Communicate with Your Horse
The time you spend with your horse can be more fun when you understand the way a horse communicates with you and you with your horse.
- You teach your horse certain words of command: walk, trot, lope, trot on, whoa, easy, and more.
- The tone you use with your words determines what your horse does as much as the word itself.
- A soothing “whoa there boy” is a totally different command than a “Whoa There Boy!”
- Touch your horse with your legs to tell him to go forward
- Pull back on the reins to apply pressure on his mouth to tell him to stop
- Swing your legs to tell him to speed up or to keep going
- Rub his neck, his back, his flanks to soothe him or show him affection
- You use sounds like a sigh or an intake of breath to tell your horse how you are feeling
- He uses sounds like a “whicker of welcome” or an angry “whicker of why are you late feeding me”
- He uses a squeal of ” get out of my way” to another horse and to you
- You feel fear when your horse goes into the lope…your body tenses up…your horse senses your feeling of fear and feels your body tense…he is immediately on high alert to danger and responds instinctively by being excited and fast to react to any cue quickly and forcefully.
- The sun is warm, you are relaxed and feeling lazy…your horse senses your relaxed emotions and relaxes himself…you may have to nudge him along with a spur to get him to perform.
- You are getting ready to go into the show pen…you are nervous, tense and your body is more rigid…your horse senses your tension and responds in like…he doesn’t know why you are tense but if his master is tense then there must be a reason…so therefore he starts looking for the boogy man in the show pen.
This by no means covers all the ways you communicate with your horse. As a matter of fact it barely scratches the surface but it’s enough to get you thinking about all the ways you and your horse communicate with each other.