Natural Horsemanship

By Will Clinging - Horses “live what they learn and learn what they live,” said the late Ray Hunt. It means that a horse will accept what he is taught and if it is consistent he will develop life habits. It also means that much of what a horse learns does not come from a trainer but from basic, everyday handling.

By Will Clinging - When we interact with our horses there is a dialog between us. Because horses have a physical language it is sometimes difficult to understand how our horse is communicating with us. When we handle a horse it is important to take their gestures into consideration.

By Will Clinging - It is not uncommon for a trainer to say that the horse is a flight animal. That is a simple enough concept but how do we deal with this instinct? Most horses use flight as their primary defense mechanism.

By Will Clinging - Some time ago I wrote an article about giving your horse a break from training. I talked, if I recall correctly, about too much work over time becoming detrimental to the horse’s progress. Mental and physical breaks are needed to refresh the mind and the body.

By Will Clinging - In order to set realistic goals for yourself and your horse, you should first evaluate where your horse is right now. Once you have a goal, you need a plan to achieve success, because with the right approach success is just a matter of time.

By Will Clinging - When working with a green horse, progress is not always consistent. The horse will plateau as he becomes confident in performing what he has been taught. The amount of progress we expect from the horse, and his physical and mental ability to handle increased expectations for performance, will be major factors in how quickly he improves.

Can't or Won't

By Will Clinging - I just sent home a horse that was full of “I can’t.” She was a very difficult and frustrating horse to work with because her instinctive reactiveness made it very hard for her to be successful. She was a scared horse with a hair trigger and had come to rely solely on her ability to get away.

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