Clinging, Will Articles

will clinging horse trainer, my horse is anxious, releasing tension horse, riding a spooky horse

One of the biggest sources of tension is anxiety, or more specifically, the horse’s inability to deal with anxiety. Anxiety is a sincere emotion and I know many, many horses that are often overwhelmed by it. Anxiety can stem from a variety of places but where it comes from is less important than helping the horse deal with it.

Controlling your emotions when Horse Training, level-headed horse training, positive reinforcement for horses, Will Clinging

Several years ago, one of my horses-in-training was Jax, a six-year-old Friesian-Hanoverian cross gelding with a few common issues which caused him to become unreliable to ride. As a result, his owner lost her confidence and thus her enjoyment of riding.

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I recently taught a lesson for new clients who described their horse as being “evergreen,” a term that is fitting for many horses that don’t seem to progress. There are obviously many factors to consider when judging a horse’s progress, or lack thereof, including the amount of time spent working the horse, training methods employed, experience and expectations of the rider, confidence of the rider, and too many others to list.

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The challenge for us is to correctly diagnose what is actually going on so we can truly help the horse overcome their seemingly problem expression. I believe that too many horses are unfairly labeled as problems when really they are just misunderstood and mishandled.

Getting back to work after having time off can be difficult. The holiday is never quite long enough, so it’s nice to be able to ease back into the job. The same is true of horses that have had some time off.

load a horse in trailer, horse won't load in trailer, loading horses, will clinging

If you have ever owned a horse that had difficulties loading you know how determined a horse can be to not get in the trailer. It is easy to accuse the horse of being stubborn or obstinate, or we can make excuses for them, especially if they have ever been hurt or scared in a trailer. Unfortunately, sympathy will get you about as far as being frustrated will — basically nowhere.

will clinging on natural horsemanship, how to naturally train horses, horse whisperer generation

The horse world has changed a lot over the last several years. I am not sure that it is for the better. The introduction of “natural horsemanship” has changed the way people interact with their horses. It has changed the philosophical approach of many people to account for seemingly natural horse behaviour. It has encouraged a relationship based on leadership where we are to be the dominant horse. It has changed how we physically correct our horses with methods that are gentler than those of the past. All of these are good things, right, so where is the problem?

spoiled horses, will clinging, nervous horse, scared horse, difficult horse

With today’s horse world being highly recreational, there are many horses that don’t have to earn a living. These recreational horses are often very well cared for and sometimes even coddled. I will not use the term “spoiled” as I think a spoiled horse is one that has become a serious problem for his owner. I will say, though, that some of these pampered horses are well on their way to developing “pampered horse complex.”

 how do i deal with a difficult horse? will clinging advice on training, my horse is spooky, my horse overreacts, how do horses learn?

I work with a large variety of horses and have worked with thousands of horses and riders in the past eight years. This has given me the opportunity to work with some fairly complicated horses. Although more difficult and sometimes seemingly impossible to train, the complicated ones teach us the most and challenge us to work the horse as an individual.

overcoming horse tension, equine stiffness, equine tension, will clinging

Tension in horses can lead to all kinds of problems and hinder their ability to learn. Some horses are so tense and stiff that they are incapable of certain maneuvers. This can lead to frustration and anxiety, which in turn leads to increased tension.

horse riding in extreme cold weather, cold climate horse riding, dangers of horse riding in cold weather, horse footing in cold weather

When I was younger and hardier I was happy enough to ride in all kinds of weather. If truth be told, I have made my living riding and maybe I felt more obligated to ride rather than being happy to ride. Now that I am a bit older I’ve become a fair weather rider - or at least I’m not an extreme weather rider.

help horse work through confusion, understanding confused Horse, horse aggression, giving proper horse cues, jonathan field

Confusion is an emotion that we do not always allow our horses to feel. When you work with your horse, think about the horse as being always right. Most horses want to please us, so when they respond to a cue, they respond the way they think we want them to.

how to break a horse, how to school a horse, will clinging, how to create a bombproof horse

When I started out with horses it was as a working cowboy. The horses I rode all belonged to the ranch I worked for and I thought because I made my living on the back of a horse that I was a good rider. The horses I rode were for the most part considered “broke.”

how to correct a problem horse, allowing the horse to figure it out, will clinging horse training

There is always a reason when things go wrong, and we have to accept at least half of the responsibility. Remember it is we who are asking for certain acceptable behaviour; if we have not defined what is actually acceptable then the horse is right to be wrong.

overcoming horses that pull when tied, how to de-stress your horse when tied, how to relax cross-tied horse, improve horse's coping skills when tied

Having a horse pull back when he is tied is not a fun experience. There is risk to the horse, equipment, and anyone in the vicinity when it happens. Is pulling a behaviour problem or a training problem?

should i rest my horse? Will clining training, how to keep a happy horse, do horses need downtime?

What does your horse do for a living? Does he need a change from your routine to keep him mentally fresh and physically rested, or does he need a challenge mentally and physically to make him safe to be around? In this article I will concentrate on horses that are working regularly and horses that are seldom working. Both of these scenarios can be detrimental to the horse’s mental and physical well-being.

Trigger Points in Horses

When handling any horse with training or behavioural issues, I always watch for trigger points. A trigger point is basically a trigger that can cause the horse to associate a specific stimulus with a fear-based response. For example, a lunge whip flicked at a horse can cause him to remember that he was once scared or hurt by a lunge whip. If he has a flashback memory that takes over, the horse’s behaviour can revert back to previous evasive or reactive ways.

Will Clinging, solving horse behavioural issues, overcoming equine behaviour issues, equine psychology

If I didn’t trust my own judgment about behaviour I would often take a horse down the wrong path. The corrections I make and the responses I encourage are all based on the assumption that I understand the intention behind a horse’s action. If I misinterpret an action, I could easily reprimand a horse for an unintentional action or inadvertently reward a response that was unwanted.

riding green horse, riding inexperienced horse, will clinging

With the green horse there is also a safety factor that is not always present with a schooled horse. If we do too much the potential for the green horse to react violently is very real, yet to continue learning there must be a challenge to improve every day. The amount of improvement will be different each day, but there must be some.

horser discipline tactics, understanding horse behaviour, understanding different horse temperaments, disciplining your horse

I wrote about how many horses are developing different behaviour patterns because of the affection and lack of effective discipline they receive. I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of people I’ve heard from who recognize that their horse fits into this scenario. Recognizing the problem is the first step in resolving it.

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