Settling Your Horse in a New Environment
Travelling and taking your horse out to an event for the first time can be quite a daunting experience. The key to getting it right and having a wonderful time is PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE!!!
In the first part of this series I covered 5 ways to prepare your horse for going away from home. Last week I explored Loading and Travelling, this week we’re going to look at...
Settling Your Horse in a New Environment 🦅🎪🦁🐯🐻
A question I get asked a lot is ‘if my horse is scared of something should I let him look at it?’ My answer is always ‘it depends!’
The same is true when the whole environment is new. Assess your horse as he gets off the box. Deciding how to respond appropriately for your horse really does depend on what’s happening and knowing your horse.
Solution 1 - Giving them time ⏱
So for some horses if you wait and allow them to look at something they will register it, start to process and then start to relax. For these horses I would say wait and allow them to look at the thing they are worried about, be patient and look for signs that they are starting to relax (licking and chewing or breathing out) then quietly ask them to continue what you were doing.
Solution 2 - Giving them something to do 🔄🔀
For other horses they will start to grow to 22.1hh and decide that whatever it is is really far more terrifying than they initially thought and they better get out of there quick! 🏇💨 For these horses absolutely do not wait until it all goes wrong!! Get their mind back to you by asking them to do something, again keep your request as quiet as you can without being ignored, you don’t want to surpise a horse that is already on alert 🤫
Remember if one approach isn’t working you can always change to the other.
And last but not least - don’t forget to smile 😁🦄💕
Before trying any training technique it is important to rule out pain or discomfort. Saddle fit, teeth, back, hoof balance and lameness issues should all be checked by a qualified professional before applying any training.
If you have questions or need idea's to help with a specific problem feel free to get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Lyla has been helping riders and their horses in the UK, USA and Europe for over 15 years. She has prepared horses for crowds of over 6,000 people with no calmers or ear plugs for venues including Birmingham NEC, Aintree, Bury Farm EC and Hartpury.
Lyla specialises in horse psychology and behaviour problems with a specific interest in dressage and has worked with horses from grass roots to Grand Prix across the UK and Europe including international competitors and Olympians from Spain, the US, Canada and the UK.
All training techniques discussed are from experience only, it is impossible for to accurately advise on horse/rider combinations without seeing them live. Lyla Cansfield & Equine Mind & Body Training strongly advise anyone considering using any of the techniques discussed to get live help and can take no responsibility for the outcome of applying any of the techniques discussed without supervision. Riding is a high risk sport.