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Horse Articles :: Breaking Bad Horse Habits

Breaking Bad Horse Habits

If you own a horse that has a bad habit like biting, kicking, shying, bolting, halter pulling, etc. - it's a good idea to look at how that happened.

That's an important horse training principle if you're going to be a horse trainer and learn to train a horse.

Often, horse owners allow it to happen because, frankly, they honestly didn't know any better.

Imagine this.

You're loading a horse into a trailer and just as you get 3 feet from it he starts pulling back.

Quickly, the horse wins the tug of war.

So you walk him away from the trailer in a small circle and try it again.

But this time he backs away from the trailer sooner...say...6 feet from it.

So, you walk him away from the trailer in another small circle and try it yet again.

This time the horse pulls back 10 feet from the trailer.

Then you ask yourself, "Why is he doing this - and why is it getting worse?"

This happened to me years ago when I first trying to get my horse into a trailer.

When I let her win she saw she could do as she pleased - and fairly quickly a bad habit started. And that was because my horse knew she could resist.

How did she know she could resist? Because she experienced it.

Well, I later learned how to get horses in a trailer. But when I went to get the resis- tant horse in the trailer it took a lot longer because she knew she could resist me from before.

One of the lessons I learned from this is this:

If you want your horse to do (or not do) something make sure you are in a position to make it happen. If you're not, don't try to force it because if your horse sees you can't make him do it...he'll use that critical piece of experience and resist you even harder the next time you attempt it.

Thus, if you're teaching Mr. Horse something and you're not in a position to make him do it (or make him stop doing it) then recognize that immediately and don't try to force it.

I get a TON of questions about horses being barn sour. People say, "No matter what I do he goes back to the barn."

Little do these horse owners know they taught their horse to resist them.

Many just get off their horse, put away the saddle, and let the horse win.

Never mind the cure for barnsourness. What about preventing it from happening in the first place.

It starts with getting a horse's con- fidence and obedience mixed with solid training.

The horse should be obedient to do what one asks. When you wanna ride out from the barn the horse should obediently do it. This obedience comes from your ground work and working with the horse.

But even an obedient and willing horse may attempt to go back to the barn - even though he's not confirmed in the habit.

THAT! you can prevent pretty eaisly. But if a horse habitually wins, then you have to make a cure.

Thus, the lesson is prevention. It's a lot easier than curing.

If you want to learn more about this, I urge you go to where you can get horse training secrets from many different expert horse trainers.

About The Author

Andy Curry is a nationally known horse trainer and author of several best selling horse training and horse care books. For information visit his website at He is also the leading expert on Jesse Beery's horse training methods which ca










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