Tips For Learning Natural Horsemanship
Respect and trust towards each other are the two most essential ingredients which are required for the successful working of any relationship. The relationship between a horse and a horseman is no different.
Approaching the horse in the correct manner is absolutely essential for winning its trust. Walking slowly and gently from the horse’s side up to its shoulder and not looking directly towards the horse are few simple things to be practiced while trying to win the horse’s trust.
Approaching head on or directly looking into the eyes of the horse may make the horse interpret that you are a predator and it will get intimidated. Approaching head on will intimidate the horse on account of its blind spot which is located near its nose. This can be accounted to the sideways location of the horse’s eyes.
Horses are naturally fearful of humans because they are traditionally prey animals. Predators either approach them from their rear side or front side as horses are unable to visualize these two areas on account of their sideways location of eyes.
Trainers should always move from the side of the horse instead of going head on like predatory animals, if they don’t want to intimidate their horse.
After approaching the horse’s shoulder, slightly extend your fist and let the horse turn sideways for smelling you instead of you moving your fist towards the horse’s nose.
This provides the horse with enough time and chances for investigating the situation which is an essential requirement for winning its trust. Horses are most comfortable with someone touching them at their shoulder area.
The touch should be made in a massaging and rhythmic motion with the application of a constant pressure instead of patting them like dogs as this is not appreciate by horses. After the horse starts feeling comfortable with us touching them, we can slowly start moving to other body areas.
This will help in laying a foundation for building a relationship of trust.
Touch can also be used to console your horse in cases such as when it is being taken to a veterinary doctor. Soon your horse will start seeking your touch every now and then.
You should always keep a watch on the alarm signals generated by the horse’s body for gauging its anxiousness. Alarm signals include pinning back of ears, rounding and widening of eyes, head facing upwards and moving feet.
Learning and understanding our horse’s body language is the crux of natural horsemanship.