What is Behaviour?
All a horse wants to feel is that of being safe, just like us. Every single behaviour has a function to your horse and when observed correctly, it provides us with very valuable information. You may not like what your horse is saying but does that mean he has no right to let you know how unhappy, frightened or fearful he may be for instance?
We humans are very quick to slam down on our horses when they don’t do our bidding. We label behaviour in an anthropomorphic way, all the time. Stubborn, lazy, stupid, hormonal, fizzy, crazy……the list goes on. Sometimes we say that the horse meant to do that! It was planned or done on purpose. No labels are ever helpful because they deny the actual emotions and feelings of the horse.
Take a step back and look at the function of that behaviour. What does your horse gain from behaving in such a way? Consider the immediate environment and see what triggered the reaction and then look what you possibly do about changing the way the horse feels.
Is it getting worse and escalating? If so what you are doing is simply not working so stop dealing with it in that way! Is it still happening with no improvement? – then what you are doing is simply not working, re think your reactions. Have the unwanted reactions stopped all together? In which case, you have done good as his trainer/partner and helped him feel safer.
Instinctive Horse Training. Melanie S Watson. Behaviour consultant and Trainer.