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Horse charging you?

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    Horse charging you?

    Hello, I'm sorry if I haven't posted this in the right bit. Does anyone else have a youngster (3 years old) or any age horse really, that does the odd flat out gallop at them? Mine is well mannered on the rope, not pushy or any vices but, when in the smaller training paddock without the lush grass and his buddies he gallops about sometimes up and down the fence if I turn him loose in there. Today when I was stood at the fence separating the training field from his 'freedom areas' he charged flat out straight at me and I stupidly hopped on the fence instead of charge back at him as I did the only other time hes done this. I'm struggling to figure out if he would even have stopped when he reached me or is it deliberate aggression because of the anxiety he was feeling? It doesnt add up as he is very respectful normally, he will stand next to you when you stop with no pressure, isnt bolshy, but today was a bluddy war charge. :/ it's made me a little nervous! Its gutting because yesterday we had a perfect day.

    Thank you for any replies

    Was he pinning his ears back when he did it? Tight mouth? Hard eyes? That is aggression. A playful romp towards you is inappropriate and needs to be corrected, but not necessarily aggressive. I would certainly carry a whip in to his turnout areas and even into his stall until the nature of his behavior is sorted out. If it is true aggression, I would ask for help from a trainer.

    Others around here can certainly be more helpful than me, but that's what I know from my own experiences.


      When my horse was young, he’d run downhill at a gallop headed straight for a tree and turn at the last second.
      He did it for fun and for the joy of causing us heart attacks.
      Teenagers of all species are “special”.


        If you think it is agression do not go in the paddock with him. Get help now.
        It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


          Originally posted by Rosie8888

          Thanks, I'm really not sure, his expression suggests not but I guess fear which he had, could be equally as dangerous
          Every single time you interact with a horse you are training it. Every single time.

          A horse like this needs impeccable timing.

          Get the timing right you will go far. Get the timing wrong you will teach him to do what you don't want.

          To get the right timing you need to know what he is thinking. You reward when he thinks the right thing. There are consequences for thinking the wrong thing.

          Good Trainers know what a horse is thinking the same as a mother knows what their 5 year old child is thinking!

          You say you are not sure if it is agression, you do not know what he is thinking, your timing is off. Get help sooner rather than later as things can go downhill fast.

          it is more dangerous of he is charging around because of his buddies and not caring where you are.

          They can kick out when they go past and get you in the head.

          If you think he is coming to you stand on this side of the fence and reward. If it is agression major steps need to be taken fast.
          It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


            When I was about eleven my older cousin had a chestnut Arabian who would run at a full gallop to her and at the last minute race around her. I was in awe. She was/is a total boss and was never scared, just stood there grinning. I, however, would have a lead rope and a crop if this ever happened to me and I would be ready to give him what for. High spirits are fine, but safety first. The only time I was ever charged was in a stall by a horse in great pain from a broken navicular bone (we found out later) and he picked me up by my sholder. I was able to crawl out. Just be careful and ready to be the boss.


              I had one horse that charged all the time, she was in training in Kentucky and had her own credit card... she would charge all sorts of stuff, pizza for her groom, new blanket, apples for herself... endless stuff

              edited to add she had very good tastes, we still have a sheet she bought 34 years ago, it is in nearly like new condition even though she used it for about 27 years it is made by RaDon. My daughter likes it so much she just a few months ago bought one for her two year old Morgan
              Last edited by clanter; Jul. 11, 2020, 10:22 PM.


                Nip it in the bud now, don't wait to find out about his intentions. Most horses will respond and slow down or turn away if you just wave your arms and yell-- and don't wait until they get close, do it when they're 30 feet away. It's probably just him being silly and fresh, but if he kicks out or slips and flattens you it will still hurt even if he doesn't mean it to.


                  Originally posted by clanter View Post
                  I had one horse that charged all the time, she was in training in Kentucky and had her own credit card... she would charge all sorts of stuff, pizza for her groom, new blanket, apples for herself... endless stuff

                  It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                    Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
                    Nip it in the bud now, don't wait to find out about his intentions. Most horses will respond and slow down or turn away if you just wave your arms and yell-- and don't wait until they get close, do it when they're 30 feet away. It's probably just him being silly and fresh, but if he kicks out or slips and flattens you it will still hurt even if he doesn't mean it to.
                    The trouble is you don't know if he is going to respond like most horses. The general rule is do NOT stand in front of a runaway horse. They will go over you.
                    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                      When I was quite young Mum bought back a horse for me we used to own. I went out a long way to find him on the property.

                      He charged me from not far away and he meant it.

                      I was only little. I swung the bridle from the head band and the bit hit him hard in the forehead. I caught him no worries and rode him back bareback.

                      He never did it to me again.

                      You do not want to be that close to a horse charging you and meaning it. I hate to think what would have happened if I had not done that with less than a second to react and a young child.
                      It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                        Originally posted by SuzieQNutter View Post

                        Every single time you interact with a horse you are training it. Every single time.
                        I can't repeat this enough. You get to choose the quality of the education when you interact with your horse. You don't get to take them out of their stall and let them be jerks because your planned 'training' for the day wasn't going to start until you got to the arena. Does't work that way. Every single minute your horse is learning. What is up to you.

                        Be careful until you get this behavior straightened out.

                        Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; John Gilliespie Magee, Jr


                          I had a horse that I was riding for a short time that I was sharing with the owner. One day I turned him out and he whizzed around the arena a few time then came right at me at a full gallop. I was horrified at first, then went "wait - what?" I stood straight and ran at him roaring "RAWR!" he slammed on the brakes and just boggled at me. never did it again. I found out his owner thought it was cute to let him do this, she would drop to the ground and he would jump over her. what. the french. toast? And she was mad that I did not find this amusing. here's your horse. And your sign. LSS, horse does not get to charge you for any reason even in play.
                          "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
                          - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

                          Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.


                            Originally posted by Rosie8888

                            they sure are. Absolutely wonderful one day, the next a bit of a odd ball! Your horse sounds like mine, did he ever run at you full pelt?thanks
                            Yes and like two other posters he was:
                            1. An Arab (and young)
                            2. His owner from age 6mo-1 year thought it was cute

                            When he was 5 and moved to a more formal yard, the groom asked if she could take a longe whip to him as he kicked out double-barrel at her during turnout (he didn’t connect and don’t think he was within contact range).

                            We, sister and I, gave full consent, as we knew the groom was above emotional anger response and truly liked him.
                            So he tried that attitude again and she went after him, hollering snapping the whip. I don’t know if she ever touched him with it.
                            He was a young virile full of himself gelding.

                            I loved him as a friend as much as a horse and he would occasionally test me the rest of his 26 yrs.
                            My sister, of a more even temperament , and consistent nature, was apt to correct him immediately and then forget about it.
                            He never ever pulled insubordination on her, and would try the “spook and shy” once (she totally ignored it) and he would give up.

                            All that said, he had a sweet mischievous side that he showed to me, and would pull some little stunt and you could see his eye’s dancing.
                            If any animal could be said to laugh, he was. And I’d end up laughing too.

                            I might get a video of him rushing you and post it, or have an experienced trainer come by and evaluate his behavior.
                            My “cute” stories might be horrible bad examples as I don’t know your horse or you.

                            And typically behavior in smaller horses and ponies is described as “cute” that would be downright dangerous if done by bigger horses.


                              When I was a teenager, I raised a little Welsh horse/pony mix mare from a baby. From about 1 to 3 years old she would play "tag" with me. She'd come up to me, reach out with her nose and touch me, then bolt away, and look back to see if I was chasing her. I'd walk up to her and touch her nose and then dart away, and she would "chase" me.

                              I doubt anyone on this board (including myself at this point) would recommend playing with a horse that way. But she was just playing, there was no aggression, and she eventually grew out of it on her own and didn't wanna do it anymore. She grew to about 13.2 so I saddle-broke her myself when I was about 15, had no issues with her understanding work vs play.

                              Probably a good idea to discourage it around you though. She ran into me once accidentally, and had she been a full sized two year old rather than just a big pony, it probably would have hurt.


                                While you work on this, pls wear a helmet and carry a dressage whip when working with this horse.
                                In a herd environment, a junior horse would never charge the herd boss that way, whether playing, scared, or aggressive (without being on the receiving end of a major correction from The Boss). So regardless your horse's intentions, it signals a lack of respect that you need to fix fast. Good job that you are observing and responding to this right away. Be careful!!!


                                  Ditto HH. I always have something in my hand, (don't buy those wimpy useless to direct lead ropes! I only use heavy cotton ones) or I can use the cap on my head to smack my pant leg. I never let anyone enter into a field or paddock with me that is not prepared also.


                                    We had a youngster who as a foal would occasionally run up to me like I was his playmate - cute at first but not something you want to encourage. I'm not experienced enough to say how to stop it but agree, it's not a activity you want to encourage.


                                      Lots of things horses do as youngsters that are cute at the time.....not so cute when they weigh 1000 lbs or more. It's the same with all young animals, even people. Cute when they are little and not so much when they are older. I had a friend who let her puppy chew on his leash and anything else he could get when he was a puppy. When I said stop, you are teaching him bad things, she told me it was okay because he was a puppy. Dog is 6 now and won't stop tearing things up and chewing on stuff. Or the cat that was allowed to nip as a kitten, still does it as an adult. He lives with me and thank goodness he has no teeth (he had to have them pulled because they were rotten when he was dumped on my property) but it's still a nasty behavior that is too late to eradicate completely.
                                      "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
                                      - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

                                      Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.


                                        Thos is why you do not scratch a foal's rump. You don't want a full grown horse approaching you with ther rump.

                                        You do not scratch a calf's forehead. Tou don't want a full grown cow/bull approaching you with head down.

                                        ......and don't get me started on the idiot who thought it was cute to have the foal's front hooves on his shoulders.
                                        It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.