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Alpha Natural Horsemanship

‘Ask with lightness, encourage without forcing, correct with softness’

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Buying a Horse Part 1
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Buying a Horse Mismatched
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Winter Training Workouts

SOLVING HORSE ORIENTED PROBLEMS


Horse owners are much like people of any other stripe or occupation: they often seek the magic bullet that will solve all their horse-oriented problems or questions in one fell swoop.


Lead by Example


There's an old management adage that states to successfully lead one must lead by example. Truer words were never spoken, and this old truth holds true for horse owners and trainers also. Like many adages, most of us would whole-heartedly agree with the general concept if asked, but when push comes to shove some of us forget about it during the all-important critical moments of training or hardship.  When we work with our horses we expect them to behave in a cool, calm and logical manner at all times, yet all too often we have difficulties keeping our emotions under control.  There's an old management adage that states to successfully lead one must lead by example. Truer words were never spoken, and this old truth holds true for horse owners and trainers also.


Relaxation Is the Key


Relaxation; it's just one simple word, yet it holds the very secret to success for not only horse-handler relationships, but also life in general. Most people would agree with this sentiment on its surface, but fail to truly understand its importance when faced with hectic schedules or life's annoyances. Let's look at why it's essential for both horses and handlers to be relaxed before undergoing training or a trail ride.


Communication - The Big Secret


The problem is, when faced with a scenario such as; "My horse, who I've owned one week, fights the bit when I attempt to ride him. Can you help me?"  There is no single answer. There is no magic bullet.  I try to help folks out as often as possible, but when presented with a vague hypothetical such as the above one, what magic bullet could you provide? What quick tidbit of advice could you impart that would instantly solve the horse owner's problem? If you know of such a magic bullet, you're a better wo/man than me.  Here are just a few of the questions that pop into mind when faced with the above question:


How old is your horse? How many years has your horse worked under saddle? What breed is your horse? How experienced are you as a rider or handler? What cues do you use while riding? Does the horse consistently fight the bit? If not, can a pattern be detected as to when and where the horse fights the bit? Where do you ride – inside an arena, or out on the trail? How do you react when he starts fighting the bit? Before purchasing the horse, did you get a vet to check his mouth and physique that would rule out potential physical reasons for the horse's resistance? What corrective actions have you attempted when confronting the negative behaviour?


I'll stop there, but there are many other questions one would ask before being able to give a more specific diagnosis to the above problem, and even then such advice would be lacking without personal observation of the horse in question. But answering the above inquiry isn't the point of this article, so I won't attempt to answer it here.  Instead, the above was to illustrate that there are no magic bullets when working with horses. It's not rocket science, or even particularly complex, but it does require observation, thought and knowledge.


But since so many horse owners, particularly newer ones, seek the big secret to natural horsemanship, I'll share it with you. It's not knowledge, as important as knowledge is. 

It's communication!  How do you communicate?.............more info about. communication