So far we have seen that horses:
- prefer to be with other horses
- have some protective instincts that can make them difficult for us to handle ( such as running away, biting, kicking)
- use body language to communicate with each other and with us
- rely on their senses for information on possible danger
- use a social structure to find their place within a group of horses.
The next activity asks you to put your knowledge of horse behaviour to use, by interpreting some common situations that occur when we approach horses.
How would you approach the horse?
Did you know?
When we rush, our muscles are tense, we make quick movements and this signals danger to horses. Some horses don't give us much time to catch them before they are looking for an escape route so we have to be organised, know how the gear is fitted and adjusted before we go near the horse.
There are often young horses in racing stables. They may not have had much handling at all, so having the headcollar on may be quite a trauma for them. We need to make this a positive experience for them so they will be easier to catch next time. Note that it is safer and more efficient to have the leadrope attached to the headcollar before approaching the horse.
By keeping your body relaxed and using slower movements the horse is less likely to become nervous when we approach it.
After you have finished the activity click NEXT to learn about fitting a headcollar and lead.