From  YOUR  HORSE  -  FEB. 2015



DEVELOP  HIS  TRUST


DEVELOPING  THE  TRUST  OF  YOUR  HORSE  CAN  BE  DIFFICULT, BUT  HERE  TO  HELP  YOU  BUILD  A  LASTING  BOND  IS  EQUINE  BEHAVIORIST  GARRY  BOSWORTH


TRUST BETWEEN A HORSE AND RIDER IS ONE OF THE KEY ELEMENTS IN FORMING A SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP. THE FACT THAT HORSES ARE PREY ANIMALS AND HUMANS ARE PREDATORS CAN GO SOME WAY IN HELPING TO EXPLAIN THE MAJORITY OF TRUST ISSUES THAT ARISE….. PUTTING SOME TIME AND EFFORT INTO HIS TRAINING, IT'S POSSIBLE TO GAIN THE TRUST AND RESPECT OF YOUR HORSE. tHIS, IN TURN, ENABLES YOU TO DEVELOP A WORKING PARTNERSHIP THAT BENEFITS BOTH OF YOU……



Show him you're his leader


Practice some simple ground exercises…..there are four exercises within this step that you can work on -- start, stop, back-up, and stand……be sure you break any exercise down into small, easy to achieve goals……


THIS  IS  SO  IMPORTANT  WHEN  WORKING  WITH  A  NEW  HORSE - BREAKING  HIM  IN,  OR  A  HORSE  YOU  HAVE  JUST  ACQUIRED.  YOU  ARE  "HOOKING-UP"  WITH  HIM.  TAKE  TIME  TO  JUST  DO  THESE  SIMPLE   STEPS,  A  PART  OF  SAYING  TO  HIM, "YOUR  WITH  ME  NOW, AND  WE  ARE  FRIENDS."  AFTER  SUCH  HOOKING-UP  EXERCISES,  A   PIECE  OF  CARROT  OR  APPLE  IS  A  NICE  WAY  TO  REWARD  HIM.  NOT  THAT  YOU  SHOULD  GIVE  OUT  APPLES  AND  CARROTS  FOR  EVERYTHING,  JUST  THE  OPPOSITE  IN  FACT,  BUT  AT  THE  BEGINNING  OF  YOU  AND  HIM  AS  PARTNERS,  IT'S  A  NICE  INTRODUCTION.  SPEAKING  OF  APPLES  AND  CARROTS,  IT  AMAZES  ME  THAT  PEOPLE  DO  NOT  GIVE  APPLES  AND  CARROTS  AS  A  PART  OF  THEIR  HORSES  DIET.  SOME  MIGHT  SAY  "TOO  MUCH  SUGAR  IN  THEM"  WELL  NATURAL  SUGAR  MAYBE,  BUT  UNLESS  YOUR  HORSE  HAS  SOME  HUGE  PROBLEM  WITH  NATURAL  SUGAR,  THERE  ARE  FANTASTIC  VITAMINS  AND  MINERALS  IN  CARROTS  AND  APPLES.  IF  YOUR  HORSE  IS  TOO  FAT  MAYBE  YOU  NEED  TO  LOOK  AT  HOW  MUCH  GOOD  HARD  WORKING  EXERCISE  YOUR  GIVING  HIM,  AS  WELL  AS  OTHER  THINGS  OF  COURSE.  SAD  TO  SAY  WHERE  I  BOARD  MY  HORSE,  MANY  ARE  TOO  FAT  BECAUSE  THE  OWNERS  DO  NOT  COME  OUT  AND  WORK  THEM  HARD,  AS  OFTEN  AS  THEY  SHOULD  -  Keith Hunt



Give him time


Quality time with your horse is essential. This can be achieved by simply giving him a good groom or by stroking him all over. For nervous horses it can be beneficial to sit in his stable with a book and just read, as this allows his natural curiosity to take over and for him to come to you in his own time.


Make him feel good


Remember to reward your horse when he's done what's been asked of him. A nice rub between the eyes, stroke on the neck or wither scratch are all signals to your horse that he's done something well. Patting can be a little 'high energy' for many horses, especially those who are young or nervous. By saying well done, your horse is more likely to repeat the exercise that got him that reward, which will strengthen the bond and trust between you.


Help him face his feats


Expose your horse to potentially scary objects at home in a safe environment. This could be things like walking him over tarpaulin, under bunting, having a plastic bag on a stick and rubbing it on his body or walking past flags flapping in the wind. Always remember to break these things down into little steps for your horse so you don't overwhelm him. For example, to get your horse used to bunting, attach the bunting to a couple of bamboo canes about four or five feet long and have two people hold them apart so that the bunting is fairly high. Once your horse gets used to calmly walking under this, lower it down a little, and continue to do this until the bunting is slightly above his ears. This way you're not forcing your horse to do it - at every level you have to listen to what he wants to do; have patience and wait until he walks under the bunting willingly.


Be consistent


Be consistent with your horse when handling him. Inconsistency can lead to a confused horse, which will erode his trust and confidence. An example of this is allowing your horse to rub his head on you when you're at home or on the yard but then tell him off when he does this out at a show or event. It's probably best to not allow him to rub on you at all! 

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