Horses are often admired for the strength, grace and beauty. They can be trained to give rides, pull carriages or perform in shows. Regardless of the purpose a horse is being trained for, there are some basic rules that apply. The trainer should stay patient and calm, carefully read the horse’s responses and stick to a schedule.
1. Be Patient
Trying to get any animal to understand and perform an action takes time. Like people, horses can become confused or fatigued if presented with too much information at once. Introduce elements such as horse jump designs, saddles or the presence of eager children slowly so that they can adapt properly. End sessions when the horse shows signs of tiring, but before they are overwhelmed or exhausted. If a session is scheduled to begin and the horse seems stiff or unwilling, it may need more rest and care before further training can be done.
2. Get to Know the Horse
Each horse is an individual and has a different level of pain tolerance, stamina or fearfulness. It is important for the trainer to get to know the horse well in order to train it effectively. What works great for one horse may not be effective for another. Time should be taken to understand the limits and abilities of each individual horse in order to create an effective training strategy.
3. Stay Consistent
Training a horse every day on the same task for a week and then not repeating it again for months is not an effective training method. Most horses will do best with a plan that introduces and reinforces elements consistently. Scheduling rest days is important as well, as they give the horse a chance to recover from taxing sessions, which can prevent them from injuring themselves later on.
Training a horse can be an incredibly rewarding activity. It can help the horse understand what behaviors are expected and develop trust in the actions of the trainer.