One of the most common reasons that a horse gets into trouble is the lack of basic skills from the handler.
The absence of handling skills can make a horse seem difficult, or “dangerous”.
But most likely the horse is just misunderstood.
In my opinion, the most important thing a person needs to know is, how to be honest with themselves and through that with their horse.
It’s often very difficult to be genuinely fair at challenging situations. .
When handling a horse, it is very important to understand how the horse thinks and feels at that very moment: both physically as well as mentally. This is true for each individual horse.
If you are able to understand the horse in your hands, you’ll find his reactions are most likely explainable.
If the horse does something you were not expecting, you can also understand why this is happening. (you can also explain reactions that you weren’t expecting).
It is an invaluable tool for a horseman to know what to look for in his horse. And it will prove also a blessing for that equine.
Knowing how to respond to a horse in trouble, enables you to defuse a potential dangerous situations.
The exercises my students are given, help to give the correct response naturally and automatically, and with that, they find themselves in sync with the horse they are working with.
The things I try to teach are not a set of tricks, but rather an overall understanding and communication of and between the horse and the handler.
Quality Horsemanship is a way of interacting / communicating with the horse so that it becomes possible to create a win-win situation for both the man and the horse. Fact is, that we humans force the horse into our world and with that in an environment that is not natural for a horse. So we are responsible for the health, security and mental balance of that horse.
This responsibility means, of course, one has to be able to safely lead the horse, to handle, and drive without any risk to humans or the horse. However, this is only possible if the horse accepts humans as a capable and trustworthy leader.
This leadership, however, is only possible if the horse trusts his human. In which we return to the responsibility of the good Horseman. Here we come to the point to which I think, many problems show up. Leadership is often misinterpreted by man. With us humans, leadership is often based on authority. Horse’s way of leadership is based on the trust abilities of the leader. If this trust is not met or even broken, the leadership will be lost.
To correctly and fairly handle a horse, it is necessary to understand the language of the horse.
Because the horse rarely communicates vocally and mostly using body language, it is important to know how this language looks like. So it is essential to be able to see the horse’s language and to be able to correctly interpret it.
Educating/training using quality Horsemanship, comes down to that the horse learns to perform the desired actions without the need to create a “life-threatening” situation for the horse.
A horse, just like humans, cannot learn in panic, anxiety or in pain…
Groundwork is often perceived as a series of exercises (lunging, liberty work etc) performed with the rider on the ground. I believe it is much more important than this. The horseman firstly has to have the basic skills in reading the equine language. They have to have an understanding of the psychological and physical signs coming from the horse. Then the groundwork begins.
Preparing the horse for Riding
Good groundwork prepares the horse to achieve the next level:
getting used to be ridden.
All the maneuvers a horse understands while the person is on the ground can be applied when the rider is in the saddle. If the quality of the horseman’s groundwork is not good, the horse will likely be in trouble when he is ridden.
When achieving basic skills, the rider also learns how and when to ask the horse to execute the desired maneuver.
The rider also learns to read and interpret the horse’s answer to the human requests.
The order of learning and training with a horse is of imminent importance.
When the rider has basic skills, he/she can continue to groundwork with the understanding of the horse.
If the groundwork works well for both rider and horse, one can continue to start the education of the horse and improving riding skills.
When basic skills and groundwork are understood, the riding will be much easier for the rider as well for the horse, especially when the rider is keen on understanding what the horse is communicating right at the very moment in a given situation. The feeling for the horse will automatically occur when the rider is on horseback.
If the rider is comfortable with his basic skills, groundwork and their application in riding, the next level would be doing less to gain more.
The challenge within good horsemanship is the never-ending passion. It makes the rider and the horse continuously look for learning and search for that special feeling of unity and perfection…
Trailer or Float loading appears very often to be a big problem for many horse owners.
It might not be obvious, but one of the necessities a horse should learn from very early on is trailer loading without problems, force or stress.
Once your horse is an easy loader, it will open up a whole new world for you as a rider. Go down to the beach for the day, go riding and explore new areas, meet up with your friends.
Or, you might not plan to go on competitions or even move your horse on a trailer/float for any reason.
But consider the possibility that it might be necessary some day, to get your horse quickly to a Veterinarian or a Horse-clinic (Hospital). The health of your horse might be at risk if your horse doesn’t load at the moment his life may depend on it.
If you want a horse to be started, you should give it a deep thought about how you want your horse to respond.
What do you want the horse to be able to do.
Basically think of a blueprint of how you would like your Horse to develop.
Starting a horse is no different than raising a kid. Showing and presenting the Horse what you’d like him to do and help him figure out how.
That should be done in a way that makes the horse self-confident about himself and his actions.
Sometimes a horse was not in the lucky situation to have been started in a friendly Horse appropriate way. That Horse develops a lot of problems for himself as well as for the Human. The human tends to search for the fault in the Horse.
The fact is, that it is mostly always the fault of a human somewhere in the horse’s life…
I believe that almost all those problems can be avoided by teaching the Horse the way it can understand without pain or immense stress.
If you like me to help you start your Horse(s), feel free to contact me for details.
To get in contact, find the “Contact” button in the top menu.
Very often a horse is considered a problem horse if the human doesn’t understand its behavior or it doesn’t react the way the owner wishes or expects. Some of the horse reactions can indeed be very dangerous to horses, humans and other creatures.
If the most commonly known solutions don’t fix the problem, the horse is considered unwilling or even dangerous. It gets the label “Problem Horse”
When I work with a “problem horse”, first I like to find out about what the real problem is and why. Very often the problem you see is not the actual problem.
If one knows about the real problem and where it may have come from, one can work on that issue and in the end, understood, helped, and maybe fixed.
A horse never does anything without a reason…