So this weeks blog has been inspired from the lovely horse riders at a yard I know, over the last couple of months I have noticed how most of them have set themselves different goals and challenges this year for both themselves and their noble steeds, it is so lovely to see the variety of methods of teaching and ultimately how they are reaching their goals no matter how big or small!
As us horsey folks know ALL horses have such different personalities and not every horse goes by the same ‘rule book’, I can relate to this myself as I have owned some horses who are timid and need extra reassurance to complete the given task asked of them to then having horses at the complete other end of the spectrum that are just pure cheeky, stubbon little ‘toads’ (putting it nicely), my point is that they are all SO individual which mean there teaching is SO individual too – what may work for one horse may not work for another.
The one thing out of all of this is that i have learned no matter what direction or discipline either horse and rider want to go in the future whether it be competitive or just enjoying hacking out, it all comes back down to the basic ground manners, such as:
1- Showing no aggression to you when you enter there stable and field – it doesn’t fill you with enthusiasm when you are being met with an earless horse as they are so pinned back.
2- Be easy to catch – you really don’t want to be running around the field trying to catch him/her before you even start what you had planned, why does this always seems to happen when you have an appointment such as the farrier!
3- Be able to be lead without your personal space being invaded nor being yanked down the track like there life depended on it!
4- Be handled easily and patiently – there is nothing worse when your horse is doing the conga and cant work out whether he/she would like to stand one side or the other whilst trying to just groom!
5- Be able to manoeuvre you horse in all directions with ease- this is really useful when you are trying to load your horse into a horsebox or in any awkward situations, going backwards and sideways is just as important as going forewords.
6- Be Lunged in walk, trot and canter without feeling you flying a kite! – we have all probably experienced this at some point in the spring…
7- Be tacked up without drama and stand quietly when doing so, this also includes asking them to lower there head when putting on the bridle – trying to tack up a giraffe is not easy nor possible.
8- Can stand without taking off when applying fly spray etc and be able to pick up all four hooves nicely without them adding extra weight onto you (your farrier will appreciate this)!
9- Allow you and strangers to touch them all over there bodies (including their undercarriage) this is very important especially when having vet or farrier visits or just doing the basic groom!
10- Be able to bathe your horse and accept the hose pipe isn’t a giant cobra!
11- Be able to rug your horse (if you do rug them of course) and for them to stand quietly and safely whilst doing up the buckles/surcingle’s without them taking off.
Now with this is mind we do need to remember that even us humans have ‘off’ days and so do our horses, however, safety at all times is paramount for you and your follow yardies therefore your horse learning all of these basic skills are actually really important, all of the above are 100% achievable but only when you have gained your horses trust and respect – this works both ways and can only come with TIME and PATIENCE.
Once your horse has mastered these you will have a much more pleasurable experience with your horse and will find that when you go onto other training disciplines learning these skills from the start will pay off tremendously.
I am by no means an ‘expert’ horse trainer and I am myself working through these basics again, I find doing a refresher now and then does give a good grounding for both myself and my horse before we start on our own goals this year!
I wonder what your goals are this year? Comment below, I would LOVE to hear them!
Sending lots of love from me and the U.E Pony x