I've been barn sitting this week at my boarding stable. Now I'm seeing the behaviour the barn owner has been complaining about. My TB gelding has kicking issues. After diligently ignoring his kicking in the stall at mealtime, he stopped doing it. Now he waits until after mealtime, on his way out to the pasture. He just lingers outside his stall until I go inside, then he starts hammering the siding. It's metal, so he gets the satisfaction of making a huge noise. He also has one pastern/fetlock, on his kicking foot, that stays swollen. I knew he'd injured it some time ago by kicking something sharp (he's had a few kicking related injuries in the pasture). The cut healed, he walks on it just fine, but the swelling never went away. The vet said to be patient. Well, patience ain't gonna fix it! He's just re-injuring it again and again every night. I really don't what to do with him. Other than his need to constantly injure himself, he's quite healthy. He's just brain scrambled.
I've read about kicking chains, but that won't work since he's on his way to the pasture. He cannot be locked in a stall or he'll become unapproachable. I thought about hanging stall mats, but he isn't too picky about the location he kicks. I'd have to swathe the whole barn in padding. Is there anything safe, but annoying I can wrap round his pastern to discourage the behaviour?

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I'd follow him around with a whip or whatever you have to move him around and whenever he got to thinking he should kick, i'd move him around and push him away from the thing to kick... this is how I deter behavior in my bratty horse, LOL.... he just wants attention I bet, your horse... so I make the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy.. which is to just stand still and be good.... as far as wrapping him, I've never done that with my horses so I have no recommendations.
The attention thing was my thought too, but after last night I suspect jealousy is also a factor. I desperately need my own stable, so I can follow him around when he starts this. I have him to myself this week anyway, so maybe I can make some kind of impact. Next week when I'm not the one doing the feeding/chores, he's liable to be right back at it. I've tried to coordinate my schedule with the barn owner in the past, but it just never clicked. I always arrive too early and end up feeding and handling all of the horses.
I'm sure it's easier said than done for me because I live by myself and I just have my two horses. I cannot imagine what my Oliver would be like in a more public setting..... omg, he's such a brat. :) good luck with him.... everything just takes so much time with horses. I'm sure he'll eventually come around.
Hi Kinni, This is a fairly common habit, one that may not be able to be resolved. In the stall if you try a rubber ball tyed with a short length of elastic to the horses fetlock . When the horse kicks the ball bounces back at him and gives an immediate and automatic punishment. He's probably doing this out of boredom , sometimes if you change his stall to one he can see outside may help . Change his neighbor as well and make sure he is the first one you feed , some horses act up when they hear the feed bins comeing . Cheers Geoffrey
Thanks Geoffrey. He's in turnout almost 24/7. the only time I keep him in at mealtime and when I'm about to work him. He seems to have lost interest in kicking in the stall. I made a point of ignoring it completely. He hasn't kicked the side of the barn in a couple of days, but did have himself a good poke at the arena fence. I was working him in-hand and he saw another horse on the other side of the fence. It really was pitiful; he even squealed like a filly. The more I think about it, the more I suspect there's always another horse on the opposite side of the wall/fence/whatever. He just has jealousy issues, be food or attention. Unfortunately, I can't make the other horses go away. It's a very small barn. Maybe he'll eventually realise that he won't get any more attention or food for acting like an idiot. At least he no longer has shoes on!!
Hi Kinni, I`ve read all the replies to your question. Their answers seem to be right on-JEALOUSY, I had a similar situation, but, I got a new horse,( gelding )to add to the existing 2.( mare & gelding ).These 2 had never been apart. I put the new one with my mare, & penned off the gelding. I`ve never seen such a display of jealously, he also thought he was a stud,neck all puffed up & chest twice the size. I only fed him & made sure he had water, I ignored him for 3 days before I made an attempt to have contact with him. He was seperated for 2 wks. Today, he is a different horse, he takes his treats more gently,he stands quiet when tied,he respects me, and has even stopped pinning his ears when anyone approaches him. All the best to you & your horse.
Thanks Sharon. I'm so glad you got your boy sorted. I wish I had the fortitude to ignore him for three days, but I get the shakes if I don't ride. Also I'm a sucker for a pretty face. :P
He's been a good boy for several days now. Maybe he'll keep it up.


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