A well-trained horse could be an easy friend to have all sorts of magical adventures with. Yet, getting your steed to this stage might not be a simple task. When it comes to training, some horses can be very reluctant! At The Insurance Emporium, we understand this frustration but we know it might be possible to reach a solution. That’s why we’ve written this guide to training a reluctant horse.
1. Find out why
Before you construct a whole training routine for your horse, it’s worth looking into why they might not respond to you. Their health is certainly an important thing to consider, so keep an eye out for anything that suggests your friend might not be in tip top shape. If in doubt, get your vet to check them over. Otherwise, if your horse is well, maybe you just need to adjust your current training routine to either challenge them more or ensure they aren’t being pushed too hard.
2. Aid them
The first step towards getting a bit more enthusiasm for exercise from your horse is to get them used to various commands. For example, you may want them to respond to leg aids, where you tap them with your heels. This can be trained in over time, first moving from a halt to a walk before getting them to trot, canter and so on. You may also find other aids useful, such as your voice or other body language.
3. Be assertive
If your horse is not obeying your commands initially, try to persist with them. For example, if they do not respond to a light leg aid after a few seconds, give them a stronger tap of your heels. Similar rules apply when you use the reins to slow them down, with a light tug at first and then a stronger one if they don’t react. Being persistent will encourage your horse to follow your commands. However, don’t go too hard on them and always allow time for them to react.
4. Keep things interesting
Varying your training might help to keep your horse listening out for your commands rather than just falling into a monotonous routine. You could try things like swapping between different speeds, including walk, trot and canter, without establishing a pattern. If you use cavaletti jumps, try setting them up at different distances so that your horse has to think about the next jump. This helps to give your horse some mental stimulation during exercise.
5. Look and listen
While you may have a clear idea of what you want to train your horse to do, it is worth remembering that your four-legged friend is your partner in this. That’s why it could be helpful to be mindful of your horse’s needs and actions. Be careful not to overexert them regularly as this could put them off training. Keep an ear out for your horse’s breathing and watch your horse’s movements to see how they’re doing. Remember, it’ll take time to train your horse up but you both can get there!
Hopefully you and your horse will soon be having many active adventures together soon! Yet, just in case things go wrong along the way, equine insurance could help you both recover more quickly. At The Insurance Emporium our Pick ‘n’ Mix Horse Insurance comes with one Standard Benefit and a choice of Optional Benefits, such as cover up to £3,000* for Saddlery & Tack. New customers could also get up to 30% Discount, including a 20% Introductory Discount^ and 10% Multi-horse Discount. If you think this could help keep your horse cantering, stop by The Insurance Emporium today!
*Up to £3,000 for Saddlery & Tack only available on lunar monthly policies.
^20% Introductory Discount only available for the first year of new policies.
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