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Horse Behavior

Horse Illustrated's articles on horse behavior involve how to bond with your horse, how your horse reacts, what your horse is thinking, normal behavior, and more. Topics can include desensitizing your equine partner to various objects, how riders can create misbehaviors, how to motivate your mount, how to interpret actions and what they mean, how to avoid issues while on the ground and while in the saddle, how to be the leader with the herd, how equines behave in the wild, research into horse behavior, how the equine brain works, and so much more. If you want to understand how the equine mind works and how you can get the desired results with your partner, then look no further.

Q: My ex-racehorse is calm and quiet when ridden alone on the trails. On group trail rides, he’s fine at a walk. But when the group starts to trot or canter, he gets excited and starts bucking. What can...
Q. My 4-year-old mare kicks out and bucks while going downhill on trail rides. My veterinarian has ruled out health problems. How can I correct this dangerous behavior?A. Your horse is definitely trying to tell you something! Don’t get...
Parelli Natural Horsemanship: Approach and Retreat Learn this method to keep your horse feeling confident. Read more >> Parelli Natural Horsemanship: The Seven Games What are the seven games? Pat Parelli explains. Read more >> Parelli Natural Horsemanship: Video Demo of the Friendly...
The popular saying, “talk to the hand because the face isn’t listening,” exemplifies rudeness in the world today. If you throw your hand up in someone’s face and say that, you are pretty much guaranteed to get a strong,...
Horses as prey animals are instinctively programmed to do the opposite of what predators want. Our biggest challenge is to prove to the horse that even though we look and smell like a predator we really are not. You...
It’s hard to blame a horse for failing to enjoy his deworming paste; it doesn’t exactly look like good eats. Although deworming companies have put great effort into making the medicine more palatable, some horses simply haven’t read the...
Chestnut horse in a field

Spooky Stuff

Since coming to live in a world designed by people, horses have had to learn how to accept the sights and sounds of strange things. Plastic bags, rattling metal roofs and blowing paper can be cause for alarm. The...

Proof Is In The Pasture

Pasture-kept horses have the ability to interact socially and are exposed to a rich environment, but have less contact with humans than their stall-kept counterparts. A 1997 study* has found that in spite of decreased human intervention, young pasture...

Buddy Sour

Q: I have two horses, and whenever I try to ride one, the other one goes crazy in his pen. He works himself into a sweat, and I’m afraid he’s going to hurt himself or get sick from it....
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