Getting a new horse is the start of an exciting new relationship. As much as you love your new horse, it doesn’t feel the same way about you – that will take time. It’s going to take time to develop an inseparable bond, so here’s how you can do proper training with a new horse.
Be Firm but Fair
Horses respond well when you make your expectations clear to them. It’s important to be fair to your horse and only ask it to perform within its capabilities. When you ask your horse to do something, do it the same way every time. Keep a routine by feeding your horse at the same time every day. Any cues you use should also be consistent and predictable.
Don’t Be All Work and No Play
Don’t just show up for work. Just like you do in in life with your friends, spare some time to be social with your horse. Take them out for a bit of grazing, brushing, or spoil them with a bit of belly scratching. Relaxing with your horse can help a great deal with the bonding process.
Treat Your Horse
We’re not advocating spoiling your horse with treats every day. Some people don’t recommend feeding a horse treats at all, but we think every so often is great for the friendship, as long as you are consistent.
Learn Your Horse’s Body Language
Getting to know your horse’s body language and knowing how to respond in kind with your own will help with communicating your desires. As with anything, consistency is the key for your horse to know what you expect from it.
Keep in mind that it can take weeks or months before a horse will be ready for saddle training, and they are all different. Make sure your horse has developed good ground manners, behaves well around people, and is comfortable being touched before progressing to the next stage.