HIDEAWAY TRAINING TIP
THE NATURE OF HORSES
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The nature of the horse has developed by thousands
of years of evolution and is literally in the genes of the animal. Training
horses should start with a fundamental understanding of the nature and
psychology of the horse. This will help you to know why a horse does what
The next thing to know about horses is that they are
social animals that follow a strict hierarchy in the herd. Each animal
knows what rung of the leadership ladder that it is on. One horse will
be at the top and one horse will be at the bottom and the other horses
will be at each rung in the middle. Each horse will follow the rules of
etiquette by respecting all the horses above it in the herd. The horses
at the top, eat first and decide when the herd will move and where it
will go. The lower horses follow.
In training horses, we must be at the top of the herd,
even if the herd is just you and the horse. You must be respected by the
horse as the leader. The horse will then have confidence in you and respect
your leadership. It will be in a frame of mind to pay attention and learn
from you. We can establish this leadership by using the round pen or a
lunge line. (See our other articles) When you are the leader, others (including
horses) look to you for direction. When they feel good about you and have
their needs met, you build their confidence in you and your leadership.
They will come to you whenever you are around and follow your lead. Just
like in a herd, they will seek to please the leader because the misbehaving
will cause them to stress/fear over the possible reaction of the leader
and horses will try hard to avoid this stress/fear.
Horses are amazing animals. When you think about it, everything we do with a horse is totally un-natural. Restraining an animal that survives by flight with a saddle and rider is a totally un-natural thing. Locking a horse in a stall or trailer when it depends on flight to survive is a totally un-natural circumstance. Imagine how cornered the horse must feel the first time that we try to force it into a trailer. Is it any wonder that it doesnt want to go in? If a lion comes by, the horse has nowhere to run.Treat your horses like the wonderful, majestic beings that they are. They give up their very core instincts for your pleasure. Thats a lot dont you think???