Some horses just don’t enjoy being girthed up and can pull funny faces, bit and even kick while you’re trying to get their saddle on. Horse trainer Jason Webb has shows us four steps to grouchy free girthing.
Before you begin, remember to untie your horse so that he’s able to move away when you ask him to.
1 Act quickly
As you go to girth up your horse, don’t give him time to try
to nip you before you react. If he is giving you that ‘go away’ look, then you know it’s time to act.
2 Up your energy
Move your horse’s head away from you but keep asking until he moves his feet a step or two away as well. To do this, step to his head and raise both hands – one will have the lead rope in it, move the other toward his eye. Use your energy by making your fingers as long as you can and, if he ignores you, a push or a bump on the boney part of his face below the eye might be needed. This should get him bending away from you.
3 Watch his feet
Watch your horse’s feet and when he moves his feet away from you, relax down quickly. Give him a moment to relax too, then go back to what you were doing.
Every time you see a grumpy response from your horse while doing up his girth, repeat the steps again.
What’s he trying to say?
A horse who’s girthy could be behaving this way for a number of reasons. Before you try Jason’s techniques, be sure you’ve ruled all of the below:
A poorly fitting saddle
Discomfort in the mouth
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