We want to eliminate pain before training. That’s an important horse training principle. So here’s the question.
When your horse acts up, do you know what’s “really” wrong?
Is he just being a jerk?
Is he fearful?
Does he just not know what you want?
How do you tell?
Here’s a few insights that’ll help you.
First, if your horse acts up but it’s out of character…then you can pretty much rule out he’s being a jerk or that it’s a typical behavior thing.
It “could” be fear. To check, look at his body language. Is his head up on high alert? Is he tense? Is he nervous? Does he snort more than normal? Is he not calm?
If he acts up but you know he knows what to do because he’s done it lots of times, then he knows what you want.
One of the problems is maybe he’s done what you’re asking too much and he’s sick of it.
He could also just be having a bad day. That happens. A horse may just be a horse, but a horse has bad days just like you and I.
Sometimes, you just have to leave the horse alone if he’s having a bad day. But if he’s having a lot of bad days in a row, then you might be looking at behavioral problem.
There’s something to consider.
Is your horse in pain?
This is so often overlooked, most people don’t give it a second thought.
If your horse is in pain, it can be very dangerous for you.
If a horse’s back is in pain and he can hardly stand to have the weight on his back, his only defense is to get it off of him.
Your horse may buck for relief.