Use of your outside leg behind the girth encourages the horse to move into a haunches in ("travers") position. … When approaching a horse from the rear they cant see or smell you very well so they may kick out of fear thinking your a predator. Skin conditions caused by insects, bacteria or viruses (especially on heavily feathered breeds) are an obvious source of annoyance. Neither do they stand/run around neighing, whinnying, or making the other sounds that you hear them making in movies and TV. If you don’t have expertise or experience in ponying, it is very important that you seek help. A horse that communicates their displeasure through kicking can be destructive not just to the horse but to your facilities as well. When playing, these won't be powerful kicks, and they'll rarely connect with another horse. In fact, they resist any constraint of … Horses kick for a number of reasons. This defensive instinct is why some horses kick when they become alarmed—such as when a person, dog or another animal 'pops into view' behind the horse. Mount another, more calm horse that yours likes, riding them as you lead him alongside it. What YOU do as a horseman and HOW you respond to your horse is the key point, and if you’re not comfortable with the timing and effectiveness of this exercise, please hire a trainer. Any time a horse kicks while being ridden, the horse needs an instant reminder with a sharp pop from a crop or the end of the reins to bring attention back to the task at hand. How Not To Get Kicked By A Horse - Why Horses Kick People - Stay Away From Back Hooves - Duration: 28:55. The reason being is that horses have a blind spot directly behind them and when facing forward cannot see what is behind them. You can recognize a fear kick by what precedes it. It's important that the horse always does what you say, but how you tell her to do what you what is equally important. One thing to try is to tie your horse up and stand next to him and pet his rear end, if he kicks out at you them smack him on the butt. This requires an approach similar to the one you use when you're leading a horse and she stops. Horses are beautiful and gentle creatures, but under the right circumstances, they can pack a very powerful kick. Some horses get used to them, and they're ineffective. Also, they are prey. Snug your gelding to her, leaving no more than about 4 to 6 feet of lead line between your hand and the halter. They can't see you. In the wild, horses use powerful kicks, often with both back legs at the same time, to ward off predators. Horses get particularity excited at the sight of a fresh bale of hale or a scoopful of oats, and that excitement often translates into aggression. For horses that kick while being ridden, special precautions should be taken to warn others not to come up too closely behind the horse. A horse will kick at its belly if it has colic. 5. They can see almost panoramically, with a small spot directly in front and directly behind as their blind area (see Figure 1). Whether the horse is aiming its blow carefully or being defiant, you need to recognize the signs of an impending kick and give the horse something else to think about. When you have a 1000lb animal kicking at you smacking them on the butt may sometimes be the only correction you can give at the time. If your horse seems to be a habitual kicker, there are a few things you can do. Learn how to create a happy, healthy home for your pet. The other blind stop s right behind there tails. If you are behind the horse you could receive a rear kick. Horses that have been hurt while being saddled up or having the girth/cinch done up quickly will often 'cow-kick' in anticipation of being pinched. Some horses kick the walls of their stalls when they are bored or impatient. When your horse kicks, he is trying to communicate something to you. Some kicks are intentional. They may kick or stamp if something like a prickly weed tickles their legs or belly. You may be able to lessen the vice by desensitizing the horse. - namely, try a different tactic. Never approach a horse without talking to them in these areas; if frightened they will use one of their defense mechanisms, e.g., kick or run. If the horse is slashing its tail forcefully from side to side, or even more dramatically up and down too, there is a good chance he will kick or lash out. Certainly the first time they're worn, the horse may react violently. The cow kick is more of a forward swipe with the hind leg. Teach your horse to respond to leg aids. As she bent to reach under the horse to do the girth up, the young horse reacted by cow kicking, catching her in the face. Two legs used at the same time could mean "keep doing what you were doing". Even horses that would otherwise have no interest in intentionally kicking a person get overwhelmed by the thought of dinner. 8787 Park Ln, Dallas, TX 75231 Copyright © 2015 | Dallas Equestrian Center. Lateral work, if the horse knows it, can be great as it's harder for the horse to buck out of a lateral movement and it really engages their brain and gets them focused. My daughter's nose was broken in one such incident. Some horses get antsy when another horse is ridden too close behind and kick to warn the other horse away. If the horse habitually kicks at others in the pasture, it may need to be separated if it's causing the other's injury. A horse who is truly scared will not kick immediately. A horse can become agitated when asked to leave his group rather than any particular individual in it. Katherine is an avid horseback rider and trainer who contributed to The Spruce Pets for over 12 years, publishing 400+ articles. Turned-out horses may form a single large herd or break down into small, distinct groups. These kicks are aimed towards you, but the horse knows it isn't within range to connect. Video – Do NOT do this The fact that a horse kicks does not mean they are inherently aggressive, but if it is aimed towards someone or something, it does mean that they feel threatened. Horses are very resistant to standing still; they like to keep themselves busy by moving around almost all the time. David Sanderson January 14, 2015 All About Horses. If you are longer, it will … Horses can see nearly 360 degrees panoramic vision on each side of their bodies with their large eyes that are placed on the side of their heads. This is the tricky part. Generally, the kicks will only be warning kicks and won’t have the power to hurt other horses but if a person gets in the way they can still do real harm to them. The rear kick is self evident, and can be forceful enough to kill people. Horses have very thick skin and their rear is one of the most muscular parts of their body so it wont hurt the horse. Anyone who must work around the horse should be aware of the horse's habit. Horses typically use their legs to kick as a line of defense to keep potential threats away and to warn something that is getting to close. And if the horse … Sometimes, kicks are accidental, such as when a horse kicks at a fly and the handler gets in the way. Any number of physical problems can cause a horse to kick out as discomfort comes and goes. If you're in a public place like a horse show or fair, you need to position your horse away from foot traffic and other horses. Horses kick when they have a reason to. When you have a 1000lb animal kicking at you smacking them on the butt may sometimes be the only correction you can give at the time. Horses in the wild can and often do repel predators by lashing out with their hooves. You're not expecting Belle to kick… This horse is showing disrespect. However horses have two major blind spots where they can’t see anything. If it cow-kicks while being saddled, you need to consistently be gentle and slow about the process. A horse can see two things at once, one from each eye. In this post, we will talk about why some horses will kick when approached from behind. Some horses dislike dogs, cats or ponies and will offer to kick them anytime they get too close. Their kicks can range from zero to 2,000 pounds of pressure, which is more than enough force to be fatal.As someone that provides riding lessons for beginners, I decided to do some in-depth research about avoiding horse kicks. You can inadvertently cause a rear. Experts interviewed by The Horse give a whole list of reasons for bucking, from just getting rid of extra energy to being a play behavior, a display of aggression, or expressing the opinion that there's something really annoying nearby. This creates lop sided relationships with humans and horses where the human is always inputting the horse with what they think is affection. It’s your horse’s way of saying NO when he doesn’t have any other way to get out of what he feels is a bad spot. One way to deal with a kicker is 'kicking chains.' There are six primary reasons a horse will kick. You and anyone else that must come near your horse must stay out of range of those hind legs. Rearing occurs as a result of fear, confusion, pain, or disobedience. A horse strikes out like that to defend himself. When a horse kicks at a humans if is a major problem that needs to be fixed. So if the horse is trying to show us affection (which they really want to do) and we take it as an opportunity to input (touch or pet) them, we immediately stop their attempts at being affectionate towards us. As I mentioned above, a horse may kick at biting flies around its legs and belly. I have them in a great place now with 4 other horses that have a mare about the same age as mine as the "Queen of the heard". If you are really unlucky they'll get you with both hind feet at once. Why do horses kick when approached from behind. Both the horse and the rider (and spectators) are then in danger of being injured. Some horses will kick out in defiance. A horse that kicks can be dangerous to deal with. (The safest place for the ponied horse is tight alongside the riding horse's hip.) Any time your horse is in public, it should be wearing a red ribbon. If you're out, tie a red ribbon in its tail to warn other people that the horse is known to kick. If you're riding in a group, ride at the back of the pack, and make sure others know of its habit. Horses can kick powerfully Life On White / Getty Images Horses can strike out with their front or rear hooves, and they can strike out backward and forwards with both. Consider lunging for a few minutes before riding and also think about getting out of the arena and going on a nice long trail ride to get rid of some of that extra energy. Horse behavior and communication is ridiculously complicated, and there's no single reason why a horse bucks. Keep the two about 4-6 feet apart. This often happens while lunging or working in a round pen. That’s just for effect, as is the Hollywood idea of horses kicking people who are standing behind them. 3. Some horses develop a bad habit of kicking and are a menace on the ground and while you are riding or driving. You should always try to approach horses from the side or front and stay away from there rear end to prevent kicking. Take your horse into an arena. Usually these aren't really powerful kicks—after all, they would hurt themselves when the intent was to rid itself of a discomfort. If you are standing behind them, they will not know if you are a predator trying to eat you so it will use one of it's do defense mechanismes. This response is instinctive so, depending on the situation, you may see it with even the most placid and agreeable horses. Before any horse kicks you there are always a few things you did wrong, and there are also always a few signs from your horse that can show that he might kick you. Or if a piece of equipment comes loose and drags behind or alongside the horse, it may react by kicking at it. Sometimes people get kicked because they have another horse in hand when walking behind a horse and get kicked instead of the horse. Somewhere along the line, the horse has learned that kicking is the best strategy to rid itself of something it dislikes. To another equine it generally doesn't do much harm. A: Kicking out in a stall with hind limb contact to the walls as you describe is almost always due to physical discomfort of some sort, especially when it comes and goes. Handling a horse that kicks takes extra caution. If you decide to try kicking chains, proceed with extreme caution. Kicking while being handled, ridden or driven can become a dangerous habit or vice. Directly in front and under the horses chin is the first one where they have long whiskers that are sensitive which they use to feel things under them. The dock of the tail is tensed in the aggressive horse so that the tip of the tail flows further out behind as the tail itself is raised. Talk about a horse kick with a person on the receiving end and it can strike fear into the hearts of even the most experienced horse person.. And this is for good reason. This defensive instinct is why some horses kick when they become alarmed—such as when a person, dog or another animal 'pops into view' behind the horse. If you are standing alongside him at the rib cage, you could receive a cow kick. Keep Moving. In a situation where another horse comes too close behind, you will be able to swing your horse's hindquarters to one side or another so your horse, even if it does kick out, can't hit its target. A well placed kick can leave you bruised, with a broken bone or possibly worse. So in addition to knowing what situations may trigger a kick, you need to understand its ear, head and body posturing that happen before a kick. Most horses will warn you with their body language before lashing out. The chains could get tangled in a horse's shoe or a wire fence (unlikely but possible). There are several different training methods when teaching a horse to respect a human. if you are directly behind them … If it scares itself badly enough, it may exacerbate the problem and to put any boot or wrap on may become an ordeal. If it seems to be scared and kick out at a specific thing, you'll need to work gradually to get the horse accustomed to it. Or the horse won't kick when the chains are on but remain a problem when they're off. Think Like A Horse 257,421 views Mount the riding horse-we'll call her "Belle." Horses can kick at you when you're at their side (called a cow kick), or if you're behind them. If they’re fed in close proximity to other horses, you also run the risk of getting caught in the crossfire as they fight for a spot at the table. A mare may kick at a stallion if it is not receptive to being bred. Using your inside leg behind the girth is the key to the renvers (counter-bend), when the horse bends to the outside of the direction of movement. If a horse kicks at humans even though they know your there then you should retrain the horse so it understands that humans are not to be kicked at. Horses may defend themselves by kicking when they feel another horse is getting too close to its food, its foal, a special herd mate or if another horse is acting aggressively towards it. You can actually cause a rear by overfacing your horse or mixing your signals—such as asking him to go forward while inadvertently hanging on his mouth. Loose or lost shoes are also common in horses that kick. My two horses get along with the other 3 horses in the bunch, but not the other mare. A kick refers to being hit by a hind leg, front leg hits are referred to as strikes or being struck. Even if your horse is merely kicking at a biting fly, and you happen to get in the way, you can be hurt. As horses are also … A horse being trained to pull may kick at the equipage, unless it is introduced to it slowly, and allowed to get used to the sight and noise of a horse-drawn vehicle. Horses have very thick skin and their rear is one of the most muscular parts of their body so it wont hurt the horse. Horses are often seen kicking at each other in the pasture. A horse that is moving forward is less likely to kick. The 8 Most Common Ways You Can Be Hurt By a Horse, Tips to Groom a Horse That Doesn't Like Being Groomed, Training Your Strong Horse to Have Control, The Best Feeds for Helping a Horse Gain Weight, When Your Horse Won't Stand Still for Mounting. As you know, horses have very powerful hind legs, and extra caution should be taken to avoid approaching a horse from behind. I had them boarded in 1 place with 3 other horses, but was pretty much forced to move them out after about 2 1/2 weeks (long story). It then becomes a habit that the rider, handler or drive must always keep in mind. A few things can go wrong with kicking chains. The reason a horse would kick at someone behind them is because the horse can't see anything directly behind them without turning their head. In a situation where you have to approach the horse from behind, like when getting a horse out of a stall that is faced away from the door, you should talk to the horse so they know that someone is coming. A mare may kick at a stallion if it is not receptive to being bred. Horses don’t kick just for the fun of it. The theory is if the horse kicks, it will hit its own legs with the chain, and scare itself out of kicking—a form of self-punishment. They are very strong, it WILL hurt. Don't use kicking chains while riding. I do know of incidents when a horse has kicked at another, and the rider took the brunt of the blow. What NOT to do: Don’t give your horse time to look around and take things in, or react to anything spooky. A short length of the chain is strapped to each hind pastern. Horses generally kick when they feel threatened, someone or something gets to close, or they want to be left alone If your horse is fond of kicking at other horses as you ride, consider “ponying” him with another friendlier horse. Horses who are kept in small, adjacent paddocks or confined in stalls form bonds to the horses next to or across the aisle from them. Horses also kick to defend themselves, and these kicks are often powerful and well aimed. This causes a problem when the horse is being ridden in a group, or in a crowded area like a horse show. Stall kicking can be a sign that your horse is uncomfortable or in pain. In the wild, horses use powerful kicks, often with both back legs at the same time, to ward off predators. 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