Are you listening to your horse and what he’s trying to tell you?
Often when we go to work with our horse or visit him at the stables it’s all about what we want to do…, we often have lots on our minds, things that need to be done, and tasks that need to be achieved. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s good to get things done… but are we listening to our horse along the way? Are we watching to see what he is saying, and how he feels about things? Often where people get into trouble is when their horse is trying to tell them something and they are not paying attention… Eventually and understandably our horses get so frustrated with us, that they have no other choice but to speak a little ” louder”!
When we come from an angle where everything we do with the horse is from a cooperative place where we are listening and interested in what our horse has to say, we are unlikely to get any nasty” surprises”. I say “surprises” because there aren’t actually any real surprises…, your horse doesn’t buck, bolt or rear out of the blue. More than likely you’ve missed quite a few signals before you get a buck. I always say to people that by the time your horse has bucked you off, you have missed at least 5 to 10 signals!
“You can choose to listen to them or you can choose to ignore them but once you become aware of these signs from your horse its hard to miss them or unsee them. Once you start tuning in to them and watching what your horse is feeling and telling you at ALL times your horse will respond to you very differently. Your horse will feel heard” ~Tamsin Bunn
Let’s look at 10 of the more subtle signs that are often ignored
When you go to collect your horse he walks away from you When you are leading your horse he is pushing in front of you Your horse is distracted and is paying attention to everything else but you When you tack your horse up he is fidgety and can't stand still When you mount your horse he can't stand still and walks off before your bum has even touched the saddle Your horse is neighing when you take her out Your horse is pawing while saddling her Your horse's nostrils are uneven and wrinkled. Your horse's neck is stiff and raised while riding her At every opportunity your horse gets he tries to walk away from you - his mind is somewhere else and not with you!
You may feel like some of these signs are not a big problem in themselves, but these issues are part of the bigger picture. These small issues tell a bigger story and are completely and directly connected to the bigger issues you have with your horse. Often when you pay attention to the small signs and improve on these – the bigger issues disappear on their own!
Riding your horse is a step by step process, you want to make sure every step is good, and your horse is feeling good about it- from catching her, to grooming, saddling, riding her and basically everything else you do with your horse. We want to ensure our horses to have a good experience when they are with us. ➡ Do horses like to be ridden?
To be able to communicate with your horse well, you need to understand him well and in turn, your horse needs to understand you well! Watch this short video to better understand how horses communicate, what medium they most use to communicate and why ⤵