Understanding Unwanted Horse Behavior

 Horses don't just "do" that...

What if we recognized and addressed the initial signs of concerned, fearful, or defensive equine behaviors before they erupted into things like:








Fleeing movement

Biting at the Air





and so many other moments that far too many riders respond to with, "Oh, he just does that, he's being a ____."

How many times do you look at the horse and notice the feedback he is giving you? His breathing, eyes, ears, muzzle, nostrils, neck, chest, shoulders, topline, knees, barrel, hocks, the position/balance/direction of his feet, tail, the movement of his rib cage, his focus, and so many other physical posturings reflect what he is mentally and emotionally experiencing.

(Take a moment to practice reading the pictured horse's body language. Notice if you filter your perception with human emotions or "stories". Practice seeing the horse without assigning how his behavior makes you feel.)

If the horse is displaying concern, how often do you take it as a "personal challenge" to survive by attempting to contain his behaviors, or do you see it as an Opportunity to search and experiment in how to offer him support to mentally think through and then physically soften his body BEFORE moving through a potentially concerning scenario?

How often do you interpret the beginning of unwanted behavior and translate that as the horse "asking" for guidance and support, just as he would receive if he was in the herd, or do you judge and criticize him as being disobedient or "disrespectful" towards you?

Do you offer communication in small, specific achievable segments to boost the horse's trust and try, or overwhelm him by hurrying through a concerning moment?

Everything is a teaching moment to the horse, whether or not you intended it to be.

If the human intention is built upon how to help the horse, the energy, clarity of communication and timing of the Conversation with the equine completely changes as does his mental availability, physical reasonableness, and willingness to try.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!