Follow These Steps To Stop Horse Kicking Behavior

stop kicking horse

You want to ride the new horse and train it as per your will, but this beauty won’t stop kicking around. You want the same rapport you have with other horses but are unsure why this one gets aggressive every time you make an effort to approach him. If you are here, you haven’t lost all hope since there is nothing that can’t be regulated. All you need is a little leniency and persistence to build a relationship of mutual trust between you and your horse, to stop it from kicking.

Put Yourself into the Horseshoe

Thinking from the horse’s perspective will allow you to understand that he is not being a bad horse but is probably intimidated by the presence of other horses, its environment, or you. It is not an impulse reaction that your hose keeps kicking in the trailer, but highly likely that your horse being uncomfortable, despises the trailer. Chances are that your horse probably developed this habit as a defense mechanism to deal with mishandling by past owners, therefore you inflicting more discomfort only fixates the habit further. The horse when feels threatened or has a feeling of fear towards itself or any other thing it holds dear (its food or its pony) may resort to aggressive acts. Your job is to identify these triggers and reduce the recurrence at first. To understand more about why your horse is acting violent, refer to our article Everything You Need to Know About Horse Kicking.

In the long term, to stop your horse from kicking, you should aim to replace this habit with a gentle attitude. Before training your horse to stop kicking, you need to ensure there are no physical impairments, injuries, or discomfort that may be disrupting the normal functioning of your horse. However, this is more likely a behavioral problem than a physical one. Neither is your gelding born with the tendency to be vile. So, a little training and compassion would go a long way.


Before giving the training a go, reflect on yourself. Are you emotionally calm or facing a sea of emotions that might reflect on your training exercises? Remember, you don’t fight fire with fire. So, compose yourself when you stand tall beside your stallion. Make sure you communicate your dominance, without compromising on the horse’s comfort when you stand in poise. Let your horse know your compassion as well as your strength. Do not, however, respond to your horse’s aggression with an equal hostile act.

Tap Dance!

Get control of the horse’s feet by using the whip as guides. This is a much reverent method after which not only will you be able to control its feet in confined spaces but the horse will be less intimidated by the whip. The whip will usher into blocking the horse’s feet from moving sideways. First, take your horse out in an open area and without any delay start the exercise. Make sure you do not jerk the lead rope or whip your horse in the entirety of the exercise. Stand strong and tall in front of your horse, blocking its vision of the open field. Lift the whip from your left hand, at least 4 feet away from the horse if it moves towards the left. Likewise, lift the whip from the right hand as it moves towards the right. Tap the horse on its shoulder if it crosses through the whip. Look for the moment of success when your horse stops to think and connects with its feet before moving. Be sure to praise your horse by petting them as well as with a verbal and joyful “ah” and drop your whip before doing so. 

Hold Your Horse’s Gaze

Ensure that your horse is focused on you. To do so, maintain eye contact. If your horse looks away, turn its head towards you. It would help if you had its focus to ensure a fruitful exercise. 

Please do not allow the horse into your proximity, but do not step back as it approaches you. Rather tap on its chest in a polite but rigid manner, asking it to move back. Give your horse a sense of who is in charge and stand your ground.

Un-assert Yourself

When you observe your horse getting comfortable with your presence, you start to let your guard down and be docile. Your horse will be more relaxed at this point, with his tail swinging loose and probably licking or chewing on grass. When you have gained its obedience and trust, you can show some subservience to your horse. Lower your body and present your hand to the horse without touching him. Let him come forward and make the first touch. If your horse sniffs your hand, congratulations, you have gained his trust and build rapport. At this point, you can return its gestures. Get your horse to be well acquainted with you and your voice, by using oratory signal, repeatedly. However, if he turns his head away, don’t rush into making further contact (picking up his feet) as you still have a long way to go. 


Once your horse has control over its feet, it’s time to get him to move in confined spaces or to teach your horse to stop kicking other horses. Find another horse of the opposite gender, if available, that is the most comfortable with the problematic one and start ponying around the horse. Keep moving in different paces throughout the exercise to build focus onto controlling the feet and less onto kicking. The troublesome horse will this way learn to be in the company of others without being violent.

Once your horse is getting comfortable with one horse, start riding it in a herd. But be completely aware of the geldings’ body language. You might feel the horse tense its muscles to ready itself to kick. Your job is to look for these signs and change the horse’s direction and move it away from the herd to prevent any chaos. To eliminate the habit of kicking other horses, make sure you make a regular habit that you pony your horse along with others. This will teach your horse to socialize, reducing its desire to stay isolated.

Time is the Key

Patience is critical when changing attitudes. You don’t expect to get results in just one day. Training your horse to be comfortable in its surroundings and among other horses would require your effort and patience with a hint of compassion. At first, it might be challenging to teach your horse to have control over its feet, but with the time, you will see progress. Give your horse its due respect and dignity when you teach him composure. All your exercises may go to waste and overwhelm your gelding when you rush things over. 

Furthermore, make the space around your horse comfortable. One reason why your horse won’t stop kicking stalls is that it badly wants to get out of it. To stop your horse from doing so, check if there is anything that might discomfort your horse. Is there enough water and hay? Sometimes horses kick stable doors as a way of alerting you they are hungry. You worry this might hurt their hooves or knees in the long term. One way to reduce the damage is to nail an old tire on the door and cover it with a carpet. However, to replace the habit completely stop giving in to the kicking signals and show your horse that it won’t get food every time it will kick stable doors.

Hire a Professional Trainer

If you can do the above exercises but with little success and your horse still won’t stop kicking, you should hire a professional trainer. Your horse uses kicking to avoid interaction. A habit probably built out of aggression from previous owners. Moreover, you are concerned about your safety as well as the safety of other horses, so it is advised that you hire a professional trainer, before resorting to the final option of selling the horse.