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Training of a horse is a gradual process of getting your horse’s attention and teaching him what you want him to do. You want the horse to think of you at it’s lead mare no matter the gender of the horse or the owner. Your horse may be a natural leader, which can make training a challenge.
Naturally a horse wants a leader to show them how things are and what to do. It is all part of being a herd animal. So it goes without saying, that you are the one to be the leader in this scenario. A horse will think of you as a leader out of fear or respect. However you want lead by earning the respect of your horse through your interactions and relationship.
A horse will typically not receive any formal training until they are two years old. With foals however can learn how to behave around people at an early age. Spending as much time as you can with your horse will get him used to being around you, and then by association with people.
Once your horse is old enough to start training, you will start off with groundwork. You are not to attempt to ride him. The horse is not ready to ride. Longeing, or ground training with a long lead rope is the first step in the training process. The longe line attaches to the horse’s halter and allows the horse to move in a large circle while you teach him commands.
Another important lesson for your horse is to teach him how to walk beside you on a lead. Lead training includes teaching the horse to turn and stop at your command. This is crucial and you will use it daily with your horse. Some horses will test you during lead training by trying to shoulder you out of his space. Don’t ever let him get away with that. If he resists this simple training, additional training in the future will be difficult.
Horses must be trained so they will accept being ridden, and they must learn to follow the signals of the rider. Your horse needs to respond when it is asked to do something. This will prevent the need for whips or crops to punish or encourage the horse to do as you ask. There is no set time for training sessions, so you don’t have to worry about the training sessions being to long or too short. However remember the horse will need a break too.
The beginning of the training session should be used to warm up the horse both physically and mentally. The horse will need time to loose up joints and warm up its muscles. Usually longeing is used as a method of warming up the horse.