We can often take our horses behaviour for granted unless of course it starts to become a problem which can then become intimidating or even frightening.
Some behaviour issues can be resolved by small changes in management, others need time and retraining. Every case is individual.
Quite often what we do and including traditional methods can be based on the way we think and our emotions as a human, this leads the horse into great confusion whilst trying to work out what we want or to get relief from discomfort.
“Even though horses are now domesticated in our world we must place ourselves into their world”
We must always accept our own situation as we are all different and have different relationships with our horses who are also individuals. Your horse maybe your lifelong friend but others maybe training together with their horses as athletes.
Take great care in your own perception compared to others, you must be honest with yourself if you feel unnerved by a situation as this can get out of hand quickly. As an example, if your friend has a horse that is quite sharp which spooks they may not think of this as a behavioural problem, whereas if you were fearful of this and owned the horse you would regard it as a behavioural problem.
You might not be confident with your horse or be in an unfortunate situation where you lose your confidence. Your posture and body language would be apprehensive which your horse would pick up on immediately that you are no longer confident in the herd. Yes, even if it is just you and your horse together you are still a herd; your horse would then take your place within the herd.
You may find your horse becomes much more alert and jumpy than they used to but this is where their role has now changed and they are to protect the herd which entails being more alert to the environment as the survival instinct is roused, you may even find your horse becomes pushy even bargy around you; think of these actions as discussions between you both due to the change of the herd hierarchy.
“If you become closed within, communication is then lost.”
The horse in your life needs to be equally matched to you, if the horse is too much for you, you will not be confident, happy and open to enjoy the relationship, whereas if you have a horse that is not sharp enough for you, you may become discontented and push the horse beyond its capabilities causing distress.
Written by Sam Jamieson © 2015