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  1. #1

    Default how do you stop a horse from kicking?????

    HELP My new OTTB gelding kicks in his stall like crazy when he is fed. i bought him kicking chains and they dont seem to help (according to the woman who runs the barn). he still wears them and they seem to keep him from kicking a little. BUT today i went to take him off property to school at a horse show and he loaded the trailer beautifully and backed into his spot nicely (he was not wearing his kicking chains and it was a big 6 horse trailer) He was fine standing there alone (a little squirmy but nothing major) he had a divider thing at his head separating him from the horse next to him. once we loaded the mare next to him he kicked the wall a couple times and was trying to peek over the divider at the mare but if i showed him the hay he would stop and sit there and eat it. the mare was kicking back a little too. but they were fine other wise. We started out the drive way and got all of 200 feet and the trailer started shaking vigorously because of my horse and the mare kicking at each other. we stopped them and got back in the car and they just started up again. so for safety reasons we took my horse off the trailer. Is there anyway for me to get him to stop this behavior? any suggestions are appreciated greatly! oh and he has kicked on a 2 horse trailer too but my other horse (not the mare) just ignored him and stood as far from him as possible..



  2. #2
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    Kicking in the stall and kicking in the trailer aren't necessarily the same vice. The triggers might be completely different--food, anxiety or territorialism vs. anxiety about trailering, loss of balance, feeling intimidated by another horse, etc.

    I would be inclined to just boot him up safely and let him figure things out for himself in the trailer.

    Kicking in the stall can be dealt with, but it is sort of a bit of detective work figuring out what the trigger is, at which point modifying or eliminating that trigger if possible is the biggest step.
    Click here before you buy.



  3. #3
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    Nov. 10, 2005
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    Va
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    My trainer had a nice appy school horse that when we started going to some shows and tried to take him for students to ride would start kicking and scrambling within just a few seconds of the trailer pulling off. What we did was put a video camera in the trailer to see what he was doing. He apparently felt off balance as you could see him trying to spread his legs and catch his balance. (he was in a 2h straightload). From then on he was always hauled in her 5 horse head to head in the aisle way between the stalls. He had plenty of room to balance himself and always turned himself to face towards the back of the trailer.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2011
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    Kentucky
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Kicking in the stall and kicking in the trailer aren't necessarily the same vice. The triggers might be completely different--food, anxiety or territorialism vs. anxiety about trailering, loss of balance, feeling intimidated by another horse, etc.
    ^^^THIS^^^

    It would make sense that kicking one place would be brought on by the same thing, but IMO, two totally different things.

    For the feeding, can you just feed him in the paddock/pasture when everyone else comes in to eat? Worked wonders for one of my project horses that I got straight off the track. After a few weeks of acclamitizing (OK I KNOW that has to be spelled wrong!) he settled into his new life and ate happily regardless of who he was stabled next to.

    For the trailering, I agree with trying him in a box stall type situation. If you have a 6 horse trailer, can you set one up as a box stall/loose stall? I have another horse that I've had for 10+ years now. She used to kick in the trailer, break out in to a lather regardless of temperature, was really hard to load, and so on. Turns out she was just really claustrophobic. I didn't have a trailer when I first got her, so to go to shows/clinics and so on, I had to borrow from friends. Once the only trailer I could borrow for a particular weekend was a stock trailer. She turned herself around a few times and then settled right down and shipped like a pro--over 6 hours with traffic, construction, tunnels and all! She'll ship in anything now, but still prefers a box stall or stock trailer.

    Sheila



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2012
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    He does not kick in the trailer if someone is next to him though... when we moved barns it was him and my older thoroughbred next to him in a two horse and he kicked maybe twice and then was just biting at my other horse the rest of the time. but my older thoroughbred just kind of leaned against the outside of the trailer to get away from him. but this weekend he was fine getting in and backing up into his stall thing but as soon as we left and closed up the trailer him and the filly next to him started going at it. and since he is just coming off of a serious injury the vet says that kicking is not helping so im trying to figure out a way to stop him before he injures himself worse...



  6. #6
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    Aug. 2, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by erinhaleywalk View Post
    He does not kick in the trailer if someone is next to him though... <snip> but this weekend he was fine getting in and backing up into his stall thing but as soon as we left and closed up the trailer him and the filly next to him started going at it.
    This does not make sense. He either does or does not kick when someone is next to him in the trailer.

    Re: kicking in the stall and chains. Are they applied properly? Also, why not just feed him in a different situation, such as outside. IME kicking chains are a PITA for staff, esp twice a day. Adds several minutes to the schedule each time, and some horses after a while wise-up and don't necessarily cooperate with the chain application. However, with that said, I knew a woman who felt that the chains were too big of a PITA and didn't apply them, just kept replacing the stall wall, and the horse fractured his leg and eventually developed quite a bit of arthritis from the constant kicking.
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl



  7. #7
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    May. 30, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJenners View Post
    This does not make sense. He either does or does not kick when someone is next to him in the trailer.
    I think she meant that the horse doesn't kick when a HUMAN is standing next to him. However, unless the human is in the trailer when it starts moving, this might not mean anything.

    I was able to solve a stall kicking problem with a mare I had by installing a sheet of that pink Corning foam insulation in the back of the stall. Someone told me they kick because they like to hear the sound, that it makes them feel "powerful" and intimidating. While the reason/psychology is debatable, it did work.

    My mare's trigger was any other horse coming into the barn after her. If she was last in, no kicking. But as she almost always was the first at the gate, we had a problem!

    She would also not kick if you stood there looking at her though you could tell she really wanted to . After the foam insulation sheet was installed, the kicking stopped all together. Of course, she tried a few times and looked very disappointed there was no loud bang!

    Anyway, the sheeting can't hurt and it's cheap. Might work for the trailer too, who knows?



  8. #8
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Of course, she tried a few times and looked very disappointed there was no loud bang!
    I can totally see one of my "colorful personality" geldings acting that way! He doesn't kick, but does all manner of other naughty things to cause people to holler at him.
    Click here before you buy.



  9. #9
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    Apr. 14, 2006
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    A shock collar works well to teach them that kicking is not allowed!!! The buzz can be used from a distance (truck cab) and the horse learns to relate the buzz to the kicking, not the human. IMO - a serious kicker is a danger to himself and others and eventually will injure himself (or others - as in horses stalled next to him on a trailer!!)
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  10. #10
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    Nov. 9, 2005
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    uk
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    Quote Originally Posted by erinhaleywalk View Post
    HELP My new OTTB gelding kicks in his stall like crazy when he is fed. i bought him kicking chains and they dont seem to help (according to the woman who runs the barn). he still wears them and they seem to keep him from kicking a little. BUT today i went to take him off property to school at a horse show and he loaded the trailer beautifully and backed into his spot nicely (he was not wearing his kicking chains and it was a big 6 horse trailer) He was fine standing there alone (a little squirmy but nothing major) he had a divider thing at his head separating him from the horse next to him. once we loaded the mare next to him he kicked the wall a couple times and was trying to peek over the divider at the mare but if i showed him the hay he would stop and sit there and eat it. the mare was kicking back a little too. but they were fine other wise. We started out the drive way and got all of 200 feet and the trailer started shaking vigorously because of my horse and the mare kicking at each other. we stopped them and got back in the car and they just started up again. so for safety reasons we took my horse off the trailer. Is there anyway for me to get him to stop this behavior? any suggestions are appreciated greatly! oh and he has kicked on a 2 horse trailer too but my other horse (not the mare) just ignored him and stood as far from him as possible..


    in uk we dont have things like kicking chains its classed as abusive but ther you go


    go buy a small boys water pistol and shoot your horse everytime he kicks in the stable, if out on the yard then stick him under the hose pipe and turn it full on till he gets bored water doesnt hurt and he can kick to his hearts content at niothing

    also put a bar up nose height on your door so this gives the illusion of a bigger door and he can lunge forwards and see other feeding so wont upset him add a blanket if you like to hang over the bar

    horses do get excited at feed times its a normal behaviour for some and they do paw or kick
    your anwer there is to stop feeding high energy feedstuff which blows his mind with good grass, and feed a low or cool mix feed so his temperement changes to be calmer and add a good work plan for him and keep the work varied


    when travelling ad a huge haynet and one for comming back plus a spare for standing around the trialer with check the partition goes to the floor and tie the horse short to baling twine loope through the fixture

    when driving the trialer give the horse a smoother ride as it could be your driving that make sthem kick, well you think they kicking when they could be trying to balance themselves

    so- bigger horse behind the driver here its the bigger horse to the outside smaller horse to the inside nearer the camber

    dont drive how you drive a car think think think
    have plenty of time before a stop- so prepare to slow down dont just hit the breaks as this will push the horses into the brest bar or partition, likewise when decenting hills, they push into breat bar or back of trialer

    dont drive fast have that little bit left if you snake so you can pull yourself out of it
    take coorner and rounderabouts slower and think of your trialer and the horse on the nearside - slower then wont fall to the side of the box or partition

    think --------- make your horses jounrey comfy dont blame him for kicking when he might not be

    give way clue here was becuase you stopped and they stopped doing it - its your driving matey



  11. #11
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    Mar. 30, 2012
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    Rcloisonne- I am totally trying that foam wall!! My pita giant gelding has been taking down panels in my new barn for almost 4 years now! We lined the stalls with rubber- no dice. Then they were lined with 1 3/4 plywood ( the good stuff ) and that stopped him from destroying the barn from the inside- but then he goes into his run and kicks from the outside!!! BANG BANG BANG!! It's soooo frustrating!! I swear my neighbors hate me! I tried kicking chains. They only worked for a short time. I have even *gasp* had to hobble him at night- his nightly symphony was not appreciated around the block! I would have just thrown him in the pasture but he was on stall rest! It has become the WORST habbit and I always felt in the back of my mind he was just doing it to hear himself make 'pretty music'! I'm totally going to put up styrofoam walls....



  12. #12
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    Apr. 13, 2007
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    The foam sounds pretty cool... I heard you could mount a rubber mat on a piece of wood and then attached that to the stall wall so it hangs like a curtain and moves with each kick. Again, denying them the impact and sound. Foam sounds cheaper!



  13. #13
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    Aug. 22, 2005
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    This might be obvious, but is his feed tub next to a stall wall with a horse on the other side?

    If so, try feeding him out of a feed tub on the ground half-way between the stall walls. He may feel less defensive this way. This worked with a territorial gelding I used to have.

    If it doesn't stop, put old mattresses or some type of thick padding up on the walls. You may not be able to break him of this habit and as you said, you don't want him hurting himself.
    "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince



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