Would you believe that more people have been hurt by horses who love them, than by horses who have never been ridden before?
So why do people get hurt by horses who love them?
There should be no reason for people to get hurt by their horses if they understand why horses do what they do. Educating is the key.
Some people may assume that horses are like people and have the same needs as humans. If we care about someone, we do what we think is in that person’s best interest. But for horses, they do what comes natural to them or what they have been educated to do.
Have you ever heard or read an ad offering a gentle or quiet horse for sale? In most cases this ad really means the horse will follow you around and eat from a bucket. Horses aren’t naturally aggressive (unlike predators), so it’s natural that they follow the source of treats.
But, under saddle that same horse can present a different picture.
Affection has nothing to do with performance, and on the other hand unwanted behaviors shouldn’t be mistaken for betrayal. Horses that feel threatened will naturally behave (to our way of thinking) aggressively – and possibly hurt people in the process.
The fact is, how we think the horse feels about us doesn’t keep us safe; it’s how the horse is educated that does.
It is a wise choice to educated a horse no matter whether it’s a pet or performance animal. When a horse is demonstrating it’s playful behaviour that in the paddock, most of us can accept that, it’s safe to say though that we most likely won’t want to ride the rears and bucks and play.
Education is about replacing their natural instinctive behaviors with desirable cues. Education for young green horses and older broke horses shouldn’t vary, only the work load should.
We have all jumped on an older horse and assumed that the horse has a certain level of education, based on the age of the horse. This is not always the case. If this horse hasn’t been educated to stand still whilst you saddle him, he’s still what I would consider a green unbroken horse and likely to get you hurt at some point.
Our instincts tell us this so we expect the uneducated-horse behavior to be different from educated horses. On the other hand we assume that because a horse has been ridden for years, he is educated. Don’t excuse bad behavior.
The kindest thing you can do is help your horse get over any unwanted behaviors. He won’t stop liking you. In fact, he’ll like you on another level the more you get him in the habit of behaving a desirable way around you, which in tern will shape your horses future.
“Keep an open mind when shaping your horse’s future.”
~ Jo Sheval
Jo Sheval for more details
0478 7111 80
45 Connors Lane, Seville VIC 3139, Australia