Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Training Blog | No Comments

Horsemanship: Identifying Who or What is at Fault

Instances in horsemanship when a horse does not comply or follow the rider’s orders, hints or directions correctly are normal and inevitable in a horse rider relationship. It can be brought on by one reason or another. There are just several factors causing it. When a horseman for example rides a horse and asks him to stop but the horse keeps walking, this means that the horse is not complying to the directions and requests of the rider.

We can therefore say that there has been failure of communication and whether who or what is at fault is a question which can be quite tricky to answer unless you are in the scenario and have seen or witness the actual happening. It is safe to say that sometimes in horse training it can be the horse’s fault but most of the time it has something to do with the rider’s lack of ability to give clear directions in a manner that the horse can relate to. There are also other factors such as physical discomfort in the horse, inappropriate timing when the horse is not ready to perform that particular request because he hasn’t been trained for it yet, and too many distractions in the environment among many others.

It is important to observe the horse at the beginning of the day whether he is ready for a rough workout because there are instances when a horse is not in the mood to do anything at all. Maybe he just wants to rest because he has been tired from the training yesterday or maybe he has a physical pain or discomfort that’s making him lazy. You have to remember that the needs of your horse both physical and emotional must be your topmost priority and you should not sacrifice it for the sake of any training goal. When you notice stern disobedience no matter what you do, check the horse for any of these troubles and don’t force him to work or train for the day.

Horsemanship: Identify the Culprit of the ProblemHorsemanship: Identifying Who or What is at Fault

In horse training, you therefore need to identify the culprit of the problem so you will know what to do next. You can do this by asking yourself several questions to help you point out the source of the problem. Some of the questions you should ask yourself when things don’t go the right way are the following;

Is your request familiar to your horse and is he capable of performing it or is it something new which is why he is not responding appropriately?

Is your horse on a good physical condition? Could he be suffering from over fatigue from your last workouts? Could he be suffering from any physical discomfort such as tooth pain, back pain or joint pain?

Is he distracted by any stimulating object or situation within the environment where you are doing workout or training? Is anything else directing his attention away from you? Are you able to keep his attention?

Does he need more warm up? Is he in a mentally good condition at the moment or could he be trying to cope and unwind after a stressful situation or event from the previous days?

Have you mastered that technique you are trying to apply on your horse or are you doing it for the first time? Are you a beginner rider or a skilled one? Were you calm, relaxed and focused while asking the horse to do something or were you full of tension and uncertainty? Were you sure about what you were doing? Did you apply the correct aid and combine it with proper timing and proper application of pressure?

Have you already established a partnership with your horse? Does your horse trust you as his leader?

Horsemanship: Identification of what Causes the Disobedience

The answer to the question of whether who is in culprit will be revealed based on your answers to these questions. So you need to be extremely honest when finding answers to the said questions, especially on the part that talks about your skills in dealing and riding with horses. You have to be honest to know whether you are the one at fault or not.

Furthermore, you don’t stop at the identification of what causes the disobedience from your horse. You have to do something about it. If your lack of skills or your incorrect application of proper timing, pressure and techniques is the culprit, then you have to work on improving your skills. Unless you’ve already mastered what you need to do, you will see more of horse disobedience and situations gone wrong than you would want to. When you’ve mastered the art of communicating to your horse and applying horse riding techniques and strategies to make him follow your directions, then, you can start to look closely into the other factors that could be causing the problem.

When you experience these kinds of situations in Horsemanship where your horse is acting strange and does not follow your orders, you don’t just dismiss or disregard it. You have to stop, pause and observe closely so you will find out what’s causing it and so you can avoid the same situations from happening over and over again.

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