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Monday, 17 June 2019

4 Reasons Why Your Horse Doesn't Respect You

I recently got my horse Paddy back from being on loan to some 'friends'.  Apart from all of the health problems he came back with (blatant abuse) he was obviously hardly handled.  This meant he had no respect for humans anymore.  

After the last 4 months he now is very respectful (and we have obviously treated his health problems).  I thought I would share with you why your horse doesn't respect you like Paddy didn't respect me.   

1.  You are Giving In

Horses are herd animals who naturally fight for the highest place in the pecking order.  Now clearly, I'm not telling you to go out and start fighting with your horse BUT you do have to make sure he knows that you will not give in.  When you are training him for respect, you will want to use some form of pressure and release or similar methods.  If your horse doesn't listen to the pressure or reacts badly, do not back off or get scared.  Horse's learn from the release, not the initial pressure.  This means if you release the pressure when the horse does anything other than what your asking, you are showing him how NOT to respect you.  

2.  You aren't Using Exercises

To gain your horse's respect you must use exercises in a calm way.  This shows your horse that you are the leader but mean him no harm and that you are trustworthy.  I have written a whole blog post but there are multiple different training types depending on your style.  Just know that groundwork is everything.  

I like using yielding to help me get respect.  I yield the horse's hind or front end away from me.  I also use backing up to my advantage.  It is important that your horse moves away from your pressure immediately.  

3.  You're Body Isn't Saying What Your Mind Is 

Respect is all about trust and leadership (in a kind way, your horse will LIKE a kind leader to help them when they are scared or unsure).  To become trustworthy and a leader you must have great body language as well as a good mental state (at least around your horse, I know a lot of people like me have anxiety).  

Always have a 'confident' body posture, standing up straight and holding your head high.  Just this alone can help your horse become more confident.  When you want your horse to follow you, you will turn your body away to a more neutral stance and take away eye contact.  This are just some examples of body language to use around your horse but these little things can make a big difference.  

4.  You're Not Practising Enough

Asking and training your horse for respect is meant to be a daily exercise.  While you are leading, grooming, cuddling as well as riding and training.  There is no point in working on respect once a week in the arena if you aren't going to practise it everywhere.  Respect is earned over time, not in a couple of training sessions.  


I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  


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