This is one of the most common issues I see with anyone who has horses. Make sure no matter what you ask of the horse you use the same cue for the same desired result. Changing cues or mixing them up to get a response is just creating confusion. Once I explain this it will seem simple but you have to be consistent in order to make a change.
While lunging I see 98% of horse owners clicking and kissing at their horse to get it to move around the pen. These same people also complain that their horses need spurs to move under saddle or the horse won’t pick up the trot or lope without extra coaxing.
These issues can all be avoided and fixed from the ground by simply dedicating one cue to one speed desired. For example I click three times to trot from a walk then kiss to canter or lope. this way the horse understands and there’s no miscommunication. Once the horse knows what to expect in the ground they will be more willing to try harder under saddle.
What you’ve created is a grey area and a lack of clear communication between you and your horse. If you click and kiss all the time together the horse doesn’t know weather you want to trot or canter when asked under saddle.
Another huge miscommunication I see that majority of horse owners do is click when asking to back the horse up either on the ground or under saddle. This click is another grey area. You use it to go forward yet use it when backing up. Change to the word “back” for back up and keep click for forward movement.
Keep your cues clear. If the horse is getting confused it’s most likely because you caused it. Step back and think how you can communicate more clearly and simply to your horse.
Bareback is a great way to improve your seat, your fitness and your balance! It’s great to also be in close contact with your horse.
Without the saddle between you and your horse you can perfect your cues and get the horse listening to your most subtle movements and commands with ease!
Bareback riding is one step closer to riding bridleless! You and your horse are in full contact and communication when bareback.
“But what if I fall off? I have nothing to hold onto!” Is a normal response I get when I mention to ditch the saddle. My reply is simple, if you fall off, you have nothing to get hung up on. We all fall we all get back on and we all learn how to stay on. Yes you’ll be so sore you can hardly move the first week you rode without the saddle but you’ll love it! You’ll love the confidence riding bareback gives you once you are back in the saddle and the strong core you will develop.
“The hardest part of riding is the ground”
Take your riding to the next level and challenge yourself by ditching the saddle!
If you’re not confident neither is your horse. Horses feed off each other’s emotional reactions to situations and environments. If one is unsure the look to find a confident herd mate to help them learn about this new thing in life whatever it may be. Horses are curious but they immediately expect the worse. They basically live on a “guilty until proven innocent” way of life. This keeps their guard up so they can react faster and thus, usually saving their lives in the wild. There’s no second chances in the wild. Only the strong survive.
Some wonder why their horses spook more under saddle v.s when they are on the ground. This is because they feel the riders lack of confidence so they think they’ve got to be on the lookout for danger. If you’re confident your horse will be too!
Horses are honest, caring, compassionate, understanding, strong, loyal and trusting.
In order to see these traits in your horse you must first prove to them you’re worthy of such attributes. If you notice your horse isn’t trusting you must first show the animal you can be trusted. If your horse isn’t understanding you, you need to first understand them.
It’s never the horses fault. They are just showing you the same respect you show them. Start by clearing your mind when working with your horse. your horse gives you that respect so you should do the same. Just you and your horse exist. They aren’t mentally fogged by stresses of life or responsibilities or money. To them it’s just you. In order to receive what you want you must first prove your worthy.
Horses are honest to a fault. If you don’t earn it you don’t receive it. Once you do receive their highest respect, love, trust and caring you’ll think more like a horse and less like a human. Once you experience true honesty from a horse you will have a hard time understanding humans. Horses show me the honesty I wish to find in humans.
If you’re not the type to be fake in order to keep friends nor is the lead mare. She loves her independence and won’t change because someone may not like her for being opinionated. She did not become a leader by giving in. Horses have leaders and followers just like humans. If you’re not strong enough to stand your ground then you will be kicked to the side so the stronger horse can stand in your place.
The herd leader has a hard job. Always watching out for the others. It’s solely responsible for their safety, health and well being. There are fewer leaders than followers by nature. To be a follower is to be liked and to go with the flow. To be happy following the leader. In every herd there’s ONE leader and the rest follow. If the leader is removed the “sheep” or followers scatter due to loss of direction and safety. We as humans do the same. We are not superior we are filled with ego. Drop your ego and open your mind and you’ll see how your world will change. You’ll be blessed with loyal friends, good animals and honest horses.
Be, yourself, who you want to attract . The law of attraction will not ignore you. It’s a beautiful life when you look in the mirror and don’t see yourself but everything around you instead that makes you who you are. Learn to see and the horse will show you how to feel.
City people look to the groundhog yet we in the country turn to our horses.
This time of year, the trees are starting to bud and grow new life. The grass is a bright shade of green and high in sugars as the seed rises to the top of the blade. With this change in environment our horses are rejuvenated after a depressing and wet winter. The sugars in the grass give them heightened energy levels and weight is easier to keep on them if they are on pasture.
“Spring has sprung” is a fitting term with horses. In the spring horses are hyper and like to seemingly defy gravity! While lunging a horse in the spring I say I’m going to go “fly my kite” when referring to working young horses in the spring time. They live to leap, buck and play! It’s nothing malicious it’s just their way to burn off extra energy and sugars.
If the spring horse is worked regularly this time of year you won’t have to deal with the “kite” horse. They need an outlet and muddy pastures inhibit their natural needs to run and play to release the energy as they feel fit.
Think of the spring horse in this way, if you drink an energy drink, you would go crazy if you were stuck on the couch. Same idea applies to the horses this time of year.
Hormones are starting to awaken again as well in our mares come spring. All winter most mares reproductive tract is dormant and we don’t have to deal with their inner “dragon”. Most mares change as they come into heat and most are pretty bratty when they do. Their spring heat is their longest heat or so it seems. An herbal remedy I found that helps mares is comparable to midol for us humans and boy is it helpful! 1/2 cup of Aloe juice (can be purchased at Walmart) a day will help with reproductive pain and level mood swings.
Don’t blame your horse when spring comes and it turns into a hooligan. It’s natural they are just telling you they are ready to get put back to work! So go out, enjoy your horse! Good weather is on its way!