Is Your Horse Paying The Price For Your Bad Choices

Here are some phrases that always make me cringe: "I had 30 days put on him by a friend of mine" or " I had a young guy who's kind of cowboy start him" or " My farrier is a trainer too and he put 30 days of him for me" or " This guy rides them every day for hours, you know really gets them broke". When I hear those statements I feel badly for the horse, because that person has made a bad choice and the horse is paying the price for that bad choice. They don't realize it, however, and often times will blame the horse or become angry with the horse.

Every choice you make affects your horse in a positive or a negative way.

When you choose a person to train your horse whose only objective is to "saddle break" the horse and achieves this objective by riding your horse for hours on the trail or until he has saddle sores or is physically exhausted your horse ends up paying the price for that decision. Don't be surprised if your horse doesn't want you riding him. If your horse has not been taught to change leads, collect his gait, flex or rein properly don't get flustered with him because he can't do those things when you ask. You made that choice - your horse didn't.

You make choices all the time that affect your horse. Choosing a saddle, tack and bit for your horse affects him. If the saddle doesn't fit him properly it may cause him pain. If it doesn't fit you properly you won't be seated correctly on your horse - which will affect him and could cause him pain as well. Choosing the right bit for your horse is important, too. The bit needs to fit him correctly and be suited to him. This , of course, applies to young horses, but to horses that have already been trained as well. In some cases you might purchase a horse and find out the previous owners were rough or heavy handed which hurt the horse's mouth. That's when you need to change the bit or perhaps try a Bosal. Choosing the wrong bit will harm you horse.

Training clinics are very popular today, but you need to be careful about the clinics you choose. I have had clients come to me with nervous, fretful, stubborn and sometimes fearful horses that they have created by attending a clinic. Remember just because they bill themselves as " the world's best or most trusted" doesn't mean that is the case. Going to a clinic where someone encourages you to poke your horse with a stick or chase him with it might not be your best choice. Going to a clinic where the person giving it insists you keep making your horse gallop around the round pen until he is exhausted is not the right choice. On the human side of it going to a clinic where the person giving the clinic ridicules and humiliates you is not a good choice for you or your horse. Please don't go to a clinic where they tell you to "move those feet" or they want you to push your horse away from you - that's ridiculous. You want your horse to enjoy being around you. Don't make a bad choice in what clinic you attend with your horse - it may harm your horse and you as well.

I guess what I'm saying here is think about what are you doing where your horse is concerned. I believe that 95% of the problems horses have today are caused by their humans making thoughtless

choices that harm them.