Training a horse is not the same as training another animal. New horse owners may underestimate the amount of work it takes, and may resort to tactics that are less-than-desirable. The following tips will help anyone who is unfamiliar with training a horse to understand what goes into this feat.
Respect Your Horse
The most important tip is to develop a mutual respect with your horse. Your horse will respect you if you take proper care of it. Your horse will feel respected when you do not push it too far. Love your horse genuinely and it will work with you, not against you.
Understand Its Personality
Every horse has an individual personality, just as every human does. This means that some horses will be more amenable to training, while others will push back. You’ll also notice that some horses respond to rewards or training methods differently than others. This is perfectly normal, and you would benefit by learning your horse’s preferences so you can tailor training to the methods that work best.
Listen to Cues
Going along with the previous point, it is important to understand when your horse is giving you cues about its feelings. They might tell you that they don’t care about a reward, or they’re tired after a long day of training. If you notice your horse is not feeling their best, you should give them a break, or even stop for the day. Likewise, if your horse is warning you that it is not happy, do not continue with training. Failure to listen to your horse may result in an injury, or at the very least, a poor relationship.
Patience is Key
Ultimately, training your horse is not going to happen overnight. You have to be patient throughout this process, even if your horse is not progressing as fast as you think it should. Training a horse can take months or even years, depending on its personality, how often you train, and whether you and your horse have a good relationship. Keep in mind, too, that training never really stops. Your horse will continue to learn about you over time, just as you learn about it.
If you want a pet that you can train quickly and easily, a horse is not a good option for you. However, if you are willing to respect, love, and be patient with your horse, you will be successful in cultivating a partnership with your horse.