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

OPEN THE HORSES WORLD

I meet lots of fabulous people in my job of helping to rehab horses with behavioral issues, but I see a lot of them trying to keep their horses calm, and they tip toe around the horse..... which unfortunately creates a pattern of having a very narrow criteria on how, who and where they are able to ride due to this. So they don't go out in the wind, or only ride with that one horse friend, on a sunny calm day, or won't go here or there......and we start to wonder on who is training who when this happens as they have become a avoidaholic to suit their horses fragile emotional state. 

Even with the best intentions, trying to protect these horses from any upset, we significantly narrow their world and this type of approach does more harm than good as these horses often grow to become over sensitive to all outside stimulus.

Now I'm not saying go take your spooky horse out to say a rodeo here folks on the first day of any stimulus training-lol.....as that would be dangerous and not advised......but I would advise that you try to gradually build up to expose your horse to lots of different stimulus as to get them used to various aspects of our human world, so as to grow your horse into a happy, brave and emotionally more collected & calmer horse.
Plus you will be pleasantly surprised on how fast horses accept even the most exciting and scary outside stimulus if its presented in the right way.....but definitely no bullying to the horse for this please-as this is about confidence building with your equine friend, rather than forcing the horse.

So here's a great way to begin -start off with a carrot stick...at home in your horses paddock, where he feels safest, and get him used to that...being able to massage him all over his body with the stick without him being worried, then being able to waft the string all over him too.....then up the stakes once he can tolerate that to swinging the string around his head, then onto smacking the floor when walking around him with the stick and string...and more.....

Then try asking him to walk on to a tarp, or a float, or a pedestal, or squeeze between a narrow space, or open an umbrella near him or crouch to go under a low tree, and so on it goes until not much bothers him....This is how we get brave and happier horses.

For more tips on how to introduce tools to your horse see this link....and feel free to share :)

The photos show some of our horses getting used to various exterior stimulus......

Stimulus training-getting Tig used to the stick and string helps him not to worry about outside stimulus
Stimulus training-getting Tig used to the stick and string helps him not to worry about outside stimulus
Float training on a day where we don't need to go anywhere....so no pressure...this helps to set your horse up for success when you do go out
Float training on a day where we don't need to go anywhere....so no pressure...this helps to set your horse up for success when you do go out
Laddy showing how brave he is around the hoof ball-he used to be scared of this...but we built him upto it gradually and now he doesn't worry about it
Laddy showing how brave he is around the hoof ball-he used to be scared of this...but we built him upto it gradually and now he doesn't worry about it
Alana playing touch-it with the barrels-this improved confidence
Alana playing touch-it with the barrels-this improved confidence
Gandalf getting used to the pedestal-this is a great way to help your horse cope with the ramp on the float
Gandalf getting used to the pedestal-this is a great way to help your horse cope with the ramp on the float
Max shown getting used to being in a confined area between 2 tyres
Max shown getting used to being in a confined area between 2 tyres
Otto getting scratches from Alana in the tree...this is a great way to get your horse used to trees and branches
Otto getting scratches from Alana in the tree...this is a great way to get your horse used to trees and branches
Magic playing in the noodles-this is a cheap and easy paddock toy to make..works to get him used to being squeezed between narrow spaces
Magic playing in the noodles-this is a cheap and easy paddock toy to make..works to get him used to being squeezed between narrow spaces
Gandalf having a foot soak in the hoof bath-this is great for the hooves and promotes bravery around water
Gandalf having a foot soak in the hoof bath-this is great for the hooves and promotes bravery around water
Little Prince and Alana, getting used to having a little ride around the paddocks with the other horses still around
Little Prince and Alana, getting used to having a little ride around the paddocks with the other horses still around
Missy has done a lot of stimulus training and isn't frightened by much now because of that
Missy has done a lot of stimulus training and isn't frightened by much now because of that
Getting used to the tarp -little and large
Getting used to the tarp -little and large