Top 5 Ways to Gain a Horse's Trust

Being in sync with your horse makes riding more productive, and efficient. You are reliant on your horse while riding, and your communication is key. Gaining your horse’s trust is the primary hurdle than many people face when starting out. Here are a few of our recommendations on how to gain your horse’s trust.

  1. Don’t punish your horse, redirect them. Horses, like people, often recognize their mistakes without needing it addressed. Like people, when horses are punished for every misstep, they struggle to focus on the task at hand, instead of the punishment if they fail, causing a stressed, and less than flawless routine. Simply redirecting your horse to the desired result will allow your horse to relax, and gain your horse’s trust.

  2. Recognize Your Weakness. Mental and physical weaknesses directly impact your riding abilities, as well as your relationship with your horse. Horses are hyper-sensitive to our weaknesses, and emotions, making them hesitant to trust our judgement. When trying to direct a horse, you need their confidence in your decisions, and if they feel that you are uneasy, they will react to that. Knowing where you need to improve gives you the confidence to work on improving them, and your horse will thank you for it. Our instructors can help you to identify these weaknesses. You can learn more about our instructors here:

  3. Consistency. When working with your horse, the easiest trust exercise is making sure that what you’re asking of your horse is clear, direct, and consistent. Even if you work with your horse every day, you need to make sure that your interaction with him hasn’t changed. Make sure that your commands and signals aren’t changing. Work to make sure that you are always the calm, poised one in the relationship between you and your horse. Consistently work to stay calm and reassuring while pushing his boundaries, allowing your horse to trust your judgement, and your guidance.

  4. The benefit of the doubt. Always assume that your horse has the best intentions. We make mistakes often, and ask our horses to assume that we have their best interest in mind. When your horse is struggling with a command, a jump, or gets spooked, make sure that you are giving him the same respect that you hope he would give you. Our horses at Crimson Stables all work very hard to give the best lessons possible, and we always give them the benefit of the doubt. To meet our horses, click here .

  5. Boundaries. Quickly establishing a firm, but encouraging relationship sets a boundary that lets your horse know you’re in charge. It allows you to reestablish focus on a task, and reestablish confidence in your relationship with your horse. Similarly, when your horse reacts in a fearful or cautious way, you need to respect his boundaries. Learn your horse. Take the time to slowly persuade him while not stressing him. As much as your boundaries are important, so are your horses. A fearful, overly stressed horse will never preform the way that you would hope. Finding the balance between pushing your horse’s boundaries so that he can learn, and respecting his reactions is difficult, but ultimately rewarding.

Now that you have our recommendations, remember that every horse is different. Take your time to learn what he needs, and how you two work best together. Try to make sure every interaction is encouraging, trust building, and consistent. From there, you can continue to learn more about horse basics, care, and riding with the Crimson Stables Starter Program! Call us at 812-287-7326 for more information, or visit .

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