Florida Horse Training Tips: Working With Scared or Right Brained Horses

by Jennifer on May 19, 2013

Horse sense with scared equines:

- Be calm, patient and nonreactive.

- Recognize their fear is more about anticipated human conduct than environmental issues that prompt the initial response.

- Slow down the lesson demands and ensure they are comfortable and confident with a single request prior to proceeding to the next.

- Never punish them for being afraid instead, stand your ground and reassure them you are a competent and trustworthy leader by being steady through their tantrums.

- Lavish them with praise for tackling a challenge.

- Be unflappable. If you are afraid of your horse or concerned about introducing them to new tasks, get someone else to help you through the initial process. Scared horses can become dangerous to their handler and themselves if they sense a nervous human.

- Make groundwork the training stage to set the foundation for any riding accomplishments. These critters need to trust you first, and this is best done with body language and quiet and confident handling.

- Try to ensure early turning exercises involve only a single handler/rider. Scared horses have lost trust in humans and adding other people to the mix increases their anxiety. It’s best to build their confidence with a single person they can learn to depend on, appreciate, and please.

- Always try to find ways to address learning exercises with reward vs. discipline.

- Keep lessons as short as possible and focus on a single issue and an easy win.

- Adapt your approach to the horse’s needs by listening to find comfortable activities for communication and rapport.

- Enjoy even the smallest achievement and know that appreciating and rewarding this will provide huge dividends in the future.

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