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People purchase horses and in the beginning the horse is consider a sweet, loving animal but has some unwanted behaviors which are overlooked. Examples of these undesirable behaviors are invading your space, evasion, etc.. After the excitement of ownership wears off, these behaviors can become frustrating and time consuming. This frustration can lead to desperation on the owners behalf, inviting them to seek advise from any and everyone. Unfortunately, they will accept advise, good or bad, from many unknowledgeable individuals. Just because people have been around horses many years, doesn’t make them a “horseman or horsewoman.” Many horse owners are misleading and believe they know how to handle or train horses. Before you accept advise from others, look at their horse and ask yourself “can they help me or are their horses just as bad as my horse“.

I have heard on multiple occasions people telling individuals to get “rough and tough with the horse and show him who’s boss.” Human aggressive behavior is counter productive, is not effective, and it can cause the horse to react in a self protective, aggressive manner, and can escalate to a dangerous situation. The horse will usually give warning signs not to approach, such as pinned ears, switching or pinned tail and bared teeth. If you don’t read these signs correctly and continue your approach into the stall, you could be greeted with the horse’s striking feet or body, trying to convince you to surrender, submit and leave without achieving anything.

Hopefully you didn’t accept bad advise from someone whose horse was no better than yours.

They are not able to help you because they lack the knowledge themselves. Your search should continue until you find someone who is competent and knowledgeable about horse behavior and correction. This person will have a horse who displays the type of manners and training you seek. This is the person you want to learn from, attain knowledge and the know how.

How will you recognize someone who is a competent trainer? This person will be able to quickly identify unacceptable horse behavior, the possible causes of these behaviors, and be able to tell you which counter measures he needs to take in order to correct it. These counter measures should be dealing with the horse’s mind, rather than his body. Someone who suggests to you behavior can be corrected with lounging or exercising the horse to an exhausted state, should send up red flags to you. Bad behavior stems from the mind, and it has to be addressed through the mind, not a tired physical body. A competent trainer will be able to know their instinct, gestures, movements and also be able to identify their unique personalities and how to convince the horse to become involved as a willing participant in the training program. He will be able to establish the pecking order, the trainers role and his leadership by communicating in a language the horse finds easy to understand. His knowledge of how horses communicate, learn and use their bodies, are good clues that this trainer can access the horse’s mind. A person that reaches the horse’s mind will create a horse who will submit, accept his training techniques and ultimately gain the horse’s respect.

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