Are you teaching the horse anticipation and fear?

Are you teaching the horse anticipation and fear?

Most people never consider how the horse responds to just the sight of tack or notice if there are Quality Conversations while tacking up.

Each aspect of the equine interaction influences the mental reasonableness and physical softness that follows.
While the norm (often out of convenience) is to tie the horse while tacking, the degree of bother or concern a horse may have while doing so, is frequently suppressed.
I suggest practicing tacking the horse without tying him and changing up the location you do so. The goal is not about getting tack on. It is an opportunity for observation and assessment as to what the horse is experiencing during the interaction.
It is an Opportunity to notice how your horse feels about standing while you are moving around him. It will reflect mental avoidance, changes in emotions, and increased physical tension.
If the horse is experiencing these while being tacked up, how might this affect the quality of the ride that follows?
It also allows you to observe things such as:
Does he mentally check out as you go to groom?
Does he pin/lock up his ears, shake his head, swish his tail, increase muzzle lines, have peaks over his eyes, or display any other defensive behavior as you groom or move around him?
Does he step away or backward when you swing the pad or saddle on? (Is it different from one side vs. the other?)
Does he constantly avoid the interaction by diving down for nearby grass or fixating on something?
When you reach for or tighten the cinch or girth does he swing his head at you, try to walk off, back away, grind his teeth, "snake" his head, etc.?
Does he act differently if you tack from one side to another?
If you change the location of where your horse is as you tack up does he suddenly act differently?
None of this is about criticizing or containing unwanted behaviors. Instead, the undesired responses could be indicators of potential pain issues, holes in the equine's education and how he feels about spatial and physical pressure, and reflection of anticipation towards the upcoming ride, etc.
If the ride is prefaced with an experience (in this case tacking up) causing the horse to be in a state of anticipation, defensiveness, avoidance, flee, etc. how might that influence everything asked of him during the ride?
There is never a convenient time to address the horse's concerns, but the longer you avoid helping him, he is being taught he is on his own to "protect" himself from triggering human interaction.
This will cause him to start taking over and dictating how the interaction will occur due to the lack of previous support and constant criticism from the human.
The horse only has so many subtle, reasonable behaviors to display his fear, pain, concern, or anticipation. If you're not addressing it now, then when?

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