How do you calm down an enraged horse while riding it?

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Enraged - not really a word I would use, because that implies that something the rider did angered the horse. If that were the case: get off the horse. Sitting on an angry horse is not a place you want to be.

There are many irritable and excitable horses in this world, and the only way to truly manage them effectively is to understand their triggers.

Once you do you have determined their triggers there are three levels of concern: * The first is normal behavior; this differs for every horse but most horses respond to humans on an even keep, they may not be overly affectionate but they don’t bite either. * The second is agitated behavior: nipping, stomping, twitching skin. this can be excitement or agitation. Some horse really wanna get going at the start of events and can be a little hot - this is different from “coltish” or dangerous shying behavior. In most instances walking to calm the horse helps. Teaching your horse to put its head down and eat on instruction, also helps. Horses have to be calm to graze - so this imposes it on them. As a handler - remain calm. * Hot behavior, as a rider you get to a certain stage in your riding that you steer clear of theses horses, when young and out to prove some point, you may be willing to take on theses “hot” horses but at the end of the day the body feels it most. in most instances I have learned to work alone for some time with the horse and give it some rein, if it is going at the pace you want it (even if fast) stay off it’s mouth. Hot horse are all to commonly over bitted and pulled in an attempt to slow them down/calm them down. These horses need to relearn what the bit is actually for. They fight all the restraint put on them as much as they fight tie rider, so just set them free. Take off all the extra equipment and work them calmly on a long rein until it sinks in that they only need to do what is asked, they need not anticipate more. I once had to reschool a hot polocross pony (D League). Everyone always maintained that the horse could be dead tired but he will never ever walk off the field. His owner was a novice of sorts, and did not understand what actual schooling was. So I worked with them, getting his owner to understand the application of aids and for the horse I explained in “horse” what was needed (since everyone was convinced I’d bewitched the animal). Three months later the horse and rider were doing spins, ride offs and chased the ball like they were in A league - and, more importantly, after the match the horse would walk off the field. All that had happened was that the horse (who was so willing and trying his best even though he understood nothing of what his rider was asking or wanted) had learned what was needed of him, what his rider’s moves and shifts meant and that the idea was to follow the ball. They became inseparable, and remain my poster example of what can happen when a horse and rider meet each other half way.

So my advice: find that one thing that triggers your horse, or ask yourself: “Does my horse know or truly understand what I am asking?” Because in most instances, the horse simply doesn’t and they are overwhelmed by all the excess aids being applied. Calm it down, tone it down and determine exactly where the communication between horse and rider is being interrupted. From that point on things get easier.

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