How do you know you have pushed your horse too far? The gorgeous Phoenix is currently being broken in and when I walk into the paddock he comes galloping up to meet me. His communication is telling me that he is more than happy to come out and spend time with me and work with me. So how can we keep our horses like this and not wait until they are running away from us and communicating that they do not want to be with us? Well there are two major things that you must be on the look out for. 1. Always always take things very slowly and if they have learnt something new for the day then just quit. Don’t keep pushing them until they are mentally and physically exhausted every single ride. Sometimes I am only on for about 10minutes before I stop. If they have done everything I have asked and have learnt something along the way then what more can I ask for? They don’t have to be worked for hours and hours to learn something, they are smart they can learn things really fast. Imagine being at school and the teacher starting teaching and you picked it up and did it great then they walked over and said ok now do something a bit harder, and then continue to repeat that process for 2/3hours. By the end of it you will never want to see that teacher again! That is how your horse feels about the situation. 2. Read your horse well. If they are being super attentive and trying really hard then don’t over do it. Keep them happy and reward them. If they are a bit off with the fairies then you may want to do things just a few extra times (without getting cranky at them for being slightly distracted) just to ensure that they have a good understanding even though their attention may not seem to be entirely with you. If you have a horse that is just not in the mood to work then keep it simple. Don’t ask for something new, don’t try and get them to do hard things when they are not in the right mental state to handle it; you’re only asking for a fight. Just stick with what they already know and get them to be able to do those things and leave on a positive note. They will get so much more out of that session in terms of confidence and trust in you to lead them rather than causing a fight and having them start to resent you as their leader. If you can stay on top of these two things then you should be able to ensure that your young or green horse will stay happy and enjoy their time spent with you.
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