The horse can be one of the most elegantly beautiful creatures in the whole world and training a wild and free beast like that for domestic use can be quite a challenging task. In many instances these elusive beasts can become uncontrollable with bad behaviours and manners but if you are able to establish a good leadership style with your horse and build his/her trust, then these problems can be avoided and working on the following areas might help you to do just that.
Body Language and Treats
Horses usually rely on body language to communicate with one another and they can differentiate between a leader and a follower through that. Being relaxed and calm without showing any sort of nervousness, while always maintaining a good, solid posture will allow you to register yourself as a good leader on your horse’s mind. You should also avoid using treats to shape his/her behaviours and should reserve them only to be used when he/she is grooming or relaxing.
Leading and Personal Space
Leading your horse properly can also allow you to show him/her who is in charge and this should always be done by not holding the lead rope too tight. Hold it loosely and make the horse walk and stop and if he/she is not immediately responding to your commands then you will have to spend adjusting your position and keep walking/stopping him/her until you get control of the situation. Another important factor when it comes to horse training is setting up a personal space for yourself that your horse should never dare to enter. This can be done if you shake the lead rope, in a side-to-side manner and will provide you with ample space to handle him/her safely as well.
Cue Training and Round Pen Training
It is best to train your horse on the cues that you will be using when riding him/her, on the ground itself first, before mounting and riding. This will allow you to show your horse that you are the leader and gain his/her trust which will surely be helpful when you are on the saddle later on. A good way to do this is through the basic training sessions in the round pen as there, your horse will be at ease without the lead ropes and you will be able to understand if all is good, through his/her reactions and signs.
Proper Lunging and Dropping of the Head
Lunging can also be an essential form of training whether your horse needs to be broken or not. It is the process of letting your horse move in circles around you and this can be very helpful when it comes to teaching him/her to obey your commands. You can start this by having him/her walk first and then slowly changing it to a trot and stop, then afterwards changing directions and doing the same again. This exercise will allow you to properly see if he/she is listening to your commands or not. Also have a look if the horse’s head is lowered which is a sign that he/she is relaxed and has accepted you as the leader.
When all of the above activities are coupled with other training exercises like proper pressure releasing, flexing, etc. you will be able to build a good foundation with your horse that is based on trust which will grant you a good control over him/her.