Information About Training Horses
When training a horse one must be confident and assertive but at the same time gentle and understanding. Finding the happy medium between these may be tricky but it is essential to the training and development of a healthy obedient horse. I use the term obedient loosely cause it refers more to dogs with them listening to certain commands such as "sit", "stay", and "come" or a dog heeling on a leash. Horses listen to body movement cues. Especially when riding they feel how the person is moving or if they are applying leg pressure for "leg yielding". When the horse is asked to turn they either feel a pull on the bit moving there head over or they feel the reins lay across there neck (neck reining) implicating that they need to move in that direction.
The reason for finding the happy medium in being confident and assertive but at the same time gentle and understanding is because horses are flight animals not fight animals. When a horse feels threatened they run. One must understand that if he/she gets to assertive to the point they there horse gets frightened or is becoming scared of what is being asked they will try to run and get away from the scary human. When training one must also understand that the horse does not know what is being asked at first. Gently showing the horse how to pre form a certain technique will work best. SHow the horse by making the horse pre form the skill then once the horse does it release any tension, this is called the give and release training method. An example of this method is when training a horse to back up you want to apply steady pressure on the bit and once the horse takes the slightest movement backward release right away. The release is the reward for starting to go backward. See How to train your horse to back up for more on how to apply the give and release method.
You may have heard the term "green" horses, it refers to young horse that is still in training. Just like in unripe fruit the color is usually green. The fruit did not fully mature yet. The same analogy is used in horses for a young horse whose training is still in progress. When buying a horse and you read that the horse is "green" or "green broke" it means that the horse is not fully trained. Unless you are looking for a horse to train yourself then you want to avoid any "green horses".
The term broke does not literally mean the horse is broken. A horse that is referred to as "broke" simply means it is trained and ready to ride. People call a trained horse "broke" because they "broke" its wild behavior. When searching for a horse to buy if the description say that this horse is "broke" then you know it is trained. How much training the horse had and how well it actually listens is unknown until you meet the horse but at least you know the horse had some sort of training.
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