You want your horse to listen to you, but so does you listen to him? Here’s how to establish solid two-way communication with your horse so you can build trust. A friendship with your horse, so that you feel safe and enjoy each other’s company.
- Listen to what your horse is telling you with his body language
- Regarding- acting on your horse’s message to let him know “I heard you and I encourage you to tell me more”
- Address his feelings. Does he show joy, happiness and other signs of fun? Offer more of that so he will enjoy his time with you more. If he tells you, “I’m anxious, stressed, or frustrated,” make him feel safe and confident by going back to the point where your horse felt calm and secure.
- The more you listen to him, the more he will tell you. This creates great confidence!
- When trust is established, you can ask him to listen to you. Then he’ll be ready to respond better to anything you ask him because he’s learned that you’ll listen when he’s worried.
Read horse body language
It can be scary to listen to your horse. After all, most of us have learned that we have to be the leader (read: boss!). He ‘must listen to us’! We have not learned to listen to the language of the horse. We’ve learned to ignore most of his worry signals!
Miscommunication causes horses to “bite out of nowhere” because we (unknowingly) ignored all of his previous warnings. What would happen if you learned to listen better?
The biggest fear of most horse owners is:
“What if my horse says ‘NO’?”
Hearing a ‘ No ‘ from your horse is excellent feedback and we can start developing a friendship there. We learn what he likes, likes and… dislikes. When we can help him feel better about the things that scare him, who do you think he will trust? Precisely!
The more he says “no,” the more there is to work on. Every time is a chance for you to let him know, “ I hear you. I listen to you .” The more you do this, the more he will trust you. You tell your horse that you are listening to him with your actions .
The more ‘ No ‘ appeals to you, the better your relationship will become, because the less of its boundaries you (unknowingly) cross.
Signs that your horse is saying “no.”
- He moves away from you or the object (for example, moves his head slightly away from the halter, pulls his leg back when you brush his foot, steps away from the saddle or stepping block)
- He is tense (ears back, higher head position, tail swishing, widened eyes, wrinkles around the lips or nostrils)
- He shows signs of stress or anxiety (flight/freeze/fight)
- Your horse gives calming signals (for example, look away)
- After that, he may show signs of recovering from stress (licking, lowering head, blinking) and you need to figure out what happened that caused stress in the first place).
How do you tell your horse that you are listening?
Sometimes you can tell your horse you are listening by being patient. If he moves his head slightly away from the halter, wait a moment. Give him time.
You may be coming on too strong because you’re in a hurry and stressed out as a result. He picked that up. Giving your horse some time to decide to be halved builds trust and a two-way communication.
Perhaps your movements were too abrupt and he was startled. A little. Even though it can be very subtle from the outside. These little bits of stress can add up if you don’t calm your horse in between. By the time 8 or 9 minor stressors have occurred (he says NO and you ignored it), he may ‘explode suddenly’ and buck or bite ‘out of nowhere’.
If you notice he’s stressed about something, calm him down by using positive reinforcement or counterconditioning to make him feel better. If he associates the halter with aversives, change his association by offering an appetite (something pleasurable).
If he’s afraid of an object, just let him explore it on his own terms (distance, time), this will help him build confidence. Reinforce exploration behavior with a click and treat. The more you do this, the more he learns to trust you. In the future, he will listen to you if you ask him to walk past the scary object because he has learned that you encourage him with time, patience, communication and appetite. All good things!
The more you listen, the more your horse will tell you
The more he tells you, the better your communication will be. This is how you build a friendship: by listening to your horse and making him feel comfortable with you and the things you do together. Make being together a Win-Win.
Je kunt een solide taal ontwikkelen voor alleen jullie tweeën. Je zult ontdekken dat hij je alle antwoorden geeft, zolang je bereid bent te luisteren. En luisteren betekent ook handelen naar de boodschap van je paard en hem laten weten dat je hem hebt gehoord.
Door een solide tweerichtingscommunicatie met je paard te creëren, blijven jij en je paard veilig. Het vergroot het zelfvertrouwen van je paard en verdiept de band tussen jullie twee.
Bonding met een ongenaakbaar paard
Bij het trainen van Rita de Ongenaakbare Muilezel doe ik precies dit. Als ze bang is, luister ik en benader ik haar niet. In plaats daarvan laat ik haar toe en moedig haar aan om mij te benaderen. Ik heb haar ook een hulpmiddel gegeven om tegen mij te communiceren: “Geef me alsjeblieft meer afstand”, omdat ik weet dat ze doodsbang is voor mensen.
Ben jij een meelevende paardeneigenaar die wil een hechte vriendschap met hun paard opbouwen? Wil je je paard beter begrijpen en je paard helpen JOU beter te begrijpen? Krijg toegang tot vele online clickertrainingen en een fantastische, ondersteunende R+ community in onze HippoLogic Clicker Training Academy. Check de link!
Of begin met een gratis beoordeling van clickertraining om te proeven hoe het voelt om met mij samen te werken. Ontdek je sterke punten en zwakke punten in training (als je die hebt), zodat je weet waar je meer op moet focussen om de gewenste resultaten te behalen.
Na je assessment heb je een duidelijk plan en weet je precies wat je volgende stap zal zijn om je droomgedrag met je paard te verwezenlijken.