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Top Reasons Your Horse Is Misbehaving

This news story was published on November 21, 2019.
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Understanding animals, especially horses, takes years of research and interactions with them, and even then, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is that is bothering your equestrian friend. 

There are so many possible reasons why your horse is playing up and each horse reacts differently on its own accord. To help narrow down what is going on with your horse, take a look at these common reasons for horse misbehavior. 

They are Suffering from Boredom 

Just like people, horses need entertainment and fun to keep them happy and healthy. If they aren’t feeling stimulated, they will get bored and act out to entertain themselves. 

There are a number of reasons why a horse would be bored:

  • They’re lonely — horses usually live in groups, which means it goes against their nature to live alone. Some horses can even develop anxiety if they live alone for too long
  • Limited time out — even in winter months, your horse should have adequate time out in the field
  • Little interaction — take the time to pet them and take them on longer rides to satisfy them

Staying in a stable all the time, especially during winter months, would get tiring very quickly, so it’s easy to see why a horse would get bored and decide it needs to attract attention from someone somehow. 

Make sure your horse receives plenty of attention from you and from other horses to keep it happy and healthy. 

They are in Pain

The most common reason for misbehavior is pain. Horses cannot communicate to us that they are in pain in the same way we would, so they do it in their own way, and it is your duty to listen to them. 

If your horse is difficult to catch when you are trying to ride them, consider why they would be running away from you and avoiding the possibility of riding. Perhaps their saddle is ill-fitted and causes them pain when you ride or the rides you take are too long and tiring, which causes them to feel exhausted and ache afterward.

A bucking horse can also mean that the horse is in pain, for a variety of different reasons. While horses do sometimes buck out of joy as well, it is important that you determine which kind of bucking your horse is doing. Either way, you can learn how to train a bucking horse and from this figure out the reason for your horse’s bucking. 

If a horse is refusing to move, this can also be a sign that they are in pain. It can be incredibly frustrating for them to be in pain and not have it addressed, which is why they show it in such a demanding way to grab your attention and make you notice that something is wrong. 

A horse rarely misbehaves purely for the sake of it. If your horse starts acting differently, it is a sign that something else is wrong and it needs to be checked out.


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