How to Move Around Your Horse

Being able to move briskly around your horse without provoking a reaction increases safety for him and for you.
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Being able to move briskly around your horse without provoking a reaction increases safety for him and for you.

Being able to move briskly around your horse without provoking a reaction increases safety for him and for you. Start by simulating a waving gesture that finishes with rubbing your horse. Reward his immobility by a moment of rest, and then begin to exaggerate movement around him, and finish each movement by stroking him. Run, jump, skip and stumble?and then caress him. Use all sorts of movements around the horse with rhythm, and he will ultimately understand that none of them represents a threat.

Dennis Brouse. Courtesy AQHA

Run toward the horse and finish by putting your arm over his withers or back. He will soon get used to your movement and begin to look forward to the movement when you stop and put your arm over him. Jump up and down. If he does not move, reward him with a moment?s rest. This will teach him to stand still and calm and prepare him to be mounted bareback.

When you approach the horse, gradually shorten the lead rope without tightening it. Always be careful to keep the rope short enough to control the horse and not expose yourself to danger.

How Do I Know if I Am Doing It Right?

The horse remains calm as you move actively around him--running, jumping and skipping. You can push his bubble farther and farther, because the horse's trust in you is growing daily.

Horsemanship Concepts:

-Teach your horse to think before he reacts.

-Do not stop the horse from making the wrong decision; wait until he makes the correct one.

-Do not force him to do things, but encourage him to do them.

-If you prepare the situation, the horse will do the rest.

Learn more safety tips from the American Quarter Horse Association's Fundamentals of Horsemanship.