NATURAL HORSE - Natural Horsemanship Equipment and Equine Relationship Training
NATURAL HORSE BLOG

STRONGER TOOLS ARE NOT THE ANSWER:

I was approached recently by a woman looking for us to make her a heavy duty dog lead with a heavy duty clip that a dog could not break, to prevent pulling from a dogs she walks. This confirmed what I have been trying to share with horse lovers for years-MORE IS NEVER THE ANSWER! As never is a bigger bit or a stronger lead rope or clip etc....the solution to any behavioural problem in any animal .....but especially with prey animals like horses, such as when a horse pulls back.....

But our human mindset tells us we need tools to "fix " these problems :( and using forceful or invasive equipment can ,and sadly does so often lead to an array of more problems, which we find dealing with rescue horses, is unfortunately how a lot of these horses developed these issues in the first place :(

So lets talk about pulling back just as an example as you would not believe how many pull-back cases we deal with every week-hundreds of them as its one the most prevalent issues we correct with horses. It's a very distressing event to witness when any horse pulls back, and it can be so dangerous too. Yet it happens even with horses who are highly trained to tie and have never previously pulled back. 

Why do they behave like this???

Well it's because at some point the horse has had a fright and found the end of the lead rope has felt firm and fixed with no "give" or "release"....so the horse has felt trapped.....and has panicked....which is totally understandable to him as a prey animal, as he thinks being trapped could lead to him becoming someone else's dinner, which in turn makes him feel vulnerable and claustrophobic.

Therefore trapping him further with a thicker rope, with a stronger snap will not correct the problem, nor will trying to tell him off for this behaviour as its his instincts at play here....AND HE CANT HELP IT, any further than you could help putting your hands out to break a fall.

So how do we correct this? We work with his instincts...

We make him believe he is not trapped, by offering some release...which basically tells him he can flee if he wants to, and this settles his mind making him less likely to feel the need to pull back.

This can be achieved in a lot of different ways but my favourite is the Tie Blocker as shown on this video...these are a great device and work very well to teach the horse on not to pull back....they are available to buy here in NZ from our shop page....