Essential Skills for Working with Horses

Photo from unsplash.com

Working with a horse covers a wide range of activities and requires certain skills from both the horse and the trainer. Training begins with foal handling and includes all subsequent methods of care that will last its whole life.

I will not bore you with mundane safety instructions, but instead try to tell in a few words about the nature of horses, their behavior, and what can be expected from them – and also, what not to do. The information will show you what skills you need to work with horses successfully. 

Knowing how to take care of a horse

Care is a very important part of working with horses. All equestrians should be familiar with particular tools and equipment (including a curry comb, mane comb, soft bristle brush, and sweat scraper). It is also useful to be able to know how to work with clippers to trim the excess hair, especially if you work at horse shows where careful care is important. 

Of course, caring for a horse takes a lot of time. If you need to juggle both your career in the horse industry and your studies, it can be rather difficult. You can, however, get help with your assignments to spend more time with horses. You can buy an essay, a research paper, or any other type of paper on a writing service, as such sites offer an essay or research paper for sale

Language of the horse

A horse, just like a person, is able to communicate. Watching its behavior, you can easily understand its language. If the horse’s ears are upright and its eyes are attentively looking at a person or other object, then the horse is interested in what is happening, if a bit distracted. When the horse’s ears are tightly pressed to its head, and its eyes angrily squint at you or another horse, its body will be tensed like a string – you should wait for the reaction, as the horse doesn’t like something. The best time is when the horse is not distracted by other objects or animals and is completely ready to respond to any of your actions. This “working” mood for a horse can be identified by freely moving its ears, a calm and even stride, and looking ahead for giving full obedience. 

How to treat a horse

Treat a horse calmly and gently. When approaching a horse or going into a stall, be sure to call it. Do not approach the horse from behind. The safest way is to approach the shoulder of the horse. You can press on the top or the side of the horse with your hand so that it moves as far as you need. 

Working on a horse’s manners

In the world of competent training, there are no shortcuts. Training takes time and constant stable work to ensure the necessary mental and physical development of the horse. The horse should be sociable, polite, and show due respect for people, while at the same time maintaining its character and personality. Otherwise, the simplest tasks will become difficult for it, and when training starts, the foundation of its education will be either very weak or absent altogether. 

At the moment of communication with the horse, it is necessary to introduce the basic rules and boundaries, which should not be achieved by establishing dominance over the horse. We must let the animal figure out which behavioral options are most convenient and permissible for it. The horse should be encouraged to follow the right path, guided in a positive and confident manner. 

By establishing control and teaching a horse how to communicate with a person, we teach the horse to focus on us, to respond to our signals, to show respect and trust, and consider us worthy of following. Further training will be built on this basis. 

In reality, training a horse actually begins from the moment of its birth. However, we constantly encounter horses that lack basic social skills (manners) and do not know how to behave in the stable and out of it. An ill-bred horse is potentially dangerous. It is important for the horse to answer the requests of a person nearby. Obedience and willingness to cooperate are vital in dangerous situations, such as in the event of a fire in the stable. 

Ground work

Working with the horse in order to establish the basics of communication or to strengthen them allows the trainer and the horse to know each other better. As a result, the horse will trust the person more, realizing that they do not pose a threat to it. We do this by teaching horses to respond to the signals of our body language and movements, as well as working with the natural influences and energy contained in our bodies. 

Even the simplest exercises on the ground require a horse, especially a young one, to be very concentrated, so at first it is good to work with short reprises. Young horses also get tired very quickly. During the training, you should constantly reward and reassure the horse regardless of age. Remember that ground work is necessary not only for a young horse – adult horses often need to be reminded of good manners. Having established basic control of the horse and training in manners, you can easily move on to other stages of training. 

Work with a saddle

The bridle should not cause any problems if you do everything patiently and calmly. Of course, the horse needs to be given time so that it can adapt to new, strange sensations. Difficulties with the bridle arise only when there is poor work done with a young horse. 

When a young horse becomes acquainted with a saddle, difficulties may arise as the horse may not like something covering its body. The horse may follow its instinct to get rid of what it sees as a threat to its safety. And this is natural.