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DbarH Equine Training. Natural Horsemanship.
Medicine Lodge Valley, Dillon, Montana

Kicking

Classifications 

1) Responding out of habit 

2) Dominance (same as #3 in biting) 

3) Not doing what is asked/resisting

4) Playing

All Kicking can not be classified into one category.  The horses intensions are each addressed and handled in different ways.  No such thing as one size fits all.  Since horses do not speak in words they communicate through the body.  It is up to the handler to become a true horseman and speak the horses language.

 

The habit 

Primarily horses that have not been exposed to touch. For this use a crop and use the crop as an extension of your hand. Do like you would when petting a horse. The hand follows the formation of the horse gently. 

With the crop start at the croup and run down the horses leg. When ever the horse kicks out start over again and just act like the horse did not kick out. Soon the horse will think nothing of the touch.

Dominance 

This horse would be out to hurt you and get you out of the country. With these horses I do what is called whip train . You do not touch them but you let them know that this behavior is not expectable. And if the horse lashes out the horse gets lashed in the heels in mid air on his own.. 

This should only be done by someone that is experienced and can read the horse even before the horse acts out. In the end this horse will not be afraid or resentful of the human or whip as a) the whip did not do anything wrongful b) the horse will have great respect for the human. How? it is psychological not physical. The horse will end up following you anywhere. 

 Do the same thing as in the biting. Swish the whip back and forth and let him hit the whip. Sometimes big lashers (the horse) standing next to a wide wood board fence will kick out and hit the boards. They will punish themselves by kicking the fence. If he wants to do that so be it. He runs into the fence not the fence running into him. It does not feel good and he will think "ouch that was stupid of me".


Some horses are stall kickers, but that is another problem of itís own away from this. If the horse does kicks you kick him back, but only the instant it happens. Do not do a little soft kick, kick like you are killing him but only for 2-3 seconds. You may feel like you are killing him, but he will feel like he was spanked. If you go away from the horse from the pain he gave you and then coming back to punish him. The deed has gone away for to long to be punished for the crime. And you will have to chalk it up as a learning experience to be on your feet the next time.

Resisting 

Does the horse lash out because of something you did that he responded to only kick. Does the horse know what you wanted? If you prick him he has every right to come back at you. Time to think of a better way to communicate to the horse what you want in a way that he understands.

Sometimes horses lash out because they have been ill handled/trained.  An over "gushy" handler will only spoil as horse. The horse will be trained to believe that he doesn't have to listen to anyone.  

A horseman will praise a horse, but they make sure the horse also does something that deserves a reward.  Patience is worthy of a reward in it's self.  

Playing 

If the horse thinks itís time to cut loose and have fun when you think other wise. You need to show him that recess is not in session and that he needs to keep his mind paying attention to you.

 

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