The heart rate (together with heart rate variability and eye temperature) data in the noseband experiment that I discussed yesterday, demonstrated that it is often difficult to know when a horse is stressed or anxious.
Have you ever thought that your horse knows what you want him to do but is just being naughty or stubborn?
Honestly, most of us have at some stage.
When this happens to me, I put the heart rate monitor on the horse and continue work (ground or ridden, whatever I was doing). What I find, every time, is that the horse is not naughty, the horse is anxious or stressed, possibly because he/she is confused.
This completely changes the way we look at the situation. It makes us re-think the lesson and break things down for the horse. It makes us find little things that we can reward, such as relaxation. It keeps us in a positive frame of mind - essential for good training!
When do you find that your horse gets anxious or stressed and what do you do about it? Leave a comment below about your experience (and a photo of your horse, I do love a photo!).