Horses are being discarded these days in growing numbers. It’s sad. Many novices take on a project they’re ill-equipped to handle. Most are good-hearted and well-intentioned, but lack the ability to understand how their actions are shaping horse behavior.
If you keep doing the same thing and your horse doesn’t get it, is he dumb or are you?
Every horse is different. Understanding his concerns is the first step to resolving issues. Seeking help when you can’t is critical too. Forcing a horse on a trailer only works once. The damage you do to his psyche with such an approach will cost you big time in the future.
There are so many great horses out there with the temperament, attitude and experience ready to make your riding or pet time awesome from the start. That giddy initial response at finding a free horse or rescuing one no one else wants can quickly turn to regret as you start factoring the years, headaches, heartaches and money on that ‘what if’ that doesn’t come around.
Popular horse blogs and successful equine industry businesses are incorporating video into their marketing mix. Early this year I set a goal to learn more on this front and make it a regular component of the Horse Sense and Cents blog.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you a good temperament isn’t a critical quality in selecting a horse. It breeds through. Riding equines with a willing attitude is always a pleasure. New experiences are invigorating instead of riddled with angst. Time around these special creatures is always pure joy.
The herd’s starting to segregate. They were running as a band together until recently. It’s interesting to watch the dynamics. Sometimes you can learn more about a horse by watching how they interact with other equines than you can through direct contact.
He knew exactly what to do to bolster a young horse’s confidence, was artful at patiently desensitizing for career demands and quick to take the lead when a tentative mount needed to be encouraged over or past something scary. He had an incredibly calming effect on any horse not only during training time, but also during vet emergencies.
Yes, horses are naturally flight animals (although our eight-year-old Thoroughbred farmhand Cowboy would beg to differ on this point), but there’s nothing natural about riding and the way horses are introduced to this activity – or treated as seasoned mounts – will affect how they handle each new request.
There’s something about that delightful moment when a horse transforms from a confused, dangerous or resistant combatant into a grateful peer. That awakening when he decides you’re a friend to be trusted, appreciated and part of a team is incredible.