Unexpected Horse Behaviors

 No. It wasn't "All of a sudden..."

Horse behavior is not random.

You may have missed the subtle warning indicators in the animal's behavior and communication.

The physical responses reflect his mental and emotional state. 

The unwanted, resistant, avoidant, or even dangerous movement are the symptoms. 

It is the result of the equine asking for support that was "answered" with the use of more pressure "driving" him into complying. Which "worked," until it didn't. 

Ask yourself, "What were all the 'reasonable' resistant, defensive, and avoidant equine behaviors that appeared before his final 'big' resistance?"

Take a few minutes and play detective: 

Did the horse start looking away (literally) to avoid the area you were leading/riding him into? 

Did the horse fixate on an object/buddy horse and not focus on where he was physically being asked to move? 

Did he speed up and rush through an area or task and you had to contain him? 

Did his movement start to drift or leak as you approached an area he was unsure of? 

If you were able to pass through an area of bother, did it feel like he was rushing or "fleeing" afterward? 

The horse only has so many ways to communicate he is unsure or needs more support. 

Humans tend to be task fixated and taught to push a horse through something thinking if the horse does it once, he'll be okay the next time. And sometimes it appears that approach worked. Until the day the horse "suddenly" quits.

Assess the quality of "tools" and skill-sets you have to help interrupt and redirect his thought, drain his tension, soften his body, and encourage curiosity versus defensiveness when you present new or unfamiliar scenarios. 

Prioritize being able to influence his thought WITHOUT it feeling like a fight before you present a potentially stressful scenario. Or else you're setting yourself up to be "at the mercy" of the horse. 

"It" isn't about getting through a scenario, rather the quality of every Conversation between you and the horse either contributes to or diminishes the trust.

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