Having a horse who turns round to bite you can shake your confidence, so we asked confidence coach, rider and instructor Amanda Kirtland-Page how best to deal with it.
Q: I was putting my horse’s rug on the other day and he turned around and bit me. He’s normally really laid back so it was a shock. It’s really knocked my confidence and it’s affecting how I am with him. How can I get past this?
A: I can understand your shock, but if he’s normally laid back then it sounds like it’s something that’s due to temporary discomfort that could be resolved easily.
Perhaps the rug is causing pain or he’s just getting too hot?
It’s important to find out the reason, so get him checked out as soon as possible to see what needs to be done in order to make him more comfortable.
While the problem is being looked at, I’d always have him tied up when you’re in his stable, whether it’s mucking out, grooming or tacking up.
This is just to keep you safe and keeps you in control while you resolve this.
Spend a little more time than usual with him. Often when we’ve been hurt, we try to avoid whatever has hurt us, but avoiding him will not help to re-build trust and confidence.
We learn from repetition, so being with him in a safe, controlled environment sharing and enjoying some relaxed grooming time as often as possible is vital.
Over time your confidence will return, it'll just take a little while.
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