Building Confidence In Your Horse
- May 31, 2020
- Lynn Kohr
Building confidence in our horse is putting security into your program. Horses are all individuals and each have varying tolerance to change. Change for our horses causes them hardship. Change disrupts their daily routines and patterns. A disruption can be as slight as changing pastures, adjusting their bit, or adding a buddy to the trailer. They can be larger changes like changing riders, changing trainers, or moving to a new home. Each of these changes, small to large, affect our horses. How we manage and handle our horse through their changes can build their confidence.
Be present and focus on your horse. Put your energy in noticing behavior fluxations. It is natural to multi task (and multitasking is often necessary to survive), however, it can result in missing the “here and now’ of your horse and affect the presence of you in your program. Listen and be a full participant. Feel the rewards of doing less and hearing and feeling more.
Build Healthy Habits.
Have feeding routines. Have an exercise program. Have a training program. Stay attune to your horse’s physical shape. As your horse feels better physically, he will also be stronger emotionally. As your horse gains emotional stability, he gains tolerance to change. Take time for specific training/exercising routines for your horse’s strengths and weaknesses. Each ride, respect their highs and their lows, always ending each ride with your horse in a confident positive place. A small positive change is more important than a negative slide back, even if it is only slightly positive.
It’s O.K. to say no. Horses thrive on having limits and they gain confidence in knowing what their limits are and having consistency in the fair limits placed on them. With limits set, and discipline in place, most often there
will be no need for any punishment.
Through mindfulness, you stay present and focused, keeping you tuned into any changes your horse exhibits. By creating healthy habits in your riding and training, your horse will feel better physically and mentally. Say no and set limits consistently and fairly. These will all build your horse’s confidence to tolerate changes.
About Lynn Kohr
I am a barrel and pole horse trainer, giving springtime barrel racing and pole bending clinics and workshops, competing in barrel racing and pole bending futurities while marketing our horses for sale. I am a Mom of 3: Sage, Cedar, and Stratton. And wife of...