Kicking horses can present a real danger to those around them. Let me start this by saying that the horse has a God given right to protect himself. No horse just sets out to kick people. There is a troubled spot somewhere that the horse needs help with. Some kicking horses need to have a lot of work done around their legs whether its with a rope or flag. They need this chance to get used to some things. In other words, be desensitized so they can understand that they're going to be okay. It’s our responsibility to take care of this from the start.
There are other horses out there that have trouble with people being visible in one eye, and then showing up in the other. What some would call “changing eyes” When their head and neck are straightforward, horses have a blind spot directly behind there tail. Some have to really be worked with to feel okay about a person being in their right eye, and then “snap” in their left. Once again this is our job and can be taken care of in our groundwork. You’ll notice, sometimes when you’re
getting the hindquarters
on a horse, he’ll jump a little bit when he sees you out of the opposite eye. This exercise is really good about helping with that.
Another common thing I see people do is startle their horses. For example, I used to have a cow horse that I had owned from a colt. Anyone, adult, or child, could ride him and get the job done. (I had to sell old “cracker” to get an engagement ring.) The lady that bought him promptly got rid of him. When I went to find out why, she let it be known that he was a kicker. The actual facts where this – she came up behind him while his head was down in the trough. He was eating and she gave him a good pat on the butt. He was startled and the self-preservation in him said “kick,” so he kicked her. We need to use our heads around horses. Let them know we’re there and this kind of thing won’t happen – or you can let the horse tell you about this and it won’t take but once.
Below are some things I recommend for helping the horse become used to you being around his hindquarters and touching his legs.
These exercises are all explained in detail in the pages linked above
For questions or comments about kicking horses, please contact us.
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