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Spinal Research


Behaviour and Training

It is safe to say that no horse (or pony) is born bad.  However, temperament is hereditary and some horses will be born naturally docile and others will have a tendency to wilfulness.  Everything depends on the early training and conditioning a horse receives - the horse who inherits a placid temperament may tolerate bad handling while the one who inherits a tendency to stubbornness or a more aggressive temperament may end up being 'difficult' or even dangerous.

No web site can hope to cover everything there is to know about horse behaviour - all we can do is help you to find out more.  We will be publishing articles on this site, providing links to other useful sites, and recommending books that will help you learn more.


Reasons for Bad Behaviour

Management and Veterinary

Riding and Training

Very simply, all bad behaviour fits under one of these two categories.  Identifying the likely cause is the first step to solving the problem.  Your best allies may be a knowledgeable equine vet and/or an experienced instructor/trainer.

The nappy horse - including rearing
Stable Vices


:  too much feed or the wrong types of feed in relation to the amount of work the horse is having.   This is one of the most common causes of bad behaviour.  If he's misbehaving, reduce his concentrates as a first step.

Pain: could be due to something as simple as an ill-fitting saddle or bit - or may have a physical basis (teeth or  back being the most common.)  Check your tack and consult your vet.

Poor training:
this could go back quite a long way or could be due to the inexperience of the present rider.  Consider if the bad behaviour is new - what has changed in his management

Instinct: a horse's natural (herd) instincts can lead to behaviour that is considered 'bad' - but which is in fact quite natural.  A horse must be trained carefully and patiently if it is to overcome its natural instincts.

reading, more here

HELPMAIL:  If you can't find the answer and need help urgently, please e-mail:

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