How to Approach Your Horse
Horses are magnificent creatures, and forming a bond with your horse is essential for both of you to develop trust and have a fulfilling relationship. To create this bond, it’s crucial to understand how to approach your horse correctly. Knowing the right way to interact with them makes all the difference. In this article, we will discuss some essential tips and techniques for approaching your horse.
1. Evaluate your horse’s mood
First and foremost, take a moment to observe your horse from a distance before approaching them. Horses use their body language to express their mood, and understanding these cues can help you decide the right time to approach.
A relaxed head and overall calm demeanor indicate that it might be the perfect time for interaction. On the other hand, ears pinned back or rapidly swishing tail are signs that the horse may be agitated or fearful.
2. Approach at an angle
Always approach your horse from an angle, instead of directly from the front or behind. This position ensures that the animal can see you coming from their peripheral vision, minimizing any chances of startling them. Approaching directly from behind is extremely dangerous as horses might kick if they get frightened.
3. Greet your horse calmly
As you walk towards your horse, greet them gently with a soft voice letting them know that you’re coming near. Softly call their name or offer soothing sounds like “hey” or “hello.” This routine helps them become familiar with you and less likely to feel threatened when you approach
4. Offer the back of your hand
Extend the back of your hand outward as you draw closer allowing them to sniff you before attempting physical contact. This gesture lets the animal become familiar with your scent and signals that you mean no harm.
5. Petting gently
Once the horse appears comfortable and accepts your presence, pet them gently on their neck or shoulder respecting their boundaries at all times. Avoid touching the face initially as many horses might be sensitive around that area.
6. Be mindful of your body language
Horses can easily detect tension, so it’s vital to approach them with a calm demeanor and a relaxed posture. Avoid sudden movements and maintain a steady pace as you walk towards them.
7. Observe and adapt
Every horse is unique, and their personalities might vary. Pay attention to your horse’s reactions and adjust your approach accordingly. If a horse appears nervous or uneasy, give them some space to feel secure.
By following these guidelines and displaying patience, kindness and consistency, you can create a trusting relationship between you and your horse. Approaching your horse in the correct manner not only keeps both of you safe but also ensures for a harmonious partnership in the long run. Happy riding!