Every time you are with your horse you are teaching her something SO…’what are you teaching your horse today?’
You might be teaching her to stand patiently to be fed or saddled. You may be teaching her that it’s peaceful and calm to be around you. You may be teaching her to walk with you step for step. Praise a lot for the good things. Stroking, saying good girl, standing still together and smiling a lot can all be rewards for your horse.
BUT you might also be teaching her to be impatient or excitable, to walk off when trying to mount or to be saddled. You may inadvertently be teaching her to be pushy or to bite but by giving a treat or her dinner when she is being like that. You must try to ignore the things you don’t want or have caused your horse to do by rewarding at the wrong time. Learning can often be the smallest bit of bad timing such as you stopping what you’re doing when your horse is doing something you don’t want. Unfortunately stopping at the wrong time causes the horse to think they’ve done the right thing. Better to stop on a good note after a short session than a bad note having taught the wrong thing.
You are also teaching your horse what your own energy, body language and verbal language means. Try to be mindful of your own way of being so as not to teach your horse that your high negative energy means her energy to be up too. If you are fearful or worried do not take that to your horse and expect them to be calm and quiet, you must find a way of lowering your inner energy to have a calm thinking horse. Also do not go around saying negative things to your horse or calling her names, they do not understand the words but they certainly understand the energy behind them, the tone and the inflection. Ignore the things you don’t want and praise what you do like, in yourself too.
SO…be aware of everything you do and what response or reaction you get from your horse. Be aware of all that your horse does and mostly try to get the little things between you done well so that bad habits don’t become big problems,.
- Shelley – HorseSavvy