2018 Miniature Horse World Magazine April E-magazine - Page 8

After bumping the side of your horse’s nose, you can also back your horse up to further instill the cue to stay out of your personal space. Bumping the lead rope back firmly and asking your horse to move away from you shifts his attention without a fight or fuss.

Consider practicing a solid groundwork routine so your horse learns to be mentally in tune with you day to day. This will help promote a balanced and enjoyable bond. Compare this process to teaching a child healthy boundaries. If you always let your child be disobedient in the house jumping on the furniture, the habit will become progressively worse day to day. Make the same comparison with any type of bad habit with your horse. As long as you are clear, concise and follow a consistent method every day, the horse will begin to understand you and respect your guide.

AGGRESSIVE BITING

If you own a horse that is extremely aggressive and tries to push into your space, either in hand or when you visit their space (paddock/stall), then implement the following:

1. Always carry a 3-4 foot training stick in your hand as you enter the horse’s paddock. Have the stick positioned in front of you and be ready to swing from side to side as a barrier.

2. When the horse starts to approach you, raise both hands as high as you can, carrying the stick in one of your hands vertically. Think as if you are making yourself bigger, similar to if you encounter a mountain lion. This is the first cue to the horse that you are establishing your position and being dominant over them.

Using the lead clasp promptly to bump the side muzzle of the horse, will normally cure a nipping habit. Reinforce the correction by immediately backing your horse up and away from your space. This will strengthen your authority, teaching them not crowd your space, while also giving them a consequence for their action.