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You've found the Mary-Dixon page about horsemanship.  Horses are my passion and my obsession.  They have helped me become a kinder, more confident, more patient person.  What they have taught me about them and taught me about myself is immeasureable.  I now try to teach folks about the nature of horses and how to understand each other which leads to a more confident human and a more confident little darling.
Adventure Horse Riding in NYS


Tip #31 From Whispering to Pills

From Whispering to Pills...
Your little darling used to be  perfect,, and now, he's a pill and you can't understand how this happened.  You're yelling at him all the time, frustrated, stressed, embarrassed, and nervous around him.  You've also stopped trusting him like you once did. This is probably what has happened.

The change in behaviour didn't happen overnight or just this week  - but has been developing for a period of time.  In all probability, his mis- behavior has been allowed, encouraged and even rewarded and you just didn't realize it. . How did this happen?  You simply stopped paying attention and unknowingly  allowed him to get away with certain behaviors, which just kept on building on each other.

Some causes/symptons of a pill are: 
  • not leading properly
  • walking in front of you
  • lagging behind you
  • pawing or stomping for his food
  • grabbing grass on trail rides
  • not coming to a complete stop for whoa
  • not walking out or doing the "death march"
  • getting right into your space
  • constantly mugging for treats
  • being pushy
  • being harder to catch
  • ignoring you
  • pulling on you while on a lead rope
  • dragging you,
  • making you move your feet to get out of the way
  • raising his head harder for haltering or bridling
  • pinning his ears back when you look at him or approach him
  • leans against you
  • rubs his head on you
  • "playful" nips
  • moving away from you while being saddled or during mounting
  • aggressiveness
  • ...only to name a few.

Each time we ignore any of these mis-behaviors, we have told our horse that what he is doing is acceptable and that he can't depend on us for leadership or survival.

Mary Dixon         Adventure Horse Riding in NYS           RideNYS.com