Understanding Horses: 10 Horse Training Tips for Beginners

Taming a wild animal is a daunting task, and horse training is essentially that: training a wild horse to listen to and follow your commands. Here are a few tips to help you better understand the horse you would like to train:

Horse Training Tip #1: Horses naturally fear humans. When you approach, it must read your body language to determine your intent. Spend lots of time around the young horse that you intend to train so that it can get to know your body language.

Horse Training Tip #2: The point of training horses is to get them to do as they are told on command. This will eliminate the need for riding crops or whips later on.

Horse Training Tip #3: The length of each training session is up to your discretion. There is no hard and fast rule. Pay attention to your horse’s cues and if she seems to be getting tired or isn’t responding to you, then take a break.

Horse Training Tip #4: Do not begin horse training until your horse is at least two years old.

Horse Training Tip #5: Do not let your horse get away with anything, especially in the first days of your horse training. From the very start, it should be clear to your horse that in all things, you are the leader, you are the boss, and what you say goes.

Horse Training Tip #6: Start every training session with a warm-up. Just like us, horses need an intro period to understand what is coming next and what will be expected of them. Warm up the horse’s muscles, joints and mind with a brief warm up period.

Horse Training Tip #7: Start your horse training with groundwork. Using a longe, or long rope that attaches to the horse’s halter, will allow your horse a large circle of movement while it gets used to commands. This is considered a warm up technique.

Horse Training Tip #8: Leading is the first thing you should teach your horse. Here you will teach your horse to turn and stop upon your command. These are the commands they will follow daily for the rest of their lives.

Horse Training Tip #9: After a few sessions, when you begin to add commands to your horse’s repertoire, start each session by going over commands she already knows. By building on previously attained skills, you make it easier for the horse to learn new things. In the same way, when you introduce a new piece of equipment, like a bit, start slowly by using it for a short period, taking it away, and then bringing it back. Start with a bit. Your horse will need to get used to swallowing with a bit before anything else. Adding a rider and saddle to your horse’s training will come next.

Horse Training Tip #10: Make sure to end each training session with a cool down session. Try to end the session before your horse begins to get frustrated. You want to end on a good note. Let her play and don’t forget a treat for a job well done!

Sources
Alpha Horse
Horse Training Tips for Beginners
Natural Horse Training