Training Your Horse To Think Instead Of Over Reacting
By Hadrien Dykiel
I want to share with you a really effective training exercise you can do with your own horse which will help build confidence in your horse in addition to increasing their trust.This is an exercise that we practiced with Merci, a young horse we are starting under saddle.
Some key points to remember about this desensitizing exercise are:
- Make sure your horse respects your personal space before working on this.
- Gradually push your horse out of their comfort zone, do not scare them too much too fast.
- Reward your horse for thinking by retreating the scary object or stopping the scary action.
- Some signs of a thinking and relaxed horse are: the horse is standing still, lowers their head, breathes out, or rests a leg.
I would love to hear about how this exercise worked or did not work with your horse. Please let me know, especially if you have video or photos!
The training stick I am using in the video is our Lightweight Training Stick which I find easier to manipulate than the slightly heavier regular training sticks.