The number one trust builder is to be predictable by being consistent! Be consistent with your energy level, emotions, and how you show up around your horse. Stay consistent with your communication, always sending and receiving messages in the same way — a way that both you and your horse clearly understand.
Redirect Nervous Energy. When your horse spooks at an object, put his feet to work immediately. Trot him in a circle around the object, or if you're not able to circle the object, circle in front of it. You can even trot or lope him back and forth in front of the object, such as a fence line.
What is labelled disrespect usually involves things the horse does that the person does not like: crowding space, ignoring cues, barging over the person, standing too close, biting, kicking, pinning ears, rubbing his head on the person, not standing still, turning hindquarters towards the person, spooking and not ...
According to results of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, horses do seem to read some signals to indicate whether a nearby person is stressed or afraid, at least in certain circumstances.
Letting your horse move in a controlled pattern can help them work off some nervous energy. “Keeping your horse's feet moving by walking circles or figure eights is a great way to keep them focused and calm,” Williams said. If walking isn't an option, then practicing a small movement like lateral flexion can help.
Horses learn by repetition. If you want your horse to be confident in a certain situation, the best thing you can do is to keep putting your horse in similar situations. For example: if your horse lacks confidence on trail rides, keep practicing going on the trails and introduce them to a variety of different paths.
Let the horse release some of its nervous energy by giving it a simple and familiar task. Doing one or two basic training exercises or going for a brisk trot can put your horse's attention elsewhere and lessen their anxiety. “He [the horse] can think of just one thing at a time,” said Zdenek.
Speak in a soft voice to let them know your presence.
As you are walking towards the horse you want to meet, speak to it in a soft voice. You can greet it by saying “hi” and its name. It doesn't matter what you say, as long as you use a soft, gentle voice.
There are infinite reasons why a horse could be nervous in his job. Very often anxiety stems from confusion: The horse doesn't understand where he is, why he's there and what he has to do. Or he may be struggling to comply with a request he finds difficult.
Jumpiness, bolting, and freezing. As prey animals, horses frequently react to stress by trying to get away from the perceived danger. As stress increases, they might at first be jittery or spook at objects or be unwilling to stand still, Merkies said.
Well, according to a recent study, horses do as well — and it's lavender. Researchers from the University of Arizona found significant signs of stress reduction in horses after the horses inhaled the scent of lavender.
The authors claim this is because horses appear to view humans as safe, and they are calmed by our presence, but they don't appear to be affected by the presence of specific people. In other words, they don't seem to care about which one of us is around them.
Horses can read human facial expressions and remember a person's mood, a study has shown. The animals respond more positively to people they have previously seen smiling and are wary of those they recall frowning, scientists found.
In the wild, horses are most scared of natural predators like lions, wolves, and alligators. Domesticated horses can be scared of any sound they haven't heard before, and it could be as innocent as the sounds of plastic bags, barking, or any suspicious noise in the wind.
Groundwork can mean asking the horse to stand still, leading him or doing circling work. Every time you work with your horse, make sure he's following your rules and moving out of your space—constant reminders that you are the leader. Make him feel secure by giving him easy and clear rules to follow.
Horses stomp to indicate irritation. Usually, it's something minor, such as a fly they're trying to dislodge. However, stomping may also indicate your horse is frustrated with something you are doing, and if you don't address it, he may resort to stronger signals.
The most basic equine exercise is to connect with an untethered horse in a paddock. An Equest facilitator explained that the proper way to say hello to a horse is by gently extending your closed hand. The horse returns the greeting by touching your hand with its muzzle. Simple enough.
Having said that, plenty of horses will become resistant when the contact that the rider is offering isn't what they need or are used to. Common problems here include: Holding too tight, which may cause the horse to either hollow and put his head up, or sit behind the vertical and not truly accept the contact.
One feature of many equine transactions is that the seller often conditions the sale of a horse on the buyer's promise to notify the seller when the buyer wishes to sell the horses and give the original seller a chance to repurchase the horse. This is known as the Right of First Refusal (“RFR”).