The one bad habit I REALLY wish people would nip in the bud.

15 Jun

Let’s face it, if horses never developed bad habits I’d be virtually out of a job.

But there is one habit that I find so pervasive, that can cause so much trouble, and that almost always requires being really harsh to the horse to thoroughly fix, that I REALLY wish people would not let it start!

When you’re leading a horse and it is getting tense PLEASE do not let it scoot around you in a little circle! If you have to in one bad moment then okay, but then go home and FIX it!!

It pretty much teaches the horse that the “open door” when it’s upset is past you or, worse, OVER you. I can guarantee that once the horse knows this it’s going to come up at the most inopportune – and dangerous – moments.

Even the “shoulder check, turn right” move (beloved of carriage bred horses particularly) is easier to fix and more likely to get fixed because it almost always results in the horse getting free, which makes it SEEM like a bigger deal.

It is very difficult to get horses to stand still under stress, I fully admit. This may not be possible immediately. But for everyone’s safety, learning at least rudimentary restraint and steering under stress is essential!

If you don’t know how to teach this, find someone to show you. Don’t just let it go. You will pay later.

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