before praising and releasing. Work your way up to higher off the ground, and for longer, as he shows acceptance.

    The alternative to the rope is to use a whip to lightly tap-tap-tap his pastern area until he picks the foot up (or you may accept even a weight shift off the leg to start - baby steps).
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    Quote Originally Posted by lvmypnt View Post
    Since when is lunging "chasing"?

    UNLESS a horse has been trained correctly to lunge then it is chasing. Lunging to me involves a cavesson, roller and lunge lead. As the horse has no idea what he is supposed to do when asked to lift and hold his feet up it is not productive.

    Horses that have been abused are easily scared. I can assure you that if I had tried this method of running a horse in laps until it gave in and let me pick up its feet then I would now be the not so proud owner of a 25 yo horse that had never had its feet picked up.

    He would fight me. And he would end up winning as he has more stamina, speed and strength than I as a human. Either that or I would be in court for cruelty to animals because he would not give in until he dropped.
    "If your brain was elastic you wouldn't have enough to make a garter for a canary" (Prisoner, an Aussie tv show)

    "It's probably the worst idea since Hitler's dad said to Hitler's mum 'come up stairs Brunhilda-I'm feeling saucy tonight!'"

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    I used to agree with the "send him off in the round pen if he "misbehaves" with his feet" deal, but over time I have come to think about it like chester does. It can work, I still think, if the horse is doing it because he doesn't feel like he should have to allow his feet to be handled. Then he learns that his behavior results in work, and life is much easier on him to just allow his feet to be handled.

    But in the case of the horse reacting out of fear, he's already tense, he's already leary of you, and here you go sending him away from you in a hurry - it will be chasing to him, and that doesn't help.

    Even though I think in SOME cases the first scenario can work, it's just not worth it when you can make it even easier on yourself to just stand there with a whip/stick and work on teaching the horse that the only reaction that gets the action to stop is to stand there.

    Besides, not everyone has a round pen
    He who thinks he can do everything or knows everything has already reached the beginning of the end.
    -- The Rothenberger Family


    Barn Swallow Jewelry on Artfire!

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