Being able to move briskly around your horse without provoking a reaction increases safety for him and for you.
February 14, 2010
From “AQHA’s Fundamentals of Horsemanship”
Start by stimulating a waving gesture that finishes with rubbing your horse. Reward his immobility by a moment of rest, and then begin to exaggerate movement around him, and finish each movement by stroking him. Run, jump, skip and stumble – and then caress him. Use all sorts of movements around the horse with rhythm, and he will ultimately understand that none of them represents a threat.
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Run toward the horse, and finish by putting your arm over his withers or back. He will soon get used to your movement and begin to look forward to the movement when you stop and put your arm over him. Jump up and down. If he does not move, reward him with a moment’s rest. This will teach him to stand still and calm and prepare him to be mounted bareback.
When you approach the horse, gradually shorten the lead rope without tightening it. Always be careful to keep the rope short enough to control the horse and not expose yourself to danger.
How Do I Know if I Am Doing It Right?
The horse remains calm as you move actively around him – running, jumping and skipping. You can push his bubble farther and farther, because the horse’s trust in you is growing daily.
- Teach your horse to think before he reacts.
- Do not stop the horse from making the wrong decision; wait until he makes the correct one.
- Do not force him to do things, but encourage him to do them.
- If you prepare the situation, the horse will do the rest.
QuarterFest, April 30-May 2 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, at the Tennessee Miller Coliseum, will offer the opportunity to get in on awesome clinics with world-renowned trainers. Depending on availability, you can purchase clinic admission tickets that will enable you and your horse to participate in the clinics. If the clinics are full or you were just interested in checking out the event, purchase a general admission ticket that will allow you to watch and learn from the clinics and participate in all the other activities at QuarterFest.
Are you craving more excitement with your horse? Get your copy of AQHA's Recreational Riding and learn more ways to enjoy your horse!