Wednesday March 27, 2019

Dear Monty,

I value your opinions which I look forward to reading every week on questions and answers. One time you gave advice for someone who had a "biting" horse. You suggested tapping them gently with your foot whenever they go to nip - it totally surprises them as normally you'd use your hand to shield or even reprimand. It really does work thank you.

My question to you is nothing to do with biting, but in your wisdom and affinity with studying horses, do you think that they get bored and unhappy if they are not ridden or worked very much even though they are well cared for? I have an ex-racehorse who is now 12 year old and I only have time to ride once or twice a week just hacking out.

He is stabled at night and out in four acres during the day with a companion, but sometimes I just think he may need more stimulation with his breeding. I care about his happiness which is the only thing that worries me sometimes. I am lucky to have my own stables and grazing at home, so therefore I am seeing him from my window all the time. Every time I step outside he looks to me and asks "what are we doing now then mum!"

Christine from France


Dear Christine,
Thank you very much for your question. It is my opinion that horses in general are very generous. They are active and I believe they do get bored if idle for prolonged periods of time. Many equine behaviorists, including myself, believe strongly that this is the primary reason for horses developing stable vices. Crib biting, box walking, weaving and several other negative behaviors often occur with an idle horse. 
Be as active as you possibly can and include your horse in those activities. Ride more often if possible or simply just run with your horse in his field if you possibly can. I believe they know if you like them and want to be with them. It is my opinion they are healthier in every way when we spend as much time as possible with them. Some groundwork exercises, such as games you might play with him which you have created, can be fun and rewarding.

For some ideas on having fun at liberty with your horse, we have several inspiring and educational series on my Equus Online Uni . To check out these fun filled lessons with a free day pass - use code DAYPASS when you register - then click on these links:


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Test yourself each week as I challenge you to answer the question below. I mean this. Sit down and write an answer. Don't wait for my answer next week. If you have been reading my Weekly Questions and Answers for the last six months, you should be in a position to do this. Send your answer to my team at:  
Why should you bother? Because it will help you focus. There is probably a comparable question in your life that needs answering... or will be. If you can gain insight into how to go about answering a practical question that is loosely related to your problem, this exercise will help you answer your nagging question. Then read my answer. I want all of my students to learn to be better trainers than me.That's good for you and good for horses! 
~ Monty 

Dear Monty,

Hi, total long shot me asking but need some serious help before I’m really injured. My horse has started bolting. It started when I moved to a yard which has trains passing by, I moved yards hoping it would stop but it hasn’t! I have now fallen off three times in the last few weeks and he is now so dangerous. I've had back done, teeth, everything checked... please could you help me !

Kind regards,


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