Whether it's spooking, giraffing or just not being completely "with you", your horse's concentration is needed for training and for safety when out on a hack/trail ride.
Here is a list of spook busting, mind engaging exercises and tips!
Disengaging the hind end isn't just a superb exercise for moving the hips and for suppleness, but it also gives you control when your horse is anxious or spooky. Disengage from one side and then the other, become softer as your horse does so you mimic the energy levels accordingly.
2. Head down
Ask your horse to put their head down, allow them to relax. You can practise this from the ground as well as on board.
3. Short & Sweet
Keep training exercises and lessons short so they don't become boring. Try and change the activities often. Remember, younger horses have a much shorter attention span, so having fun is key!
A horse can never get too much praise! Whether you treat your horse, give them a scratch or just a big "well done", make sure you don't scrimp on the love! The more praise you give, the more positive the experience, the more likely your horse will want to engage with you in future.
5. Be simple
Don't push your horse further than they can go. Be aware that if your horse isn't able to execute an exercise or move, it could be due to balance, strength, pain or simply not understanding. In any case, asking your horse to do more than they are capable of or ready for will not help with your progress, nor will your horse be engaged with the activity.
Got a spooky horse? Is your horse avoiding work?
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