Horseback riding can be a fun and exciting sport, but having a reliable mount is essential for a new equestrian to master riding skills. Training a safe horse can be challenging because it involves much more than making sure the animal follows instructions from its riders. Because horses are often skittish, it is important to use desensitization techniques as part of the training process. When a horse is properly desensitized, you can trust it to react appropriately in unexpected situations. Here are three ways to desensitize your horse.
Use Brightly Colored Training Materials
Some horses spook at bright colors. The easiest way to start desensitizing your mount is to use training materials that are different colors. Invest in a striped color horse jump or bright orange cones to use in the arena when you are working with your mount. Once the horse is completely comfortable with colors that aren’t found in nature, you can move on to other types of desensitization training.
Introduce Moving Objects
Many horses are scared of items that move. If you want to desensitize your horse, you need to show it that unexpected movement isn’t always a scary thing. Start in a safe space such as your arena and introduce your mount to objects that only move slightly. Flags can be a good obstacle to start with. You can slowly work up to other moving objects such as floating balloons or cars driving past the arena. Make sure your horse is okay with sudden movements made by people nearby, especially if you plan to compete in any type of event.
Incorporate Loud Noises Into Your Training Routine
One of the scariest things for many horses is a loud, unfamiliar noise. You can never introduce your mount to every loud noise it will possibly hear, but the more your horse experiences, the more reliable it will be on the trail. Make sure to include both common and uncommon sounds to your horse. People shouting and a car engine revving are two examples of common noises to introduce your horse to. You should also incorporate uncommon noises such as loud music so your horse gets used to a wide variety of sounds. Sound desensitization is important for helping your horse cope whenever it encounters noises such as fireworks.
Having a safe, reliable horse means desensitizing your mount so that it doesn’t spook constantly. Use these three tips to train your horse properly.