horse jumping over stand with a trainer against a mountain background

Finally, it’s a new year. We can leave the struggles of 2020 behind us, and look forward to what 2021 has to offer! As you set your own goals, I’m sure that you are also making some goals for your equine companion. Let’s go over some horse training tips to guide you as you smash your milestones along the way.

Horse Training Tips – Building Trust Through the Basics

Any good relationship or skill starts with a strong foundation. Before you start making commands, take some time to check in with your horse. How have you two been connecting lately? Do they physically or behaviorally seem off? 

Involved horse health care is important for your companion to be in the right mindset to learn. If you’re looking for ways to strengthen trust, try some bonding activities such as massaging while grooming, going for a walk, reading to them, etc.. They will feel safer around you, and more open to learning.

Patience is Key

We all know the saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. Well, make sure you’re not yelling at your horse, pushing it’s head down towards the water, or yanking it away when it won’t take a drink. This won’t help anyone, but it may destroy trust and give your horse a fear of water.

Forcing your horse to do things they aren’t ready for will only slow progress and hurt your relationship in the long run. Take your time – don’t put yourself (or your horse) on too strict of a timeline for learning something. 

It’s all about working smarter, not harder. Come up with a plan, take breaks when you both need it, and let your horse take its time. You will thank yourself in the future.

Make A Plan

As I said earlier in this article – work smarter, not harder. You probably have some goals in mind, but looking into them further will make your horse training process more efficient. Start by looking at the big picture, then picking it apart. 

For example, let’s say you want your horse to perform better. Performance could mean speed, agility, reaction time, listening skills, etc. Make each of these a separate goal. 

If you want to increase agility, think of different tasks that could help your horse with this, such as practicing different heights of jumps or dodging objects in a course. Work down your list, and you will waste less time practicing without intention.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun!

Ok, you’re probably thinking “Duh, thank you captain obvious”, but it can be really easy to get wrapped up in expectations. Horses are such kind, loving, and smart creatures. So are you. 

Having fun is one of the most important horse training tips you can remember – it’s about the journey, not the destination. 

As you’re grinning at the finish line, prize medal in hand, you’re going to want to remember all the good times that you and your horse had along the way – not the frustrated screams and exhausted give-ups. With a thought-out plan and an even better attitude, you and your horse will go far in 2021!

The horse health care team at BRD Vet Rx hopes that you hit the ground running in 2021 with motivated minds and healthy horses. We have been helping horses feel their best for almost 100 years, feel free to contact us or view our products anytime.