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Trainer Q&A - Trail Riding - My horse fights with other horses when we are trail riding. What can I do?

My horse fights with other horses when we are trail riding. What can I do?

Grace Asks:

Hi Christy,

I have a beautiful 16hh gaited mare who I love to ride, however, whenever we are with other horses (like on trail rides) she tries to bite and kick other horses that wander too close by. This is not only dangerous, but very disturbing to the other riders and very embarrassing to me. I obviously don't want to endanger other riders, horses, or myself so I could really use some help in resolving this problem. Other than this, she is a great mare and I would love to be able to ride the trails safely with my comrades. Help!

Thanks so much!


Our Trainer Answers:

It is very dangerous to everyone you ride with if your horse does not have enough respect for you, as his rider, to behave when he/she is being ridden out and about. We all enjoy hanging out with our friends and riding together, however if your horse is kicking out and biting at other horses it is going to end up with someone getting hurt. This is a respect issue and must be addressed as such.

I would begin riding with one horse savvy friend who knows and understands your horse's problem.

Have them ride with you a safe distance away in front of you, behind you, and beside you. Pay very close attention to your horse's body language for every one's safety! The moment your horse flattens her ears at the other horse you must make her very uncomfortable, I would recommend spanking her hard with a crop on the rump. The same applies to the kicking. The moment she swishes her tail, spank her hard on the rump with a crop. This will take several repetitions for her to understand who is in charge. In the meantime do not take her on rides with others until you are 100% sure that she is safe to be around your friends and their equine partners. Thank you and happy trails!