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Horse Bumps Into Horses During Gaming Events

15 August 2011 No Comment

Horse Bumps Into Horses During Gaming Events
We asked horse training expert Rhett Russell.
More on Rhett.

I have a 13-year-old Morgan. We mainly barrel race and do other gaming events. Lately he has been getting a little too excited when we walk into the arena to line up for our gaming class. Last week he was bumping into people and other objects, I’m afraid he might hurt himself the next time we game. I’m 15 and have only been riding since April of 2000 and I’ve only owned my horse since October of 2000. So I’m pretty new to all of this. He has as much energy as any gaming/barrel horse and I was wondering if there might be any kind of massage or exercise I should do before we go into the arena to race? I just don’t want him to hurt himself next time. If there is anything I can do please let me know.

Trista Bixby


Hi Trista:

Frankly, I would be more concerned with your horse hurting other people than hurting himself. Barrel racing and gaming bring out the competitive high adrenaline qualities in your horse, but that doesn’t mean that he should quit thinking about respecting both other horse and human’s personal space. A horse that doesn’t respect your space or another’s will think nothing of going through or over a human to flee what they perceive as danger. Your horse needs to get to the point of thinking about you or another human as the leader. A horse that respects leadership would never think of bumping into or going into the leader’s space without being asked.

This could be because he’s scared or spoiled. Either way you need to address this before someone gets hurt.

The types of exercise that I would suggest are things that can get your horse used to a lot of activity. Take him to a show that you are not competing in and expose him to the stimulus without having competed. Reward your horse for doing the right thing – standing quietly. And of course, you should work on yielding your horse, ground manners, and gaining respect as the leader of your “herd”. You’ll find many articles that should help in the www.TodaysHorse.com a”Article Library” under the Riding and Training section.

Good Luck,
Rhett Russell

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