5 Steps to Teaching Your Horse what You Want

There is something magical about that moment when your horse understands and responds to your request. When you communicate to each other with the lightest touch. Whatever the discipline, that is horsemanship at it’s finest.


Teaching horses can be fascinating or frustrating 😅 when it goes right it can be the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. When it goes wrong, well 🤯🤬


When teaching your horse how to do something (in fact anything) knowing these steps will help you stay on track...


  1. Request

  2. Release

  3. Reward

  4. Rest

  5. Repeat

These steps apply the same both in the saddle and on the ground and form the basis of pretty much anything you are going to ask your horse to do, so here’s a look at each step in a bit more depth...


1. Request


This is often described as ‘pressure’ and is when you ask your horse to do something. It usually does involve some sort of pressure, for example when you squeeze with your legs to ask your horse to go, that is a request.


Start by making the smallest request possible and only get firmer slowly if your horse is not responding.


If your horse is trying to do something (even if it’s not quite what you want) keep asking until he get’s it and as soon as he does, this is crucial...


Stop asking!! 😃


If you keep asking after your horse has responded you turn into a nag 🤨 It will eventually desensitise your horse to your requests.


I think most of us know a horse that you have to use your legs like crazy to ask to go and keep using your legs every stride to keep him going! 🥵 This happens because they have just switched off to the request and become desensitised to it.