When horses get scared, they can’t think clearly. Their main instinct is to flee!
For a horse to learn well, they need to be calm.
Old-school horse training often tells us to push horses towards scary things with flags and whips. But this isn’t a good idea. It can make horses more scared and be risky!
A better way is to let your horse choose to check out new things on their own.
Do this by bringing new objects to a place where your horse feels safe, like their field or a yard near their buddies.
Teach them to ‘target’ or touch different items and give them a reward when they do.
They’ll start seeing new things as fun and interesting, sparking their natural curiosity.
As their curiosity develops, so does their ability to handle the unknown with ease and interest.
Here are a couple of success stories using targeting:
In this first video, Honey learns to get over her fear of water. She was really nervous about water at first, but targeting changed that!
In this second video, Bella is super scared of a plastic board. But, with targeting, she chose to go up to it, touch it and even play with it. She learned that the board isn’t scary at all and is actually fun!
P.S. Look for the cow audience 🙂
This technique is fantastic! Whether it’s getting your horse into a trailer, through tight spots, over bridges, or into water, or helping them approach new things – it’s a total game-changer!
And the best part? Teaching your horse to target is easy and fast, and it makes them much calmer.
Your horse will start looking at new things with curiosity, not fear. You’ll see a BIG change in how they act.