Similar to training any animal, horse training can be lots of fun if you make it that way! But there are a number of factors to consider before you dive in. For instance, if you’re a beginner, taking on a young horse is best avoided alone, as you’ll need advanced skills to combat their unpredictable nature. To help, though, here are some fun and easy ways to get started on your horse training journey.
One of the first things to consider when training is the way you will train. There are a number of different methods you can use, and each has its pros and cons. For top-quality horsemanship, one of the best ways to train a horse is using a natural method geared towards a mutual partnership rather than one of the more harsh options out there.
Natural methods promote:
- Respect between you and the horse
- A solid foundation to build from
- An enjoyable working environment
Getting started with training
In order to get off on the best foot, there are a couple of things you should be thinking about in order to create a safe, effective training environment. For instance, you will need to learn very quickly what approaches do and do not work for your horse. You will also need to have a safe, enclosed area such as a paddock to begin training. Other considerations include:
- Begin with the basics
- Start with a younger horse
- Ensure your horse is healthy – check the joints
What to teach your horse?
There are a large number of things that are easy and safe to train your horse; they’re also very beneficial in the long run. As a starting point, training your horse to neck rein is a great option. This is perfect, no matter which riding style you use. Having a horse that’s controllable on both direct and neck rein can make yours and your horse’s lives a lot easier.
Once you’ve mastered some basics, it can be fun to teach your horse some simple tricks too. Often it can be fun to train hugs and kisses. However, it’s important to consider the personality and behavior of your horse when you do this. For instance, excitable horses that have a tendency to nip, might not be the best for training kisses that are near your face!
Watch out for some common behavior problems
Horses can develop a number of behavioral problems, and targeting these is important if you intend to have a healthy relationship with your horse. There are a number of common issues that arise, such as head tossing, aggression towards people, fears, and undesirable behavior in the stall.
Why do these behaviors occur?
A number of problem behaviors, such as fears, arise from the natural ecology of the horse. Horses are prey animals, so their instinct is to run from something novel. Other behaviors such as head tossing indicate another underlying issue, such as overly long teeth, which can cause pain.
Working with an expert
If you’re a beginner, there are a number of things you should really avoid when starting out. For instance, while it may look pretty spectacular, it’s best to avoid training your horse to rear or buck. These behaviors can escalate dangerously if you don’t know what you’re doing.