There’s nothing more beautiful than educating a raw horse. Barely something more complex as well.
Whatever your goal is – if it is a simple ride in the countryside or the higher schools – reaching that goal requires careful planning and being able to follow the planned training structure over time.
The start of everything is a good relationship and build up on this a careful handling in it’s very literal meaning.
Seen from the horse’s perspective, there is absolutely NO reason why it should cooperate. When raising it, or re-educating a correction horse, keep that point in mind. It should be your first step towards later goals.
Or, to put it out even more clear: If the horse is not stopping next to you easily and on body signals when you are leading it, do you think it will do that later when you sit on its back? Do you think it will obey trustful to your stopping signal when meeting a tractor on your hike out, if it cannot do that inside the safe riding arena?
Have you ever seen a man hanging behind his dog, not being able to control it while walking through the city? Imagine shortly hanging on a 400 to 700 kg horse or pony. The sight is not getting more beautiful.
There’s no bigger gift to a horse than raising it well
Even if I believe that it is important to have an easy to handle horse – you might consider differently. You might make your “deals” and come along on a day to day basic, and simply rule out or close out everything that brings you into trouble. Maybe you got a “easy” horse that is leading you well and has enough security on it’s own. And maybe that works for someone.
But now consider the following: For whatever reason, you need to change the stable. Foreign surroundings are having the tendency to bring old problems to the surface.
Your horse gets sick, and you need to get it to the next vet hospital. Sadly, this emergency is very difficult to train trailer loading.
Maybe you get sick, or live plays out in a way that you two must split ways. Or you just go on vacation. A well raised horse is easy to handle and will always have a lot of friends. You never need to worry about it.
A problem horse is not born. It is man-made.
Teach your horse good manners. And remember: training works best if you do not need to reach a goal today, if you can just do it for the joy of training and spending time well together. The goal of having a horse with good manners, that is comfortable around humans and that humans are comfortable around with takes a lot of tiny steps.
Teach it to lift up its hooves on a simple signal. Teach it to be touched everywhere (and best to even enjoy it). Teach you horse to come when you whistle – very handy for picking the horse from the pasture, or to even if you fall off. There’s nothing more embarrassing than walking home while your horse has reached the stable hours ago. Teach it start and stop, to feel comfortable in narrow surroundings and to be brushed. Teach it to walk over different surfaces, to not get stressed by shadows on the ground. Teach it to be examined, teach it hoove treatments. It’s not the black smith or vet who should do that job. Teach it to get a blanket, and to stand still when it is dressed and undressed. I even like to teach my horses to stand free when brushing, cleaning hooves and preparing for our training session.
Don’t get me wrong: I am not wanting you to create a willing less machine. I want you to teach your horse trust, easiness and relaxation for allowing it a good life.