Horse Behaviour & Psychology

hard-mouth horses, equine hard mouth problems, sore equine mouth, equine hard mind, overcoming equine hard mouth, overcoming equine hard mouth, teaching the headstrong horse

Most people who are involved with horses have at some point ridden a horse with a “hard mouth.” There is a lot of advice and equipment designed to deal with this problem but understanding how the mouth became hard would be more help than a stronger bit. I believe that there is no such thing as a hard mouthed horse; they are “hard minded” horses.

Lindsay Grice, how horses learn, horse's brain, horses social animals, horses safe herd, horse survival, equine neocortex, understanding horses, how horses perceive world, fright-flight response, horse brain

Without a doubt, an awareness of the way horses learn has helped me to train more efficiently, effectively, and safely. Like a detective, I approach issues by asking the question, “Why might this be happening?” I look for clues and go through my mental Rolodex of equine behaviour facts to solve the puzzle.

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.

Treats in Horse Training

By Lindsay Grice - Although food rewards can definitely reinforce a lesson, in my experience the drawbacks of using food rewards far exceed the benefits. While it is important to reward horses to affirm every correct response, I feel there are other more valuable ways of doing so.

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.

By Lindsay Grice - If you allow your horse to rub or nibble on you, you become his equal rather than the herd leader. In the horse’s hierarchy system the leader doesn’t allow subordinates to play with her or invade her personal space. Recognize the warning signs in your horse before a bite ever happens.

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.

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