We are starting a new feature enabling you to ask your own questions about ridden horse behaviour. Each month we will answer the best or most popular one. Your question can be quite specific, like 'Why does my horse spook at dock leaves?' or more general, like 'Why do horses bolt?' The behaviour you ask about can be quite subtle, or extreme , like this one!
A bit of background...
Most ridden behaviour is comprised of one or more of these 4 elements:
Innate species specific behaviour
This refers to behaviour ingrained in all horses (indeed all equids) which has developed by natural selection to maximise survival. Examples are herd behaviour and flight responses. These innate tendencies are so strong that they may still affect horses under saddle despite centuries of domestication.
Breed/ line specific behaviour
These are behavioural tendencies that have developed through artificial selection. These tendencies may be breed specific or line specific. So your horse’s temperament is to some extent ‘pre-wired’ , which can affect how it responds to training.
|pain related behaviour|
Physiological or pain- related behaviour.
Horses are generally quite stoic about pain, but this often underlies what are perceived to be behavioural or training difficulties.
Each month we will take one question, and look at how each of these factors may play a part in creating the observed behaviour. To ask your question, please join our facebook community by liking our page on the left sidebar, and then add your question to the post on our page. Simples!