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Dealing with Pushy Behaviour

This barging behaviour is sometimes about space – in the horse’s world, whoever owns the space and can move another horse out of that space determines the herd hierarchy. But barging behaviour is often caused by anxiety. The horse is anxious to get out of the paddock (eg. anticipating being fed, wanting relief from bugs, or is the last one brought in); to protect his space in his stall; or to come out of the stall (eg. anticipating being turned out). Some people handle barging behaviour with a chain on the horse’s nose, striking him with a whip, waving their arms, or shouting. While these techniques may work in the moment, they create more stress for the horse and you. In order to have a positive partnership with your horse, remember that you must: • respect his personal space (the bubble around his head and neck) while asking him to…

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