Different Ways to Stop a Horse from Pawing

stop a horse from pawing

Pawing is a very irritating habit that can drive you crazy. But it is not always a habit, and sometimes it may be because of a reason. It may be due to boredom, nervousness, impatience, frustration, stress, etc. Before finding the solution to this problem, you must try to find out the reason for the problem. To stop a horse pawing people try different things. But one should first know the reason behind it so that they can deal with it better. You should be able to read your horse’s body language. You must know what the horse is trying to say by its actions like nodding head or by its ears etc. If you understand what your horse is trying to say, then, it is easy to fix or treat. Understanding helps to reduce the chances of pawing.

To know more about different behavior problems in horses, click this article “Most Common Behavior Problems in Horses“.

Why pawing is considered as bad?

Pawing may seem normal to you, but excessive pawing may lead to various problems like emotional stress, frustration, leg pain, injuries, etc. Excessive pawing could also lead to serious injury. It is essential to solve the problem of pawing in your horse and discourage it.

Reasons why your horse paws?

Your horse can paw due to various reasons:

Emotional stress, disturbance, frustration, discomfort, injury, distressing ground conditions, boredom, attention, the desire of something, etc.


Horses can paw when they become frustrated or experience boredom. It may happen when the horse is tied does not want to stand anymore. The horses get confused during training sessions due to which they can paw.


Sometimes the horse learns that when he paws, he will get everything he wants.


Sometimes the horse paws when it sees anything different or something which gains its attention. Like walking on a trailer or a new surface, etc.

How to stop a horse pawing?

We can adopt different ways to stop the horse from pawing. How to stop pawing depends on the type of horse pawing. To stop a horse pawing, here are various tips for you.

Ignore it

Sometimes, you must ignore the pawing and let your horse solve this issue by itself. You can tie the horse at one place, but if it loves pawing, it will start pawing the ground. You need to ignore it and untie the horse when it stops pawing — some horse paws for attention. Ignoring is the best option when they paw for attention. Horses try to get attention by doing something just like a small child. If something good doesn’t work, then the horse will try something bad. It will accept punishment, scolding, it just wants your attention. By doing this, again and again, they develop this behavior as their routine. So, the basic reason why they do pawing is to get attention. So the best solution is to ignore them. If you ignore them, then they will not get any attention and will stop them from pawing.

Rocking the horse

During training or grooming, the horse starts pawing. In this case, you can rock your horse. Rocking the horse means taking the horse off balance. The horses don’t want to be off-balanced. While pawing horses balance themselves on their three legs. What you can do is to push the horse gently along with its carriage. You can push the horse gently 2-3 times. It will disturb its balance, and save itself from falling, the horse will keep the fourth leg down and will stop pawing. Another method you can try is to rock the horse, back and forth. This measure will also disturb the horse balance, and it will pull its leg back again.

Approach and retreat

‌To do this, you will require a book. In case your horse paws frequently then, you can tie the horse in one place. Sit 30 feet away from it and then open the book and start reading it. Leave the horse alone. The horse will surely begin pawing. You keep on reading the book and relax. But do keep looking at the horse to ensure that it is alright. Once the horse has stopped pawing, you must go towards the horse. It will start pawing again. Then, you should go back and sit and wait until the horse stops pawing.

When your horse stops pawing, then, again, start and move towards your horse. If the horse starts pawing once more, then turn around and wait for it to stop pawing. The horse will most likely stop pawing when you will turn around. When it does stop, then start approaching your horse. Until the horse is standing, still keep walking. In case the horse starts pawing again, walk away. But if the horse stands quietly and does not paws, then you can untie the horse.

How to stop your horse pawing the ground?

It is essential to stop your horse from pawing at the ground. To do this, you can do the following.

Surroundings conditions

The horses mostly paw the ground because they are disturbed by their surroundings. If you remove those disturbances, then your horse will stop pawing the ground. You must ignore the horse while pawing and pay attention to it when it stops that behavior. You can offer rewards like food or attention when it stops pawing. Soon the horse will learn what it should do and what it should not do.

Horse’s stance

Your horse may be uncomfortable due to uneven ground or poor posture, which may lead to pawing. You must carefully watch the horse while pawing and try to identify what makes the horse uncomfortable. You can check the ground, the horse’s legs, etc. There may be any swelling in the legs or any infection.

Reward training

Many horse paws on the ground to get attention. If your horse paws and you go to your horse immediately, then it may do it repeatedly to gain your attention.

Always stay positive

You should not get angry on your horse or punish it. The horse will become more nervous and frustrated if you do so. You should stay positive and ensure that you behave with the horse positively.

Stop horse pawing in the trailer

It is essential to know why the horse paws. It is important to understand the root cause of horse pawing. The horse shows its frustration by pawing its leg, which increases with old age, especially. Some horses get very uncomfortable and frustrated in the trailer. Spending some time with the horse in the trailer can reduce the anxiety of the horse.

Doing the groundwork, outside the trailer, helps to reduce the horse frustration, which can stop pawing. It helps to develop more patience in the horse. It teaches the horse to control its movements.

Another way to stop the horse pawing in the trailer is ground tying. It helps to keep the horse patient. Tie your horse with a rope halter and stand facing your horse. Correct your horse each time it moves by using pressure with rope.

In this article, you learned about what is horse pawing, why is it considered bad, the reason why horse pawns, and how to stop it.