1. If your normally well-mannered horse suddenly pushes into your space while you’re leading him back to his pasture, ignore it. He’s earned the right to “be a horse.”
T / F
2. If your horse gets antsy about being clipped, you should tie him up (safely!) before you begin in order to limit his moving about.
T / F
3. A good way to build a friendship bond with your horse is to tuck treats into your pockets and the folds of your clothes, then let him search you to find his “rewards.”
T / F
4. If, on a given day, your horse is “on the muscle” and hard to control while you’re riding him in the arena, a good solution is to take him out on the trail, where a change of scenery will help him relax.
T / F
HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)
1. F is correct. Treat every instance of disrespect, no matter how small, as an opportunity to reinforce good behavior with your horse. Use it as a teaching moment, or else your horse can become “untrained” over time.
2. F is correct. Being tied—even safely—while being clipped will only increase a nervous horse’s feelings of claustrophobia and could even result in a pull-back wreck. One solution is to enlist the help of a friend to hold your horse for you during clipping.
3. F is correct. This is actually a good way to teach your horse to nip you. Yes, some people seem to get away with this sort of foolishness...until that one instance when they don’t. A better idea is to be safe and smart—all the time. (Learn more about feeding treats safely.)
4. F is correct. You’re less safe outside the arena. Fix misbehavior in a safely enclosed area, then go out on the trail.
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