There are lots of people with that problem. Why do horses do that? Could be one (or more) of lots of reasons. Fear is one. Anticipating pain is another. Anticipating having to work and work and work is another.
Like I said, there are lots of reasons. If it’s pain, have your horse checked. If you’re a Super Stars of Horse Training member, be sure to watch this month’s video when you get it. It’s all about pain – one of the most overlooked and underestimated pieces of the horse training puzzle.
If it’s fear or perhaps anticipating having to work, try this. Go in the pen with the lead rope and halter in hand. Also, have your sweat scraper ready. (A sweat scraper is a teardrop-shaped tool with small teeth and a handle.
Make sure the teeth aren’t sharp) Once you catch your horse put on the halter. Then pull out your secret weapon…the sweat scraper. Gently yet firmly brush him with it. That’s all you’re gonna do…brush him. Talk to him real nice like too. Now do the other side. When you’re done, remove the halter and maybe stretch your horse a little
If he likes to take off when you remove the halter, just take it off but hold him around the neck with it to keep him in place. You don’t him to leave you until you give permission. How do you know when you should let him go? When he’s settled. Calm. Relaxed. Then take off the halter completely and deliberately.
Now…do this twice a day. Don’t ask him to work. Don’t ask him to lunge. See also this article with horse training tips.
Don’t ask him to do nut’in. For a while, you’re going to be the pamperer and your horse will be the pamperee. (Is there such a word?) All you’re gonna do is get him “in the habit” of thinking when he sees you with the halter he’s going to get brushed and massaged. And we all know how good it feels to get a massage and brushed.
Do this every day for a while. Once you start seeing him “come” to you (or least…not run from you) that’s when you’ll know this is working. And remember. Some horses take longer…some it doesn’t. Once you have them “not” running from you, then take them for a ride or whatever it is you’re going to do. Just remember not to make it constant work and boring.
And here’s the kicker. When you’re done riding or whatever, let him walk to cool down. Then brush him real nice like with the sweat scraper again.
Talk to him real nice like. Horses are REAL GOOD at remembering the last thing they did with you. So make the last experience with you a very nice one.
The next day when you come to see them, you want them thinking, “OHHHH!!!, I’m so glad you’re here. All I could think about was you! I’m ready to be brushed! 🙂 “And for a while, just go in, halter, and only brush him – no work. Then the other time, go ahead and ride. Alternate it and keep him associating you with pleasure. Before you know it, you’ll have him coming to you. But you’ll destroy that if he feels like he always has to work.
Remember, you also have to let your horse just be a horse.