It is well known that horses are often fearful and terrified even if the reasons for this fear are simple and do not represent them at all, and in order to reduce the fear of your horse, you must do some exercises until the horse gradually adapts and stops feeling panic when exposed to sudden movement or loud voice. Fear reduction exercises become more important for young horses because they are inexperienced and feel more afraid and panic than expert horses, for example, small horses feel fear when installing a saddle or bridle of the leadership.
This does not mean that large horses do not feel intimidated, but it is not only relative. Many large horses may panic because of a rubber ball or a plastic bag flying in the air!
In general, you can train horses on your own, but aggressive and neurotic horses may need a special method of training and therefore they need an expert trainer and special training tools in addition to a lot of caution because they may harm those around them.
1) Choose a suitable place for training
If your horse fears exaggerated sounds or is afraid of the external environment in general, then it will be necessary to start training in an isolated hall, which works to focus the horse in training and not be distracted by the surrounding sounds, and if you train the horse outside suddenly with the intention that he can cope with The external environment, this matter will cause a reverse result, that is, the horse will become more afraid of the external environment than before, because horses do not like surprises, that is, everything must happen gradually.
The correct thing is to start training inside and wait a few days or weeks until the horse begins to respond and show positive results, and after that you take it out for a short time and gradually increase the time outside, and the horse will gradually adapt to the outside world.
2) Look for a quiet companion for a horse
Horses are by nature social beings and need to interact with others. If you have another quiet horse and have already been trained to reduce fear before, it is advisable that you bring this horse next to the horse that will be trained because the mere presence of the other horse next to it brings reassurance and calm, and if something happens, it scares the horse He will look at his companion and when he sees him steady and this matter does not cause him any fear at all, he begins to translate this matter, meaning that he senses that the matter does not cause anxiety as long as he saw the other horse calm and did not show any signs of panic or panic, and this is exactly what happens in Flock, horses when something happens around it (a loud sound, for example), they look at the leading horse and do exactly as it does, and if this horse escapes, then all the horses escape behind because they know that his escape will not be from a vacuum but there must be a real danger, but if They found it stable, as they did not move a finger because they knew that it was not a matter of fear.
If you do not have other horses, you can ask this from one of your friends who owns a horse, but on the condition that his horse has been previously trained and does not feel much fear, because you want a horse that reassures your horse and not a horse that scares it more.
3) Control the tone of your voice and body language
You must control your physical movements during exercises because the horse can easily translate the language of your body, so if the horse feels that you are tense or feel anxious then his fear doubles, so you must be completely calm and avoid showing you any pressure, anger or tension, and your body must be relaxed Exactly, your shoulders are low, your movements are calm and hasty, and the tone of your voice is gentle, calm, and completely free of anger, excitement, or screaming in the horse’s face (and firm at the same time!).
If you want to train your horse to acclimatize to loud sounds, you must bring an assistant with you and start talking to him relatively loudly, then gradually increase the pitch of the voice and calm down while you are talking to your assistant until the horse understands that the loud voice will not cause him any harm and begin to acclimate to him gradually .
Absolutely avoid screaming in the face of the horse suddenly, because the horse will never acclimate in this way, but rather, on the contrary, this behavior will increase his fear towards loud noises.
4) Stand on one side of the horse
You should stand on both sides of the horse during training and avoid completely standing in front or behind the horse, because horses generally feel fear from front and back relatively more than the fear you feel on both sides, so you should stand a few steps away from one side of the horse, but You should also make the horse see you in the sense that you move forward somewhat (i.e. standing next to the horse’s neck).
If the horse is young and still short, it is better for you to bend until you are at its level, in order to calm him down, but care must be taken so that the horse does not kick you, because the small horses are sudden in their movements and strange in their behavior due to the lack of experience and not adapting to dealing with humans.
5) Exposing the horse to fear
The main idea in fear reduction training is to gradually increase pressure on the horse! In the sense that if a horse is afraid of dogs, for example, you make the dog come a little closer to the horse without making any barking, surely the horse will feel fear and then gradually begin to acclimatize to this dimension, and when you are sure that the horse acclimatized to this step successfully you must make The dog approaches more and waits until the horse can acclimatize and then increase the pressure even more by placing the dog directly next to the horse or making him bark and so on, and this is what is required! Gradually increase the pressure on the horse until the fear it has.
Never go from one step to the next, before you are certain that the horse has acclimatized to it and is ready to increase the pressure on it, because if you expose the horse to the source of fear once without graduation, the horse has a greater fear towards this thing.
If the horse feels intimidating about the things that move around it, you can tie a plastic bag at the end of a long stick, then pass this bag over the horse’s body.
6) Read the body language of the horses
You must read the horse’s body language during exercises so that you can know what he feels and also to protect yourself, for example if the horse has set his ear forward, this indicates that the horse is about to perform aggressive behavior such as biting or kicking, so you must take the necessary precaution so as not to get hurt.
Aggressive horses in particular must take full care while training them. If your horse is of this type, it is best to bring a professional part-time trainer in order to train the horse on your behalf because he has sufficient experience and skill to deal with this type of horse.
7) Be patient
You should be patient when you start training horses because they may take a lot of time, and when we talk about the fear of horses we are talking about a natural and instinctive thing that the horse is not blamed because it is part of his nature, and the reason for this is that the horses have adapted to live as prey and are at risk at any moment Therefore, when you start training exercises to reduce fear, you should know that you are trying to change something instinctively in the horse’s personality, which requires a lot of time and patience (by the way, you will not be able to completely eliminate the fear of the horse’s personality because this is practically impossible, but you are working to reduce his fear on As much as you can, so we said in the title of the article reduce fear, not erase it).
You should not take many steps in one training session, but rather you just have to take a few simple steps and end the training session upon successful completion, and not exceed two training sessions per day so that the horse is not mentally exhausted i.e. treating the horse like treating a child who needs patience so that he can understand And learning.
It is a good idea to make the training atmosphere fun by giving him some rewards such as massaging his hair or giving him some foods that horses like, such as apples and honey.