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Dealing With A Fresh Horse

We all know the signs of a fresh horse: raised head, wide eyes, flaring nostrils. The cool weather gives them infinite energy and seems to turn every ordinary object into a big, scary monster and no amount of lungeing seems to be enough. Stay safe and in control of your energetic horse with these tips:

  • Don't rush to get on! Groundwork is important to get your horse's attention before you get on. Groundwork shouldn't be used just to let your horse blow off steam which can often leave him more excited than before. Make him listen to you and focus his mind on working and behaving.
  • Take time to gather your own thoughts. It's easy to make up our mind on how the ride is going to go before we even put our foot in the stirrup. Take a deep breath and focus on reacting positively. Don't try to combat your horse's reactivity with more reactivity through your gestures. The faster your horse moves - the slower your hands should move. You can't be in control of your horse if you aren't in control of yourself first.
  • Make his feet move! Get off the rail and try figure-eights, serpentines, transitions, and circles. He can't focus on being crazy if his attention is on controlling his feet. Simply walking around isn't going to do anything to calm your horse down.
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