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Monday, 1 April 2019

4 Things To Teach A Pushy Horse Now

Pushy horses can be dangerous if they aren't taught some basic things.  Teaching the horse these 4 behaviours can completely remove these bad manners.  

When I first bought my horse, Zoe, she was completely dangerous.  She would barge out of the stable, walk into me and try to gallop off while I was closing the field gate.  These behaviours are gone now and she acts perfectly because I taught her these 4 things.    

Stand In The Stable With Door Open

A lot of pushy horses with try to push past you when you open the stable door.    I like to fix this by teaching the horse to stand in the stable while the door is open.  I can now leave my horses in their stables with the door open and walk away for 10 minutes and know that they will be there when I get back.  

I trained my horse's to do this by starting with a head collar on.  I open the door and stand in front of it.  If the horse tries to walk out, I back him up to his original position and try again.  When the horse does stand still and loses interest in walking out I reward him with a treat and attention.  I then work my way up to leaving the horse completely alone.  This is pretty simple to teach any horse, you just need time and patience.   

A chestnut horse standing with his head over a wooden stable door

Back Away from the Stable Door 

When I walk up to the stable I like to ask the horse to back away from the door before I open it.  This stops the horse being able to push out and it means I'm not between the horse and the door.  

It is pretty simple when you have already taught your horse to back up.  I use a hand signal to ask the horse from outside the stable.  

A bay horse looking out of a exterior red stable with a wooden door

Be polite around the field gate

Everyone has their own way of going in and out of a field gate with a horse.  It can be difficult when you are trying to lead a pushy horse around a metal gate.  I like to practice going in and out of a gate with my horse's so they can learn how I do it.  

I like to open the gate inwards, walk in and turn the horse around to face the gate while I close it.  I do this because it is safer for the handler.  I teach my horse to move sideways away from me, back up and walk in front of me with a point in the direction I want them to go.  

Personal Space

I always teach my horses where they should walk or stand around me.  While leading my horse, if he comes to close to my side I use my elbow to move him away.  While standing in the horse's stable or field I always move the horse away from me if he is closer than a metre.  

This is all about teaching your horse to move away from hand signals or pressure.  Once your horse knows this, it is quite easy to teach personal space.  
A dark bay horse with a bridle and bright blue tendon boots standing in front of trees


I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  


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