Naughty Horses, Part 1 - 5 Reasons Horses Misbehave

You get off, you look like you’ve done ten rounds with Tyson and you’re sweatier than your horse! And by the way this is supposed to be your hobby!!!


A naughty horse can be anything from frustrating to down right dangerous so why do horses misbehave? And, more importantly what can we do about it?


First off, DON’T DESPAIR!!! Most problems are solvable with a bit of time and patience, all you need is to be able to break it down and help your horse with each piece of the puzzle. So let’s get started by understanding what’s going on for your horse...


Horses don’t plan, they don’t start their day thinking ‘how can I frustrate my owner’ however much it might feel like that at the time 😬. Horses simply respond to the situation at the time as they see it based on 3 things:-

  • Their instinct (fight, flight or freeze)

  • What they have been taught

  • What their previous experiences tell them - good or bad

This is why it’s so important to ‘finish on a good note’. Try and finish every session on a positive however small the progress may feel on the day, progress is progress, Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that good stuff!! No seriously we all know things take time with horses so don’t despair!


So back to our naughty horses. Why do horses misbehave? Here’s a few possible reasons...


1. They don’t know what to do

2. They have learned to respond incorrectly

3. They are scared

4. They don’t have enough incentive