• Understand Prey animal (horse) psychology.
be able to do this.
Horses’ brains are thus hard-wired to be on the ‘lookout’ for predators. The horse’s survival policy is if in doubt, get out. Run first then ask questions. A Horse’s primary defense is to run away, if cornered it may resort to kicking, biting, bucking. This is defensive behavior not aggressive. If a horse is uncertain of its safety it will very quickly become defensive.
A confused predator becomes aggressive and angry.
A confused prey animal becomes defensive.
The more defensive the prey animal, the more aggressive and angry the predator. Each response builds from the other.
Replace the words sullen, stupid, lazy, dull with confused or desensitized
What Motivates a horse?
Some play, some exercise
No predators to worry about
Developing horselike body language
2) Horselike and worthy of the horse’s respect and submission.
~Sharp unrhythmical movements
~Strong eye contact
~AggressionHorselike body language:
~Smooth rhythmical movements
~Fair warning before physical reinforcement (The 4 phases)
~Less eye contact
Changing a Horse’s Behaviour i.e.Training
To SENSITISE a horse to an action-Stop the action as soon as the horse reacts as desired.
The reason this works is that the horse is seeking the COMFORT of not being “asked”
PHIL’S PHILOSOPHIES – ATTITUDE – SOME PERSPECTIVES:
Horse and humans have evolved as natural enemies. We are designed to push their flight/fright/worry buttons and they are designed to push our confusion/frustration/anger buttons (opposition reflexes).
A big part of the fun of natural horsemanship is learning how not to push the horse’s opposition reflex buttons, and not letting the horse push ours (and they will but that’s OK).
SMILE AND WHISTLE.
- Breaking old habits in ourselves and our horse is not easy. It requires a lot of conscious effort (someone once said that thinking is the hardest work).
- Establishing a new habit requires a program, perfect practice, and repetition.
- If we are not using something regularly our memory is designed to delete it. Our subconscious is specifically designed to maintain the status quo i.e. old habits.
- Therefore developing new good horse handling habits requires a lot of conscious effort, support, and repetition.
- Remember how we learned to read, write, or change gears in a car.
- Natural horsemanship is as involved as learning a musical instrument, or flying an airplane only our instrument (the horse) is conscious and has feelings and opinions.
Natural Horsemanship is something we LEARN FOR the horse NOT DO TO the horse. A natural horseman is someone that gives the horse security. The horse perceives them as a Lead or Alpha horse (Albeit with 2 legs), someone the horse can trust, follow, look to, and respect.
We don’t learn how to do this in a few hours or days, it is a longer-term commitment.
CELEBRATE the small successes!!