Is your relationship with your horse based on fear or trust?

If you are concerned about this then I would certainly recommend you go and see Monty Roberts and Kelly Marks on their Autumn 2014 Tour – Stablemate to Soulmate.

I attended one of Monty and Kelly’s  demonstrations in 2007 because I was having problems with my very rude and bargy mare which resulted in me having several injuries and a total loss of confidence.

Attending the demonstration changed my perception of horsemanship from it being all about me to it being all about my horse and her understanding of situations.  I then went on to do a horse psychology course with Kelly Marks which gave me a greater understanding of horse behaviour and why they behave in a certain way. I also learnt that confident body language and clear boundary setting was essential if I wanted to make progress. Making things crystal clear, “yes” you can do that or “no” you cannot do that followed up with the correct body language and positive reinforcement meant that there was congruency between the tone of my voice and my body language. This made things much easier for her to understand and our journey of improvement started.

Creating rapport between you and your horse will help in building a bond which then leads to trust. Groundwork exercises are essential in establishing the leadership hierarchy between you and your horse. If you are not getting good behaviour down on the ground then it will not bode well for being in the saddle.

Spending time with your horse and not rushing your results, combined with understanding and variety will enable you to reduce the fear and build a relationship based on trust and mutual understanding.

So build the relationship!