Horse Training, Do You Do This When Horse Training?

Horse Training

I talk with horse owners every single week, who do their own horse training and they ask me:

“Why does my horse do that?”

My response usually is, “Because you trained him to!”

Horse Training Made Simple

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Horse Training Made Simple

Horse owners and horse riders often anthropomorphize their horses. That is, they give human feelings to their horse. Horse riders often give their horses human feelings and think horses think like humans. This is untrue.
We as horse riders and horse trainers want to know, “Why does my  horse buck or kick-out?”

Creative Commons License photo credit: cwwycoff1

Why do Horses Buck and Kick While Being Ridden?

Dangerous behaviour is not uncommon when horse training so why are so many horses sent to horse trainers because they buck or kick?

Does this sound familiar?

  • The horse owner brings in the horse from the field.
  • Tacks up the horse.
  • Steps into the stirrup – the horse walks away
  • The horse kicks out

The horse owner gets nervous and frustrated- so he or she dismounts and takes the horse back to the stable and because s/he brought a back of carrots that had been sitting in the bottom of the refrigerator, gives the horse a bag of carrots.

What has the horse learned?  If if bucks/kicks and acts up it gets taken back to the stable and given a bag of carrots. So the horse training that has happened here is the horse trainer (i.e. horse owner) has rewarded the horse for a behaviour we don’t want – kicking out /bucking.

Now, I am not suggesting that all horse owners and horse riders should undertake re-programming a horse that has developed this behavior. I just merely want to point out how the scenario goes. I have seen this many times.


Horse owners say – My horse bucks when I ride it. Why?

I ask, “What do you do when it bucks?”

They say, “I get frightened so I get off and take it back to the stable.”

“Well”, I say, “That is why he is doing it”

Here are some of my other favorites:

  • my horse moves away from the mounting block

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    We Are Always Horse Training

  • Why does my horse stop to poop?
  • Why does my horse bulge into me?

These are some of the more common issues that people ask me about. Do any of these sound familiar? If so you may be allowing the horse take control over you or you may be rewarding the horse for a behaviour we don’t want.

If your horse steps away from the mounting block, do you follow it around circling until it stops? Next time mount and halt and give it a reward after you get on! Maybe it will stand still to receive a reward such as a carrot piece or a chunk of apple.

If you have any questions or would like to send me a question please feel free to send me an email.

laura AT I’d be happy to answer it for you.

Creative Commons License photo credit: fcstpauligab


If you need help immediately with your horse. Please feel free to email me so I can give you some insight and help with you and your relationship with your horse.

About Laura

Laura Kelland-May is the founder of Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Development Program. She more than trains horses, she trains people to train their horses. In addition she is a Sr. Judge and can offer insight into What the Judge Is Looking For. Follow her here and get more tips.
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