Tuesday Training Tip – Dana Hokana

Today’s training tip comes from Dana Hokana who is passionate about helping horses and riders
build relationships that lead to success.

Rebuilding Trust in a Horse

Here is a wonderful tip to help you to understand and build trust in your horse! 

In training when you have a horse that has been trained wrong or is afraid, I will  take a long time to build a relationship. I often say I’m building equity and trust in that relationship! 

I do this by being soft in my pickup or cues and letting them take the time needed to accept and respond positively to me. I may let them pull on me just a bit or I may slowly argue and push through until they make the decision that I want. I will use a very mild bit. 

I don’t demand fast reactions or super responsive reactions. But when I have built the equity and the relationship that I want, then I can call on them.  Then I can ask for more!! I can use a little more bridle. You can ask them to make faster decisions and they don’t get upset. Because they trust you. 

Did you know that how quickly or how slowly they respond is how quickly or slowly they are making decisions? My goal is that they can make a faster decision, without feeling stressed or worried and afraid! 

It may take hundreds or thousands of cues and signals until the horse will take your fast requests and give when you ask for “right now” types of decisions. 

A relationship with a horse that has lost trust that will let you remake him and learn to trust again, speaks highly for the horse and the rider.