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Horse Articles :: Gaining a Horse's Trust
Gaining a Horse's Trust
It is far more enjoyable to ride a horse that trusts you
rather than one who does not. But getting a horse to trust
you is a difficult task, especially if the horse has a history
of past abuse.
It is indeed possible to befriend a horse who is shy and reticent
but does not have a history of past abuse. Make sure that
you approach the horse from the left. And always remember
to show him what you have in your hands – even if it is a
hoof pick, meant to be used on him.
The second thing to remember is always to wear tight clothes.
Loose clothing flaps in the breeze and may unnerve you horse.
And once you have scared him, it is difficult to make him
believe you. Its hardly comfortable both for the owner as
well as the horse, if there is an element of fear and mistrust
between the two of you.
To put it simply you should not make the horse do any activity,
which he does not feel confident to do. The horse has to have
full confidence on you, when you ask him to jump or trot down
an unfamiliar path. If you ask him to take a jump and he fails
to do so, he will lose the confidence he has in you instantly.
He will be frightened to take any command from you the next
time. So, instead try and build his confidence in you slowly
and gradually. Practice with him, going down a wide and easy
road or jumping over easy hurdles. This way he develops trust
in you. Never make him do anything which is beyond his capabilities.
Gaining trust from a horse which has been previously abused,
is nearly impossible. However with a lot of patience, you
may evoke some confidence at the end.
Taking to your horse if a soft, soothing voice helps. Do this
before you ask him to do any task. Never make yourself overbearing
to your horse, demanding to get his attention. And never try
to ride him before you get his trust. Relieve him of any fright
or mistrust first. When he is used to your presence as well
as your voice, approach him then. Remember always that a horse
who is scared is very difficult to manage, so never force
anything on him. On the contrary, offer him some food that
he enjoys. Soon after he has relished something given by you
a few times, gently stroke his muzzle to befriend him further.
You know you have reached some understanding with your horse,
if you find that your horse is letting you stroke him. You
must however never ride an abused horse, without the help
of a horse trainer, who has had some experience with abused
horses. These horses are calm when you are on the ground but
starts panicking when you are trying to ride them.
About The Author
Brian Kendall is a staff writer at http://www.horse-enthusiast.com
and is an occasional contributor to several other websites,