When training a horse, things don't always go quite as you'd expect.
Anyone who's ever trained a horse before will tell you that you have to be prepared for anything. Of course, that's also true of working around horses in general. But when training a young horse, things can go sideways quickly. It's then that your skill as a rider and your ability to think on your feet will pay off.
In the video below, an eventing horse is encountering a ditch for the first time. Ditches are notoriously scary to horses, and many horses are reluctant to go over them. That's just what happens with this young horse, but the rider is determined to see him through it. And that's when...well, just watch.
It gives new meaning to heels down, doesn't it? But the rider performs beautifully in this video, giving the horse his head and doing her best to stay with him. When training a horse, any attempt should be rewarded, so we'll bet that this horse was heavily praised once he reached the other side of the ditch. With some repetition and improved confidence, this horse is likely jumping ditches with ease.
Exposure is a necessary part of training a young horse, and that's what's happening in this video. The more unusual and new situations and obstacles that you introduce your horse to, the more confident he will become. But you have to make the introductions in the right way.
Never present your horse with too much too fast, and see each ride as a chance to improve your horse's confidence and set him up for success. Most importantly, you'll need to stay patient and calm yourself, even when your horse is anxious.
Horses can be reassured by calm riders, like the horse in this video was. And that's a recipe for success.
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