Understanding and Patience
Understanding and patience are very important to consider when working with horses and ponies. Every time they do something odd take a minute to work out reasons why they might be doing it – pain, fear, excitement, confusion. Once you have a few ideas try to work out which is most likely – if your horse has never seen a tractor with big hay spikes on the front he may be very afraid of it, even if he has seen tractors before and hasn’t been worried. This is the understanding part of this week’s tip. Understanding why your horse is acting as he is helps both of you. You can modulate your behaviour or start to help modulate his behaviour through training (positive reinforcement etc) so that in the future they are less likely to have a problem. This builds up trust between you as you don’t punish him for something he has a genuine reason to be upset about.
Patience is very important with understanding as you need to remain calm and patient to work out what could be causing problems, and then be patient when trying to help your horse overcome his problems. Being patient means no getting angry at your horse – there will be a reason he does something, be it pain, fear, excitement or confusion. Being patient also means that the immediate environment around your horse is positive and will help him to relax. Getting stressed and angry will only make things worse and could lead to long term problems (overcoming a fear reaction by instilling a greater fear of you) if dealt with incorrectly.
Also being patient and understanding with your horse will keep you feeling happy and give you a greater knowledge about your horse. Always think WHY could he be doing this and how can you help him overcome it without over facing him
Feel free to like, share, and comment, so I know what little problems you all have so that I can feature them in a future Tuesday’s Tip!