The Unhandled Horse

  1. Making the first contact - where and how. Should I use food? Teaching the horse the first pressure-release lessons. Introducing positive reinforcement.
  2. Desensitization (sacking out) - why should the horse be unrestrained? Teaching to turn-and-face. Habituating the horse to the lead-rope.
  3. Haltering - the easiest way to put the halter on and teaching lateral movement of the head with pressure-release.
  4. Introducing the dressage whip - this is an important go forward cue but will only be applied after two initial cues. Teaching the horse the pattern for leading.
  5. Leading - cueing the horse to move forward from behind and beginning shoulder control.

Important things to remember:

  • The lessons are all positive - we're being proactive, not reactive
  • NEVER chase the horse
  • Don't correct/punish the horse, find something the horse Kandoo
  • Watch for confusion and realise how it could be introduced