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5 Tips for Enjoying Your Equine Time
Monica Erman

 by Monica Erman

We aquired our horses to enjoy them. We love their beauty, intelligence, grace and power. Whether we are riding, cleaning tack, grooming our beloved steed or watching him graze, horses seem to lift away any stress we may be holding.  Here are five easy tips to maximize the time we spend around your horse.
1) Few of us have the same reasons for owning a horse. If your greatest pleasure comes from watching your horse in the field outside your home, don't feel pressured into riding.  He is not being "neglected" if given sufficient shelter, feed and health care. Providing him with the best living situation will help him feel his best, making him more beautiful for you.
2) If you are not pleased with the partnership you have with your horse, sit down to write out your desires and goals.  Be as detailed and elaborate as you can.  What would you  like to change about your horse's performance? Would you like him to lead better or respond faster to your cues; and if so which ones? Be specific and make a lesson plan to train him on those particulars.
Give you and your horse small goals at first.  Assigning yourself with too many exercises at once can lead to discomfort and discouragement. Slow and steady mini steps are better than rushed and stressful leaps, not to mention more effective.
3) Our thoughts and words lead to actions, so avoid talking negatively about your horse. Don't call him 'stupid' or 'an idiot.' That is not conducive to a happy relationship. Focus on the characteristics you most appreciate. As you build your communication through training, you'll find his talents will blossom.
4) Use training methods that build a trusting partnership. We shouldn't need to hit or jerk on our partner at all.  Correcting our horse isn't opportunity for exception to that principle. We can change his actions without hurting him.  When we do that we are building control and respect without fear, which leads to trust.
5) Take advantage of the many trainers devoted to instructing equestrians. Participating in an apprenticeship or clinic may solve the problem you thought you had to live with and supply answers you never thought available. The more we learn about horses, the more we can appreciate and enjoy them.

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