Teach Your Horse Curiosity - Under Saddle

1. Repeat the exercise of nose to object under saddle. It could be harder to get them to touch the objects when riding so make sure this is really well enforced on the ground and if they aren’t getting it hop off and repeat the exercise on the ground and then get back on and ask again under saddle. Remember to use your training rules, be clear and consistent, follow through to the result by making the task easier until they get a win, repeat no more than 3 times, reward.
2. This is a bit harder to challenge but we get to the purpose of this exercise when we are out riding and our horse decides something is scary.

Investigating the scary object

1. The pressure is the legs, the object is the thing the horse is scared of the release of pressure is the release of the rein aid and leg pressure.
2. The horse will want to turn away from the scary object so we maintain pressure (rein pressure to steer toward the scary object and leg pressure to walk on) when the horse is going in any other direction other than in the direction of the scary object. We release the pressure (stop hassling with the reins and legs) when the horse is heading to the scary object.
3. Keep up this pressure release until the horse gets to the scary object and encourage to touch it with their nose. Keeping in mind that the horse may jump or spin quickly if it moves or makes a noise (sometimes they do this without it moving or making a noise they have just exhausted their brave muscle)
4. Approach from all different directions until the horse is no longer interested and walking calmly past it
5. Praise and turn out if that is appropriate for the training session.

This exercise can make your horse VERY inquisitive so much so that it will drag you around every new place you go to to see and smell all the things. It can be an exciting adventure for them, especially if they are getting bored and sour at home. That’s great, it just means that you have another opportunity to practice your discipline exercises to make sure they are politely taking you on that adventure.

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Katie Boniface