The Resistant Horse

When the horse is...

Resistant to being caught
Constantly pulling when led
Pulls back or gets stressed when tied
Swishes his tail every time you walk behind him
Always is moving away when trying to tack him up
Steps away when trying to mount
Walks off as soon as the rider is in the saddle
Is drifting, bracing, or anticipative when ridden
Takes "a while" to load into the trailer
Might explode backward during the trailer unloading
Is "buddy" or barn "sour"
Has the same "issue" with the same scary spot repeatedly
Offers dramatic behaviors when something unexpected arises
Paws, paces, cribs, weaves, wall kicks, bites while in his enclosure
Is aggressive towards other horses or at feed time
Etc., etc., etc.
Every single unwanted and unfortunately, common horse behavior above, is a symptom.
Most people try to band-aid the symptom by adding more pressure to the already fearful and defensive equine.
Then one unwanted behavior morphs into another because the root cause was never addressed.
The horse that is left living in a state of constant fear and anticipation because they are defensive toward human interaction leads to mental and physical trauma.
It isn't a matter of "if" they explode, get hurt, or injure the human, but when.
More times than not there are are multiple contributors to the unwanted behaviors.
Please stop ignoring the subtle, reasonable behaviors the horse conveys reflecting his fear and defensiveness.
Start prioritizing slowing down, breaking down the communication experiment in offering short, specific, clear, supportive, and non-critical information that has meaning to the horse.
Assess his feedback. Use it to understand what are spatial or physical triggers, what are his "coping"/avoidant behavior patterns when concerned? How much redirecting his thought, draining his tension, and time does it take to mentally process? Is the manner in which you are communicating causes his emotions to settle or surge?
The horse is not trying to wreck your day, annoy you, psych you out, etc.
The only thing he is trying to do is find a safe space. If every time you show up you bring chaos, distraction, hurried behaviors, anticipation, and unclear communication, what are you teaching him?
To get the Change in the horse, first we must start with the Human.

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