If you have not studied horse training, it can be a mystifying subject. Even more of a puzzle is a horse with a behavioural problem. This causes the owner stress and frustration. Many people don’t understand that the problem usually lies with the trainer not the horse.
The first step is unscrambling the horse’s behaviour. As an example, many riders experienced a horse being spooked. This means the horse is nervous and afraid something is going to “get him.” Every time the horse and rider go for a ride it is not a relaxing moment for either one of them.
Let’s assume the rider is causing the horse to spook, so we must find out how the rider is doing this. An inexperienced rider may not be aware that he is sitting tensely in the saddle. He also may be stiff as a board and has white-knuckles from gripping the reins so tightly. The horse can sense these things and will feel the same tension the rider is feeling. A horse can get into the habit of feeling this way. This will make the horse’s spookiness also the rider’s spookiness because the rider and the horse are intensifying each other’s fears to the point where their anxieties will grow by leaps and bounds.
The rider is human and has the capability of reasoning, so it is the rider to stop this irrational behaviour first in him and then in the horse. You must loosen up in the saddle. If you relax and have fun, the horse will signal that he notices a change. Then you need to talk to him to give him confidence. The horse’s behaviour will soon change and the end result will be a more relaxed and fun to ride horse.
Whether or not the rider is aware of it, he or she is training the horse by just riding him. Remember every time you interact with your horse you are training him. The horse will react to the encouragement he gets. If the encouragement is consistent, the horse’s reaction will become a habit. If the stimulus is tense, it causes fear and results in a spooky horse.
This is just one example of how you can be the reason for the horse’s behaviour. Now this is not true 100% of the time, but it is a good place to start unraveling the problem. In most cases it is where the problem began.