Horse Behaviour & Psychology

By Will Clinging - 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.

By Will Clinging - 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.

By Will Clinging - The speed of horse training differs from horse to horse and from trainer to trainer. As a trainer I am convinced that the slower you train, the faster horses learn. Not only do they learn faster, they learn with confidence.

By Will Clinging - 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.

By Will Clinging - Problem horses are not generally born problem horses; they have been taught to be problem horses! There are certainly a few exceptions but as a rule, they behave they way they do because of the handling they get, or lack of handling as the case may be.

By Will Clinging - 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 “princess complex.”

By Will Clinging - By being aware of our mental outlook, emotional state and physical well being, we can become more aware of our horses. There is a lot more that goes into training a horse than just physical exercises and maneuvers.

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