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[RC] [Guest] teaching horse to be braver - Ridecamp Guest

Jean Wonser jean767@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Horses should never be punished for spooking
and most teachers I have read (Lyons, Parelli) state
the same philosophy.  The reason is you just gave
reinforcement to the idea of fear in the first
place.

Secondly never dwell on a spooky area, as if
you are pointing it out--

What you should be doing is ignore the spook, ride
it through and ask for something tougher, like speed up;
If the spook involved bucking I would slap the horse somehow
once, but only for bucking.

Most of the horses I have trained work better at a canter in a spooky
situation because they know they are excaping the horror.

The best way to teach a horse bravery is start asking for
something more difficult the instant they show any fear at all;
For example, ask the horse to zig, zag on the bit;  If you are
in company ask to leap-frog;  You could also ask the other horse
to go first, or closer;  Only move as close as you can
and still get positive response;  Do not ever point out the
object but ignore it and focus somewhere else, anywhere else;

For example, my young horses start their woods canters with hills and deeper
sand--gives them work to occupy the mind
and muscle;  I start their workout on a hill with a gait to
give them work to accomplish, or do obstacles or anything more than a simple
walk to warm up;

Another method is take along another on the pony line, assuming
you are riding in area where an excaped horse will be safe for
that brief moment of freedom if they get away from you;  (use a l2 foot lead
line)  Two horses are always braver;

Mostly it takes wet saddle blankets about five days a week and maybe 500
miles of 50's.

Sincerely,
Jean Wonser
FL /  AERC 5352



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