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Spooked, Scared, or Disrespectful?
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Spooked, Scared, or Disrespectful?

It is a common issue to misread your horse or someone else’s for that matter. Spooked or scared horses can often be seen as disrespectful when in reality we should all learn to see the different signs of how your horse is really acting. Common disrespectful moves horses make can be seen as cute or funny when in reality, they can become a larger issue quickly.

Spooked or scared horses will have eyes that are opened to full capacity, tight lips, often hold their heads high, possibly be snorting lots, and have tense muscles. These horses need help to gaining confidence in new environments, with new obstacles and patience with their handling. My best advice is remember to have patience, seek help so you and your horse do not get injured and try to relax, release and reward them for trying. Do lots and lots of breathing, audibly breathing out helps them relax. When they blow out or snort they are often letting go of their tension so try to do the same.

Disrespectful horses vary in what they do, but any horse that says no to something is being disrespectful. Horses that are too pushy, nip, or run you all around while handling may not seen as horrible issues. But horses should do things such as stand while mounting; even a horse that walks off can eventually lead to a horse that runs off when you get on. A horse that is too pushy and shoves you with his or her head may eventually knock a child over, hit your head and cause you to fall, or a variety of other things. The more extreme things are a horse that kicks, bucks, rears or anything of that variety. All of these issues should be addressed quickly. Do so with help if you are not equipped to handle them. Talk to your trainer or at the very least a fellow experienced horse person about it.

Tips:

1.     Ask Questions!

2.     Do not be afraid to get help. Clinics are awesome for spooked horses!

3.     Learn to read your horse’s face – mouth (tight or loose lips), eyes, jawline, head level, etc.

4.     Learn to read the rest of your horse. Watch if their body is tense, do they kick out when they are nervous, do they paw, and where they tend to spook. Do they duck to the left, do they spin, etc.?

5.     Consider training options and help for horses that are disrespectful no matter the level.

6.     If you have questions do not be afraid to comment or contact us!

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