When the wind blows my horse stops listening

Not long ago have I received a question about a horse that stops paying attention to his rider once the wind starts blowing. He gets distracted and all of a sudden has problems with performing simple exercises that are otherwise easy for him. The question was whether you should tolerate the horse misbehaving in the wind, or whether you should even ride on him once it is windy.

It is true that there are a lot of horses that have problems focusing on their rider under various circumstances. Some horses don’t like wind, some get nervous once it starts to get dark, some other horses might be easily distracted by other horses, or some new things laying around.

What happens when you tolerate your horse misbehaving when he gets spooked by the wind?

If you tolerate your horse misbehaving under these more difficult circumstances, what will most likely happen is that he will start to misbehave under normal circumstances as well.

If you are just not going to ride on your horse when it is windy, you will not spoil him, but you will not improve either.

If you want a reliable horse that will listen to you under any circumstances it is important to be able to have his full attention at all times. (I know that every horse will test his rider from time to time, however it doesn’t have to happen often, and it can be very symbolic.)

How to fix it when your horse gets spooky in the wind

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What to focus on when your horse stops paying attention to you?

Once you see that your horse is not paying enough attention to you, it is important to get his attention back.

I do it by increasing the pressure until my horse reacts as he should.

When he reacts I release the pressure as usual.

However what is important is that if I see that I am having trouble keeping my horse’s attention I do not try to teach him anything new. I just focus on the things my horse already knows.

It will always be easier to get the attention back if you react as quickly as possible once you lose it.

How long does it take to fix this?

What happens often is that your horse might be watching something outside of the ring, you ask him to do something simple to gain his attention back (for example a small circle with your horses head turned inside of the circle, figure of eight in walk or trot or something else)

Like this you will get the attention back, however very soon after you finish the exercise, your horse will be back to being distracted and watching whatever he was watching before. So you will again have to do something to get his attention back.

I know that sometimes you might get this behavior from your horse during the whole riding session. Or sometimes even more days in a row, it surely happened to me.

However, if you want your horse to listen reliably and to pay attention to you, you have no other choice. (At least I didn’t find any better way) Just stay calm, and keep correcting your horse every time you lose his attention. All you need is to last longer than your horse.

It might be really annoying to constantly correct your horse but it is just important to never give up, because sooner or later you will start feeling a big difference and get a truly reliable horse.

When the wind blows my horse stops listening
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