Going to a New Environment With Your Horse

bill-jewel-edited

One of the biggest challenges is to travel to a new environment with your young or inexperienced horse and keep them quiet and manageable.  Many horses become nervous and insecure when leaving the comfort of their stable.  It helps to have some kind of relationship with your horse to begin with but not totally necessary.

Your horse will react off of how you are with the horse.  What I mean is, one must move smoothly and quietly especially if your horse is acting up.  I have had great success over my lifetime with this strategy.

For horses that are extremely nervous and hypersensitive, I like to let them move. That is move their feet by walking circles or just leading them around.  I think when a horse can move anytime he wants he feels less threatened.  I will direct their movements but I won’t stop them.  Usually what happens is after a while they feel less threatened and realize they can stay and stand.  This is not the only method that works but in my opinion strategy wise, it causes the horse to think for himself and not put the rider in an adversarial position.

If I have a horse that I know is manageable and I can control him without too much physical interaction, I will choose a spot and will keep him in that spot by working my rope.  The idea is to have the horse’s attention on me and not everything else.

The handler’s awareness of what the horse is thinking is optimum. If you are thinking ahead of your horse, you can stop this behavior.  One must see things coming before they happen and a horse is very good about giving advanced warning.  Usually a simple light flick of the wrist flipping the rope will cause the horse to redirect his attention to me.  One must be very grounded and secure and not let yourself be caught up in the excitement.  Sometimes it’s not that easy.