We have all heard about them. Horse Whisperers
They are the people who seem to have that magical connection with horses. They are able to communicate with a horse and establish a relationship of trust and loyalty.
Many people do not realize that they too can become Horse Whisperers. It is actually a very simple concept to understand. Once you learn it and practice it, the results are amazing. Your relationship with your horse will become 100% stronger and more successful.
Here is how I look at it – There are two types of horse trainers. There is that one that I like to call the “Bully”, and there is another type which I call the “Leader”. The Bully does NOT have a healthy relationship with their horse. They use training techniques that are dominating, threatening and harsh. Although the results usually are good in regards to a well trained horse, their horse does not look at them as apart of its herd and is not happy. It looks at you as a bully that is must obey but does not want to.
A true Horse Whisperer establishes him or herself as a leader by being accepted into the herd and showing confidence. When you become a leader, your horse wants to follow you and protect you. The word WANTS is very important. It’s a giving and loving relationship that will provide both horse and rider better results. Take an hour or two and watch how horses interact with each other. Identify which horse is the leader of the herd. There is always a leader because horses like to follow. You will notice the horse that is the leader will sometimes ignore the other horses, sometimes it will take over the bucket of food if someone is eating, they may touch noses to greet, etc.
Below are some useful tactics to try.
1. Greet your horse every time with a soft hand. Gently touch their nose and take it away immediately. Never walk right up to a horse and rub your hands all over their face. This is disrespectful and threatening to them.
2. Horses are very sensitive to their surroundings. Be aware of their space. Practice getting your horse to come to you. If you have to walk across the pasture to get your horse, you have not established yourself as the leader. Your horse should come to you everytime you enter their space.
3. When petting your horse, use the scratching technique. Horses show other horses affection by nibbling at their necks and backs. Don’t pet them, but rather scratch at them.
4. Horse are energy driven animals. They feel your tension, anger, fear and more. When riding or working with them, practice calm breaths and energy. For example, if your horse is scared to go over a puddle. You need to practice patience, calm breathing and always look exactly where you want to go. The horse will go! Don’t every yell and kick a horse to do something it is scared to do. You will establish yourself as a dominant bully, which is not a healthy relationship. That horse will take the first chance it gets to buck you off.
6. Never reward your horse with treats. Only reward with scratches and praise.
7. Always feed your horse on the ground or in a bucket that’s on the ground. Do everything you can to make their surrounds as natural as possible. Part of a healthy digestion is due to the process of bending down and eating small amounts all day long.