Do you have a dumb or a smart horse?

Horses, just like have people all have a slightly different temperament. Some horses are smarter than others. The way you train your horse influences the way he is going to behave.

You can calm down and slow down a nervous, scared horse that always tends to be too fast and you can speed up a lazy horse that never wants to move.

However, can you make your horse smarter?

The dumbest horse I have ever seen

A few years ago I have seen a horse that seemed just stupid. He couldn’t learn the simplest things while doing basic groundwork even after I tried many times.

You ask your horse to do something by applying a certain type of “pressure”. Most of the horses are going to react in some way, either they will do what you are asking for, or they will do something that you are not asking for.

Then, they will wait for your response.

You respond by either asking again, basically telling your horse “this is not what I wanted, try again” or by releasing the pressure to tell him that he did what you wanted.

How to “talk” to a horse when you want to teach him something

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Your horse then learns by somehow reacting on the pressure you create (or not reacting) and seeing what happens.

If you tell your horse “this is not what I wanted, try again” by asking him again, he will most likely just try to do something different. When you release the pressure, your horse learns what you were asking. He learns how to get rid of that type of pressure.

Your horse is most likely not really thinking about ways to please you and about what you want. He is thinking about ways to get rid of the pressure that you create.

Was the “stupid horse” really stupid? Or was it something else?

But let’s get back to the “stupid” horse that I have mentioned. Almost every time that I have met a horse that seemed “dumb” it was just that he became completely indifferent to humans and what they do around him, he was trying to get rid of being around people.

Almost always when I watched the owner of the “dumb” horse working with him, it became apparent what is really going on. The owner just worked with the horse in a way that could not have been understood by the horse.

If you ever feel like your horse is dumb, remember this

When your horse doesn’t understand you for too long, he is going to stop trying to understand. The only thing he will learn is that your behavior doesn’t make sense, he will not find any way to get rid of the pressure you create.

He will just learn that he has to stand you bothering him, he has to run away from you, or he has to scare you off.

Keep these simple rules in mind

The more “black and white” you behave and the more consistent you are while around your horse, the easier it is going to be for your horse to understand you.

That applies to not just the times when you are “working” with your horse in a round pen or when you are in the saddle. It starts right at the moment that you start approaching your horse in the pasture.

You always have to be consistent and react the same, if your horse does something he shouldn’t, correct him. It doesn’t matter if you are walking with him in the pasture on a lead rope or if you are in the saddle.

If you are consistent and behave in a way that your horse can understand he will never seem “dumb”.

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Do you have a dumb or a smart horse?
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