Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 in Training Blog | No Comments

Consistency is the Most Important Routine in Horsemanship

If you want to successfully build partnership and trust between you and your horse, you need to know about the most important routine you should maintain Horsemanship training all throughout your interactions. That routine is for you to be consistent when you are around him. This means that you should be the very same person every time you are with him. You should be consistent in your behavior and in your emotional control. You should not let your mood swings affect your behavior and the way you relate to him. You shouldn’t let outside forces impact your way of communicating with him. There are certainly a lot of outside factors that could affect and change your behavior and the way you relate to your horse, but you should see to it that you maintain consistency all the time. You should be highly predictable to him.

The reason why you need to be the same all the time in horse training is because things in the environment are unpredictable. They change all the time and many of the things in it are outside of your control. Now, when a horse notices a sudden change of situations, he quickly wants to know whether that change will bring him danger or not. What the horse does is to look up to his leader, which is the herd leader or (you) the rider, in order for him to find out about the answer to this question. You don’t necessarily have to speak to him. In horsemanship training,  you communicate to him using your body language, sometimes even without you noticing it.

Consistency is the Most Important Routine in Horsemanship

Horsemanship: Communicate and Exude Confidence

This means that if your body language signals that of a person who is scared, troubled, unsure, uncertain and insecure, your horse can read your message and will take the new change of situation as dangerous. What you therefore need to do horse training is to communicate and exude confidence, calmness and control all the time no matter what the situation is in the environment. Even if these situations actually surprise and scare you for reality, as much as possible you should keep your emotions under control.
When you are able to keep cool in stressful situational changes, your horse will keep his cool as well because he is depending on your view on things whether it is dangerous or not. He completely trust you and know that you are better suited to do it for him so it’s impossible for a horse to feel scared even under stressful changes in the environment when you exude a sense of control, calmness and confidence.

Staying consistent when you are with your horse is extremely important in horsemanship. Your moods, actions, behavior and way of relating towards him should be consistent. You shouldn’t be nice today and be rude the next day. Instead, you need to be consistent. If you want to project a sense of control by being a strict rider and leader to your horse so your horse will be motivated to do better, you need to remain consistent each time. Inconsistency will create confusion and a lack of security from your horse.

It is the very same principle you use when relating to a child. As a child who doesn’t have a lot of knowledge in the world, he looks up to you for many things he isn’t familiar. When an unfamiliar situation presents itself, the child looks up to you on how you handle things and then uses your reactions to gauge whether that situation is pleasant or not. His reactions to these situations will therefore highly depend on how you react to these situations. If there’s a thunder and lightning and your child isn’t so sure how to react to it, he depends on your reactions towards the situation. If you remain calm despite the thunder and lightning; your child will have a sense of confidence that there’s nothing to be scared of on such situations. But, if you show any hint of fear, your child will more likely be doubly scared of the thunder and lightning.

Horsemanship: Consistency Amidst Situational Changes

Another important reason why you need to be consistent even when there are situational changes around you during horsemanship training is because the reactions your horse sees in you will remain with him and he will use it to react to that very same situation in the future. If he is exposed to fire and you display a sense of fear around it, your horse will associate fire with danger and will be scared every time he is exposed to it.

Again, you need to keep your emotions, feelings and attitude in control all the time. You need to make sure you are acting in a way that you want yourself to be perceived by your horse. Of course, you want to be perceived by your horse as confident and in control all the time. Therefore, you should pay close attention to your attitude when you are around him.

In Horsemanship, you need to be able to maintain a sense of relaxation that will make him totally comfortable and at peace when he is with you. This builds his trust and dependency on you as his leader. So for those who are wondering how on earth they could get their horse’s fear in control, the idea is really simple; get your emotions in control first. When you are able to do so, your horse will be able to get his emotions and reactions in control as well.

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