Recent News for Behavior & Handling

Article

Tips for Stallion Handlers, From Novice to Advanced

November 16, 2004

Even though we think a stallion should know his business in the breeding shed, that is not always the case at the beginning. "Starting a novice breeding stallion can range from a quick and easy project accomplished in a few brief sessions to a... Read More

Article

Using the Twitch Properly

November 01, 2004

I attended a short course on horse behavior at New Bolton Center where you explained how a twitch works and your recommendations for how to use it most effectively. It seemed to make so much sense why sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't,... Read More

Article

Practical and Safe Horse Handling

October 12, 2004

Editor's Note: This excerpt is from Chapter 3 of Care & Management of Horses by Heather Smith Thomas. The book is available from Read More

Article

Troopers Instruct Iraqi Horse Handlers

October 06, 2004

Trading computers and badges for saddles and spurs has provided a welcome break for troopers of the U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division's Horse Cavalry Detachment working with Saddam Hussein’s former horses at the Baghdad Zoo.

After... Read More

Article

Breaking A Young Horse

October 01, 2004

My husband and I recently broke my 3-year-old mare to ride. The first few times she rode like a dream, then she caught on to the idea that when we catch her, she has to work, and she has gotten a bad attitude. Her new antics include bucking. I'v... Read More

Article

Spooking on Trail

October 01, 2004

I have a 17-year-old Arabian mare. When trail riding, she looks for every opportunity to jump, spook, or take off, especially now that my other horse, her companion, no longer accompanies her. The companion is 30 years old, and due to a recent... Read More

Article

Water Crossing

October 01, 2004

How can I get my horse to cross through water when I'm riding him on trail? He refuses to even get his feet wet.           via e-mail


For horses that are afraid... Read More

Article

Tying and Hobbling

September 21, 2004

Whether on a pack trip into the mountains or on a weekend trail ride during which you return to your trailer at night, it is important that your trail horse has been taught to stand quietly when tied, hobbled, or tethered by one foot to a picket pin.... Read More

Article

Temperament: Buying the Right Horse for the Trail

September 08, 2004

In a discussion of proper temperament in a trail horse, words like "solid" and "steady" come to mind. You want a horse that will carry you over a trail with little to no fuss or fidgeting--a horse that is solid and steady in the bridle... Read More

Article

Taming an Aggressive Foal

September 01, 2004

We recently were blessed with a healthy filly. However, the breeder we bought the mare from had her due date wrong. She came five weeks before we were expecting her. She was born in the pasture with another mare present. Th... Read More

Article

Arizona Horse Attack Mystery Solved

August 01, 2004

The necks of more than 20 horses were mysteriously slashed near their jugular veins at Tanque Verde Guest Ranch in Tucson, Ariz., beginning in July, 2003. The attacks launched an investigation, and concern about area horses' safety erupted.... Read More

Article

Hidden Treasure: Retraining Racehorses

July 01, 2004

"A prize in every box." While that phrase refers to the little toy one finds in a box of Cracker Jacks, adopting a former racehorse is not so different: You're not quite sure what you'll get, but often the experience is fun and the horse can be ... Read More

Article

Sleep-Crashing

July 01, 2004

In any of the equine behavior literature that I have read, I am unable to find any description of the sleeping behavior we see in our retired broodmare (17 years old). She has functioned as the watch horse in the small herd she was from, and she... Read More

Article

Blind and Restless

June 01, 2004

My 19-year-old horse is 95% blind, and when he's not eating or sleeping he walks in circles. What can I do to stop or minimize this behavior? via e-mail


You certainly would want to have this horse evaluated by a... Read More

Article

Get a Vet!

June 01, 2004

When I ride my 24-year-old Arabian mare Western, she tends to want to pick up the pace and wants to look around. How can I get her to slow down and stay focused? She gets stiff and starts to limp on her left hind leg when I am riding her. Anothe... Read More

Article

Don't Leave Me Alone!

June 01, 2004

Why do some horses not like having their buddies taken out of their pen when they have to stay in?    Katy


The ancestors of our domestic horses were open plains grazing animals, for whom the strategy... Read More

Article

Stall Rest: Laid Up or Losing It?

June 01, 2004

Stall rest--a term that all horse owners and stable managers dread--is generally prescribed following severe injury such as fractures, large wounds, surgery, and in some cases of lameness. How strictly imposed the stall rest is depends upon the sever... Read More

Article

Rock Hard Ten Goes to Gate School

May 25, 2004

(from Belmont Park notes)

In the Preakness on May 15, Rock Hard Ten, a huge colt, was especially conspicuous. As the last horse loaded into the gate at Pimlico, Rock Hard Ten had the attention of the racing world and NBC's... Read More

Article

Trick Training Your Horse to Success

May 10, 2004

From Chapter 4: Teaching Your Horse to Bow

I like to start trick training by teaching the bow. It can be either easy or very difficult to teach, depending on how smart your horse is and how well you can teach it.... Read More

Article

Play Invitation

May 01, 2004

We have been struggling with a very particular behavior problem with a young colt. From birth, he's been a strong and athletic rascal, and has been "full of himself," with the usual colt behavior tendencies. We have dealt successfully with all... Read More

Article

Smart Horse: Understanding the Science of Natural Horsemanship

April 02, 2004

From CHAPTER 3: LEARNING AND REINFORCEMENT

When we say that a horse has learned something, we are really saying that we have increased the likelihood that he will perform a particular action in response to a particular stimulus.... Read More

Article

Foals and Geldings

April 01, 2004

My 12-year-old daughter's 9-year-old Welsh Pony gelding (named Taffy) was moved to a new stable about eight weeks ago. Six weeks after the move, Taffy was introduced to the mares and allowed to graze and socialize with them. Since four of the 16... Read More

Article

Trails, Trips, and Traveling With Horses

April 01, 2004

There was a time when trail riding was pretty much confined to where one lived. The choices might include a country road or a ditch along a busy highway. That, however, is in the past. Powerful trucks and sophisticated trailers have opened... Read More

Article

Handling a Hostile Broodmare

March 01, 2004

My mare just had a colt today and I have a concern about it because she is 13 years old and not broken. She had been broken three times prior to me getting her, and she won't come near anyone. My question is: How will I be able to mess with the... Read More

Article

Bereavement Leave?

March 01, 2004

I have two horses in my stable yard. One is a 20-year-old retired ex-chaser gelding and the other is a 12-year-old Arab gelding. They have been together for seven years, six of which were spent living on a small yard with just the two of them an... Read More