Natural Horsemanship Equipment and Equine Relationship Training - Company Message

Not a lot of people know, understand or realize that horses who create people and other horses to move their feet are the boss-full stop! As that is how horses think because of how they behave with each other. 

Also being such a huge animal and so strong in comparison to us, it's important we can move our horses around and in a light and soft way....with the bonus that if your horse is trained to move away from pressure you will have one heck of a great riding riding horse it's a win for everyone to teach them this.

This means that in order for us to be seen as the firm but friendly leaders that our horses need us to be, we need to stop our horses moving  OUR  feet no matter how nice they are about doing that (including what you may think is an affectionate rub with his head and a cuddle) and start to moveTHEIR FEET!

The picture shows this happening en mass by the experts themselves-wild horses. Just look at how they are all trying to move each other. The cream mare driving the bay in the centre-the ears back saying move out of my's how their social language works.
Now obviously we cannot hope to move a horse with a physical fight as we lose every-time, though sadly I still see a lot of pushing and shoving by people with horses, so this needs to be done in other more effective ways with our tools and energy because we are going to WORK SMARTER and NOT HARDER  as to out-maneuver  your horse with psychology is always more fun and keeps the relationship in tact as you will see......

So I have listed here many fun and interesting ways to move your horses feet by carrying out various exercises and techniques, which are also about bonding with your horse too as they include confidence boosting exercises that he or she will enjoy getting right and receiving rewards for. Other clinicians call their versions of this the 7 GAMES or FUNDAMENTALS, or GROUNDWORK, but really the name is of no's the actions that all these techniques will give you the skills and knowledge on how to move your horses feet which will make you a better horse person......and the alpha in your horses eyes.

So lets get started......

I'd like you to get a hoola hoop if possible or make a circle in the dirt, draw a chalk line etc... around your feet and vow to stay within that area while you spend 10 minutes with your horse with him in his rope halter and 12 or 14ft line unless you need to move for your own safety which should over-ride everything else!

You will be thinking about your horse moving your feet now and will probably start to see that your horse has been using his very own secret dominance games on you by making you move your feet for  a very long time without you even being aware of it. And that should all stop here right now.

You will never be his leader or have his respect if he can make you move your feet, as this is how horses sort out the pecking order of the herd. So once your horse has accepted the Horsemanship Stick and Lead Rope ( SEE PREVIOUS LESSONS) we can use these tools to ask and allow s/he to move their feet out of our space as to gain our leadership without the use of force or violence. The partnership should be 51% human and 49% horse so we don't ever want to be a bully with our horses but we are not going to let him dominate us either. 

Showing the polite way to back up your horse with pressure and release

SAFETY WARNING - If you have a very dominant, aggressive or dangerous horse, please use your carrot stick to do the following exercises first and only use your hands later on once your horse's behaviour improves.

PURPOSE OF THE EXERCISE-It teaches your horse to move away from pressure, as to be light and responsive to your aids when under saddle as well as promotes good ground manners plus it makes you the leader as if you can dominate his space you're the alpha-this is a great exercise for training to go bitless too as all bitless bridles work off these principles. 

HOW TO DO IT-gentle rub your horse in the spot your are going to move him with-this will give him the opportunity to ready himself for the exercise too as well as it's good manners for the human and polite to the horse....

After rubbing- press the the following areas starting at a light phase 1 and increasing in gentle increments to phase so....

PHASE 1-Press very lightly onto your horses hair and hold that fixed pressure for 5 seconds..........

PHASE -2-If your horse does not attempt to move increase pressure to phase 2 by pressing slightly harder onto his skin now and hold for a further 5 seconds......

PHASE-3-Again if your horse does not move away from this pressure increase to a firm phase 3 by pressing slightly harder again now onto the horses muscle and hold for a further 5 seconds......

PHASE-4-And finally if your horse does not move from this press as hard as you can onto his bone until he attempts to move away from this uncomfortable pressure.......

Why isn't there a phase 5, 6 or even 7 you may ask-well if you can't move your horse getting with a phase 4, you are simply not doing it right or are giving up too easy which some horses will rely on, hold fast and don't stop the pressure until he matter how long it phase 5 would be hurting your horse and we could never condone this......hope that makes sense :)

THE RELEASE- so the milli-second your horse even leans away from this pressure or moves his feet a single step- RELEASE! and rub the area for a second, as rubbing to a stop is also an excellent way to teach your horse to be at ease and show him he has done the right thing.

In order to be effective you must RELEASE ALL PRESSURE AS FAST AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE ............and then turn away from your horse to give him the reward .........without looking at him, talking to him or telling him he's a good boy this is still projecting energy to him, which is still pressure for horses.....and this will cause the exercise to fail.......

Simply leave him alone to give RELEASE.. ...and stand with your stomach turned away from him being very calm, quiet and ignore him and wait......for 30 seconds......

Within this time you might hear him licking and chewing, or sigh or lower his head and breathe heavy ......which are all good signs he is digesting this new information.

Now after this soak time of 30 seconds you can pet him and tell him how good he his.......and then try again asking for slightly more from him next repeating the exercise....

These are the key areas to practice with...........remember-rub, press, rub-release!

NOSE - to go backwards-place your thumb on one side of your horses nose, around where the noseband of a halter would sit, and the first finger of the same hand on the other side of the nose.

CHEST - to go backwards-place the finger tips into the groove in his chest to send him backwards 

HIP - to send his back end away from you-press your thumb into his hop bone to ask him to do a circle away from you with his back end 

SHOULDER - and side of the face to send his front end away from you-put one hand on his face and the other on his shoulder and ask him to move away from you 

RIBCAGE -  to move sideways away from you-press your hand onto where you would use your foot if riding and he should move sideways away from this.

POLL AREA -press your thumb and first finger onto his poll area on top of his head and he should drop his head.

HEAD UP- Place your thumb under his jaw to move his head back up-

See our other pages for more and thanks for looking

Natural Horse will not be liable for any injuries sustained by the incorrect use of these techniques as you are responsible for you and your equines safety.