Does your horse shoot you the moon when you approach? When you open the stall door does his head go into the corner, butt toward you and maybe a tail swish, and eye that rolls back some white at you and maybe even lifts a hind leg?

Is this acceptable to you? If you’ve had the horse longer than an hour, the answer is yes. If you think the horse is going to change what he does in this situation without any input from you, you’re wrong.

It’s really not even hard to change this. You’ll need some sort of stick and string or reasonalby long dressage whip. You could use a rope, but it’s harder to be accurate and the timing is difficult. I’m going to give a quicky version and of course other stuff could happen. If the horse is dangerous and kicks you’ll have to be careful about position but the concept and basic moves remain the same.

It’s best to stand in the door if you’re working in a stall so you can step out if need be. Don’t get yourself in a bad spot. Plus, it’s best to work from that one spot or a close proximity to that spot. If you’re moving your feet more than a step or so,

the horse is going to get more points. Wiggle the stick at the horse’s butt and see if he looks at you or moves his butt. If he moves, pause the wiggling. If he doesn’t move, explore just how much movement  you’re going to need and this includes tapping his butt. Wiggle and wait. Tap and wait. Don’t get carried away and force the move instead of asking that horse learn to nicely turn toward you when you approach. When the horse moves in the manner you want, pet with the stick if you’re still a distance away. As horse gets turned more toward you, you will be able to reward with a pet on the face. If horse turns his head away when you pet, this is another issue that we’re not doing here. So, just pet the neck or what’s available with your hand or the stick or just stop the signal.

This is an easy fix and if you know what you’re doing, should only take 15-30 minutes. However, that doesn’t mean you get stuck on that number if you and horse aren’t familiar with the skills and movements. So, it takes the time it takes, just don’t let it be un-addressed for years because that’s your horse telling you what he thinks of you.