Ask The Experts

I Need Help Trying to Connect with My QH!

I Need Help Trying to Connect with My QH!
Al Dunning

Ask The Experts Featured Conformation Lay Down QH



I have a two year old QH that I’ve had since he was weaned from his mom at 6mo old. And since day 1 he has been shy and unapproachable. He only lets me pet or brush his rear if he is in a small confined area (so basically forced). On some extremely rare moments he has let me walk up to him in the pasture and stroke him for a few second before walking away. He has never showed any signs of aggression and he is in the pasture with two other horses that LIVE and fight over human interaction, while the QH just stands off alone. He isn’t much of a herd animal (meaning he is often seen eating alone or on the other side of the pasture all together). He is a stallion still and is in the pasture with a mare paint, mare pony and extremely docile gelding who I’ve never seen run the QH off from the herd. I need help trying to connect with my QH! I fear he is lonely but he won’t let me near enough to grow any relationship.

Hannah Y.



Hello Hannah,

Thank you for your question. Behavior like this is not uncommon to some stallions, especially when in a group with any mares. Stallions are noted to stand off and watch over the herd and not becoming “one of them”.

When it comes to your relationship with your horse, I would suggest spending time with a halter on in a round pen grooming, tying him up, handling his legs, etc. and basically making sure he is safe and gentle in all ways. The better broke a horse is, the more they allow familiarity with human interaction.

All horses are not the same and do not behave in the same manner. If he was a gelding, he would probably act different. If he was kept in a separate area without mares, he may behave differently also.

Basically, the better broke your horse, the more he will enjoy you and you will enjoy him.

Ride well and be happy,
Al Dunning

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Ask The Experts
Al Dunning

Al Dunning has owned and operated Almosta Ranch, a Quarter Horse training facility in Scottsdale, Arizona since 1970. Born in Chicago, Al’s family moved to Arizona when he was 8 years old. He began riding horses with his sisters and went on to further his talents with mentors such as Jim Paul, John Hoyt and Don Dodge. Over the years, Al developed his multi-faceted business with a focus on the development of champion horses and riders. One of the most respected horsemen in the industry, Al has received multiple honors including American Quarter Horse Association’s Professional Horseman of the Year in 1996, NCHA Zane Schulte Trainer of the Year award in 2003, and Monte Roberts Equitarian award in 2004. In addition, he trained and showed the great buckskin performance horse Expensive Hobby, who was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2007. Al and his students have garnered 45 World and Reserve World titles in NCHA, AQHA, NRCHA, and NRHA. Currently Al is a National Reined Cow Horse Association Judge and he has judged the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity four times and the NRCHA Derby twice. An author of many articles, multiple educational and training videos, and five books, Al is always eager to share his knowledge, philosophies and training skills. He is the owner of Dunning Consulting, LLC., a service that helps equine business start-ups and general consulting, Team AD International, an online lesson and mentoring program, and AD Tack, an online store for tack and training equipment. Find out more at

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