How To Get Your Horse to Trust You

When it comes to horses, trust is the key to any relationship.A horse who doesn’t trust his owner can end up hurting that person.Trust comes from a lot of hard work and time spent together.Learning how to earn your horse’s trust can help you ride with confidence and build a lasting relationship with your animal.

Step 1: You should approach your horse correctly.

Your horse may be anxious as you approach him for training.Some horses are afraid of humans.Avoid eye contact when approaching from the side.The horse will sniff you if you hold your hand out.If the horse is still afraid, try to bend at the waist while you hold out your hand.

Step 2: Spend time with your horse.

How much time do you spend with each other?You can learn a lot about a horse’s personality and behavior by observing it.Allow your horse to get used to your presence by sitting nearby while he wanders or interacts with other horses.You can get a good idea of why your horse behaves the way he does by watching him and spending time with him.It’s a good idea to spend some time with your horse.If you only have 10 or 20 minutes, you can spend it grooming or riding your horse.

Step 3: You should talk to your horse.

People might feel awkward talking to an animal.Talking to a horse can help gain his trust and get him used to being around humans.Use a calm yet assertive tone to speak to your horse.Your horse will learn that you are a reliable leader and that he can feel comfortable in your presence.

Step 4: Walk together.

If you haven’t earned your trust yet, riding your horse for long periods may be dangerous.You can leave the stable with your horse.If you want to lead your dog on a leash, try taking your horse for a long walk in the woods.This can help your horse grow accustomed to traveling with you.

Step 5: Relax and train your horse.

Learning how to calm your horse is a part of building trust.If you forcefully lay your hands on a horse that doesn’t trust you, it could lead to further distrust and even injury.If your horse is being stubborn or fearful, you can use a variety of relaxation techniques to help facilitate training.Stand next to your horse’s head and look at him the same way.bend down at the waist with your head down if you have the lead rope in your hand.Take the horse’s head down with you.Over time, this will pull your horse out of his alert, guarded pose, and he will see that he can safely let his guard down around you.Don’t pat your horse, stroke or scratch him.In the wild, patting is not something that horses do to each other.It’s the best way to soothe an anxious horse and get him used to your touch, and stroking or scratching mimics the way a horse might rub against another horse in the wild.The grooves that run down the top of your horse’s muzzle can be stroked with an index finger.Run your finger down the muzzle.This can be very relaxing in some horses, and will help you get to know your horse better.Hold your horse’s muzzle with one hand and gently slide one finger from your other hand into the back corner of his mouth.It’s important to proceed cautiously because horses shouldn’t have teeth in that part of the mouth.If your horse is not comfortable being touched by you, don’t force this exercise.After your finger is in, gently stroke your horse’s tongue.The horse will learn to trust you over time.

Step 6: Train in stages.

It’s easy to forget that expecting too much too soon from an animal can cause stress and confusion.Training is a great way to build trust with your horse, but it should be done in a scaffolded approach.Start small and work your way up to more challenging training lessons.Start with what your horse knows.Add easy challenges that he will be able to accomplish without a lot of effort.It’s okay if your horse isn’t ready to jump over a new obstacle.He will be mentally prepared to jump over the obstacle if he is comfortable standing near it and smelling it.Don’t rush your horse.If he’s still not comfortable jumping over obstacles, forcing him to do so will only make him more distrustful of you, and could cause harm to both you and your horse.If you want your horse to jump over the obstacle, be sure to let him investigate it as much as possible, and make sure he’s comfortable around it.

Step 7: A reward for successful training.

Give your horse a reward even if he doesn’t complete the task if you train him to do it.It’s important to teach your horse to try for you.Your horse will want to try for you, not just for a treat, eventually, with enough reassurance and reward.As rewards, choose healthy treats.If cut into small pieces, vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery are excellent treats for horses.Do not give your horse vegetables that cause gas.Don’t give your horse plants from the nightshade family, including onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers.Treat in moderation.Giving too many treats can cause problems like constant expectations of food, which can lead to nipping.It’s important to set boundaries when it comes to how you reward your horse.One or two pieces of horse-appropriate vegetables should suffice as a treat.If you hand-feeding your horse treats, be careful.If your horse doesn’t trust you yet, he might try to snatch treats as quickly as possible, which could result in your hand getting bit.Treat can be offered in a bucket or feeding trough.

Step 8: Speak to his fears.

You’ll need to help your horse deal with some of its fears.You don’t have to force your horse to run into whatever he’s afraid of.If he is forced to confront a fear too quickly, it could frighten the horse and cause injury to you, but over time he should confront those fears.If you can help your horse confront his fears, you should be able to get him to respect and trust you.Take your horse to a creek that runs across your property to build his confidence.Use relaxation techniques to calm your horse.Allow him to watch the water, sniff the shore, and then step into it for a few moments to understand that it’s not a threat.

Step 9: Understand your own fears.

You might be part of the problem if your horse hasn’t learned to trust you.Any hesitation on your part could cause your horse to lose his trust and confidence in you, and horses can sense when a rider is tense or anxious.Try to get over your riding fears with your horse by using relaxation techniques and a confident voice.If you get more comfortable riding your horse through scenarios that made you nervous, it will make it easier to confront those scenarios with you.

Step 10: Consider lessons for your horse.

You might need to hire a professional if you can’t earn your horse’s trust.Trainers can help you and your horse learn how to trust each other and overcome obstacles.Bad horse behavior such as bucking, bolting, and rearing up need to be corrected.These actions are usually caused by your horse not trusting or respecting you, and can cause serious harm to you or other riders.Contact a qualified horse trainer if your horse engages in any of these behaviors.The American Quarter Horse Association is a good place to look for a trainer.You can find a trainer near you.