Young horses are renowned for being reactive to the smallest of situations, and yes there is a very good reason that they do this. Young horses are still learning everything. They haven’t learnt how to fully trust their rider yet with different situations, and their natural instincts will automatically kick in and they will go straight in to a defensive mode to protect themselves. Riders that do not have a lot of experience with young horses will often see this as misbehaving or from a negative viewpoint and want to try and force what they want on to the horse. This is something that we have to avoid. So how on earth do we even start to try and train around these situations?? Well firstly you have to discover what exactly your horse is trying to tell you. The photo gives you a few different reasons and there could be a heap of other reasons too, you have to start to pinpoint what is going on with your horse. Once you have figured out what is causing this behaviour and what your horse is trying to tell you then you can start to put together a plan to solve the problem. Due to there being so many different reasons I won’t give any examples but I am more than happy for you to contact me with any direct issues you have that you can’t work out and we can work on things together to help you achieve your desired goals. Now it is really important that in this process that you have the right mentality throughout this process. As I mentioned above if you view the behaviour as something bad and are trying to approach it from a negative view point then you won’t get very far. When something like this pops up I say something along these lines “oh thank you for letting me know this is the next step that you need in your learning path” or “I didn’t realise this was scary to you, let me help you learn that it’s ok” or “that’s something a bit different, what a great learning opportunity this is for you. I’m glad that I can show you how to do something new” If you approach the situation from a positive perspective you will have a much greater chance of getting through the issues as you will be able to think clearly and be able to allow your horse to trust you so that you can lead them through the situation and have a horse that has had a great learning experience from you. In my younger days I so wish this was explained to me as I was always taught to ‘be the boss’ and I thought that every time we had a situation pop up that I had to ‘show them who the boss is’ and ‘get the attitude’ out of them by forcing my way on to them. I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to grow and learn as a horsewoman and be able to share this with everyone. I hope that this can help people approach their horses with a kinder heart in situations where the horse is needing them most.
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