Horses are beautiful and fearless creatures. They are also one of the smartest animals in the world. Training a horse is a fun process but it can also be a challenge.
There are many ways and techniques that can be used to train horses. You have to learn these techniques and then decide what is best for you and how you want to train your horse.
Before starting training your horse, there are some important things that I want you to keep in mind. These are the first steps to training a horse and I’ll cover these steps in this blog post.
The First Steps to Training a Horse
So, before actual training, there are multiple factors that should be kept in mind. The first and most important step is to know your horse. I’ll talk more about this later in this post but you also want to be honest with yourself about your ability to train your horse and where your limitation lie.
Are you sure you can train a horse?
If you are just a beginner in the field of horseback riding and you have no prior experience with horse riding, then you should not try to train them right away. When you are just a beginner, you won’t have the experience or the confidence to train a horse.
It is important that you understand the response of your horse and this only comes through experience. If you do not have this experience and you try to train a horse, you might end up hurting yourself.
If you are confident that you have strong riding experience – only then you should attempt training a horse.
Why should you train a horse?
If you’ve never trained a horse, you might be wondering why it’s important? Let me tell you. If you own a horse and you have spent a considerable time in knowing your horse and bonding with him. Then, now it is the time to train him.
Training a horse soon after bonding is important because it is the right time according to experts. The sooner you’ll train him, the easier will it be. And the longer you wait, the harder it will be. If you have trained your horse in a good manner, he will enjoy you riding him. If you don’t train your horse properly, you’ll have problems riding him.
Trained horses are different than untrained horses. They are more confident and brave. They are also more relaxed as compared to other horses.
Here are some tips that would be useful if you are training a horse for the first time:
- Pick a horse who is relatively easy to handle.
- Do not pick a horse who has not been handled before.
- It is better to choose a horse whom you already know.
- If you do not know a horse before training it, then spend a considerable amount of time in bonding with your horse.
- A beginner should choose a horse that is easy going.
- Before starting training a horse, I would recommend that make a plan and keep a written record. It will help you to keep an eye on your progress and to understand how far you have come and what are the methods that you have used.
- If your horse does not wear anything, then make him comfortable with different instruments such as bits, bridles, and a rope halter.
Understand the instinct of your horse
Another important step to training a horse is to understand his or her instincts. It is very important you know learn how your horse behaves in different situations. It will not only help you to understand the behavior pattern of your horse. But, it will also help you easily train your horse.
Horses are peaceful herd animals. They like to live in a peaceful environment and they are usually scared of other animals and humans. A horse will interpret the actions of human or other animals and then he will modify his response according to the situation.
Usually, if you reach a horse in a peaceful and friendly way, he will also behave accordingly. Due to being a herd animal, horses have this innate desire to lead or to be led by someone. If your horse takes you as a leader, he will follow you.
You should understand the instincts of a horse first and then try to establish a relationship of trust between you and him before starting the formal training.
What should be the training schedule?
A baby horse or a foal gets mature when he becomes 2 years old. You should not ride a horse until it is mature. But, if you want to ride him when it becomes 2 years old, you should start working on him from the first day. Ground work is very important.
If you want your horse to participate in different racing competitions, then 2 years is not the right age. Three or four years horse is more suitable for these types of competitions as compared to a two-year old.
A horse should not start formal training until he becomes two-year old. But, you can teach him many other things such as how to behave properly. Here is the schedule that you can follow for our horse:
From birth – One-year-old:
After the baby horse is born, you should put a halter on him. It is important that you do it within the first few days because he should learn to get used to the halter. Another thing that can be done within the first year is to tie your horse.
It is preferable to teach him tying by the end of the first week after the birth. The sooner you do it, the better because when he is big enough to resist trying, he might hurt himself. Another thing that you can do within the first year is to groom him.
From One year – Two years:
Now that you have introduced your horse to tying, halter and grooming, it is time to move forward. Within this time, you should introduce your horse to a bit and saddle. We have a complete guide about bits. Click here to learn more about it.
As far as the saddle is concerned, allow your horse to get familiar with a saddle. Make him comfortable with a saddle to that he does not fear it.
From 2 years
Now that your horse is comfortable with the different equipment and is two years old. It is the time to ride and start the formal training.
Types of horse training
You can train your horse in different ways. Here are some of the common types of horse training:
Training by routines
A horse can be trained by following different common routines. You can train him by repeating activities until they become a habit for the horse. For example, when you first introduce him or her to a new equipment such as a bit, he will be scared of it. But, after some time, he will get used to it.
Reward or punish
In this type of training, you reward your horse for something that he did correctly and negatively reinforce for something that he did not correctly.
Teach him to face his fears
In this type of training, you slowly teach your horse to face his fears. By doing this for some time, he will no longer be afraid.
The best ways to train a horse
Now that you know what are the first steps to train a horse, you might be wondering that what are the best ways to train a horse. Let me tell you, the best way to train a horse is to start early. The sooner you start, the better. By starting early, you will give your horse a chance to trust you and to bond with you.
Another important thing is to teach him that he should not fear humans. Horses are strong creatures and they can really hurt you if they think you are harmful to them. Therefore, love him and get emotionally attached to him so that he thinks you as a leader instead of an enemy.
Here is a quick video on horse training:
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