According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, training horses is a challenging task. It requires a lot of patience, dedication, time, and knowledge. Get into it knowing it’s a long road. With that out the way, let’s check out a few tips for horse training.
Tips & Tricks
- Bond with the horse – Your horse needs to trust you to participate in the training willingly. It needs to feel safe and comfortable around you. That’s why you need to befriend your horse by spending a lot of time together. Learn to identify its communication signals. Groom, brush, and feed it regularly and treat the animal well so that it associates positively with you. The final step of the bonding puzzle is to trust your horse. With mutual trust and bond, the training speed can be accelerated drastically.
- Do some groundwork – Horses are herd animals. When your horse bonds with you, you are part of the herd. However, to control it, you need to be the leader of the herd. Without obedience, your horse would misbehave, kick and pull all kinds of shenanigans. That’s why groundwork practices are important in horse training. The goal is to control your horse as well on the ground as you do on the saddle.
Here are some groundwork exercises you can do with your horse:
- Ground typing
- Trotting and cantering
- Standing still
- Walking the lunge line
- Desensitization – The ancestors of horses lived in the wild. One of the instincts the horses got from their ancestors is to flee in dangerous and unknown situations. Horses are easily spooked by the buzzing and loud machinery, fire, electrical devices like compressors and fans, and loud and unknown humans with exaggerated gestures.
You need to keep a close eye and discover what scares your horse. Once you make a list, expose the horse to the source of anxiety from a safe distance several times. Be patient, and gently speak to your horse while bringing it closer to the source of anxiety just a bit every day. This way the horse gets desensitized to the object or sound and realizes it isn’t a threat. The aim is to reign in the reaction of your horse to a source of stress and fear and always keep it under control.
- Saddle training – When you’ve taught your horse essential groundwork exercises and it has overcome its fear, you can move on to saddle training. Start off with blankets or pads to make your horse accustomed to heavy weight on its back and gradually add stirrups, bridle, bits, and reins. Allow your horse to get accustomed to the saddle and add more weight. Only mount the horse when it gets accustomed to that excess weight and the feel of the saddle on its back.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests that you use the above-mentioned tips to train your horse the best you can. Horses are highly intelligent animals and if you treat them right and teach them how to behave and react properly, they would be the most well-behaved and obedient creatures.