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Training tips for your horse
2 February 2018
Training is an imperative part of owning a horse as it allows you to bond with your horse whilst teaching them the basic skills. In the initial days of training, it is important to know how they react to certain situations. By gradually building a relationship with your horse it will lessen the chance of them freaking out and causing injury as they are a flight animal when it comes to being threatened.
Ideally, you want to lead your horse and have them see you as one as they are instinctively herd animals and will respond strongly to your leadership. We’ve put together some tips for you when training your horse…
Confidence is key
Trust is the number one thing when it comes to training. For a horse to learn properly, they need to trust what you are telling them and your movements that you make. You can improve this by spending time with them regularly whether it be through grooming, washing, or taking walks with them to let them know that you’re the leader.
Take your time
One of the best ways to make sure your horse is learning is by being patient and taking your time as this will mean the horse will be trained properly and be of a greater benefit to you in the long run – rather than if you were to rush their training. Typically, when we rush things, mistakes are made. The same can be said for training your horse!
Working on each step in a timely manner and giving your horse time to learn allows for a better understanding of what you want them to do and how they should behave.
Know your end goal
Knowing what you want to get out of training your horse is extremely important. This will give you a target to achieve and will allow the training to become easier and more effective. This goal should be targeted instead of something broad such as ‘having a good riding horse’.
Think about what you will be doing most with your horse and write down the processes that occur during this activity. This will give you a good indication of an end goal and allow you and your horse to work towards something! Remember to be flexible with your goals without giving up on them as some horses may not suit your intended goals.
One of the biggest mistakes owners can make is seeing something in a video and wanting their horse to copy that exact same thing without proper preparation. Before you start, you need to have a well-planned approach to how you’re going to get the desired result. Ask yourself: what do I need for it, what is the right way to teach this, and how can I prepare my horse?
Make it enjoyable
As with most things, the more fun you have, the more you learn and the easier it is to do. Training your horse is no different. If you’re wanting to teach them something specific, there are always a number of ways that you can teach them which involves more interaction and fun for the both of you. Without an enjoyable environment, it makes it difficult for the horse to learn and remember properly.
Listen to your horse
Like all animals, horses will constantly communicate with us even though it may be nonverbally. This subtle communication allows us as owners to know what they want and therefore allows them to get the most out of the training. Watching and listening to your horse will prove to be of great help as it allows you to observe them and know if they feel comfortable, are they too tired, and what characteristics of training are they enjoying the most.
Training is a great way to bond with your horse, so continue to enjoy this experience and always be patient with your horse. It can take a long time for some horses to pick up on things, therefore it is important to reward your horse with every bit of progress no matter how small.
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