What I Have Learned About Horses
I have learned many things about horses over the few years I have been learning to ride and train ones to be ridden.
Horses are a herd animal and are very social creatures. They are an animal designed for flight. It is a very unnatural thing for them to be trained
to be ridden and controlled.
These animals are very strong and powerful creatures and they can be broken only if they choose to be. Some are stronger willed then others. We
add pressure to certain points and we reward them by releasing the pressure letting them know they have done the right thing.
First of all we have to establish trust and to let them know we are not a predator. Trust is earned . Fear is forced . We can establish this trust by
making them face their fears and letting them know they are safe and that we in fact are part of the herd. We can make them do things out of fear
of us, which does not always work. Some stronger willed horses will go to fight or flight mode when faced with intimidation.
If a horse is praised for doing the right thing he builds respect and confidence in you. He looks at you as his leader and one who keeps him safe.
If you force a horse by fear and intimidation he will only do things for you out of fear. Fear is not respect. If he is rarely praised and the pressure is
never released for doing the right thing the horse will become ill minded and lash out.
You have to let a horse make mistakes. If you are super critical and make your time with the horse unpleasant the horse will not enjoy being ridden
and will end up quiting trying to please you and start to resent being trained and develop some very bad habits -- rearing , bucking and general ill temper.
I guess what I have really learned is that horses are a lot like people. Trust is earned . Fear is not respect. If you do not praise them for a job well done
and are super critical of their faults they will no longer try to please you. They will eventually lash out against you.
By: John Neagle