2018 Miniature Horse World Magazine April E-magazine - Page 9

3. If the horse continues to walk toward you, start waving the stick back and forth, side to side, and keep your free hand high and wave it in the air for increased energy. If the horse is still immune to this energy and becomes close enough, tap the shoulder blade or neck of the horse with the stick. Be ready to back up in case the horse opts to turn around quickly and kick (Typically, if the horse is tapped with the end of the stick, you are 3-4 feet away and are at a safe distance to not be touched by the horse).

4. If the horse is still pushing into you and is serious about the biting, the final resort is firmly tapping the side of the horse’s face with the stick. Repeat this until the horse backs down. This step is the last and final resort if a horse is exhibiting violent behavior only.

5. For an extremely violent horse that consistently attacks, seek professional help and counsel from your veterinarian or a reputable trainer. If the problem isn’t resolving or doesn’t seem fixable, it is appropriate to move the horse on to a different situation, or in worst cases, euthanasia. As heartbreaking as these circumstances are, holding onto a horse with no quality of life is counter-productive to you and the horse. Do not be afraid to make this decision if the animal is suffering in this manner.

When reading and following these instructions, note that the first 3-4 steps you will need to follow are going to happen within a few seconds. Do not pause and wait to see if the horse will stop if they are actively coming toward you. Keep your energy up, your stick in front of you, and do not be afraid to tap your horse firmly to protect yourself.

In most cases, a horse that acts aggressively can learn boundaries fairly quickly if you stay consistent with your cues. An average horse that is spoiled and pushy, but non-violent will respond to the stick waving in front of them or a single firm tap on their shoulders or neck. Stay consistent and stand your ground. On average, introducing these cues for 1-2 weeks will diminish biting habits and teach the horse that you are dominant over them.

Lana Grieve is a multiple World Champion, International Clinician, and the founder of Star Point School, a virtual academy for Miniature Horse owners. www.starpointhorsemanship.com