19. THE 2 OPPOSING METHODS OF CONDITIONING HORSES NOT TO FEAR VS RELATIONSHIP & TRUST
Starkly different are these 2 opposing and opposite approaches to horses.
An example of conditioning a horse to get it used to something is 'bagging', rubbing sacks all over your horse, towels, plastic bags etc. To get the horse to not be fearful of things making a noise or moving round it touching it.
An example of the of relationship & trust to get the same is taking your horse for a pick of grass on the lead and allowing the horse to choose within reason where you go, like a dog on a lead and you're there as a friend and confidant.
I've used and been taught to use the former approach and have used it for years.
I've also experimented with the other and have found a stark contrast in result.
The horse who is conditioned is nervous, only obedient in a small set of relevant situations in which it has been conditioned and does not trust or look to the handler for confidence.
The way of quietly building a calm and caring relationship and bond creates that doughy, half asleep, calm, trusting horse that becomes unflappable no matter where it is or what's going on around it, and you are it's source of confidence.
Repetitive & slight abuse kills trust and creates a fearful horse. It creates riding phobias and horses who spook and shy at their environment.
I have a challenge for anyone interested in having a true bond with their horse and want to be able to do anything, anywhere with them:
Just for 1 day, spend time with your horse like it's a pet dog.
Pat, cuddle, gently talk to it and take it for a walk somewhere the horse is comfortable to have a pick of grass, let the horse lead and be there chatting away as if it can understand English, no harshness, no growling, all with a soft caring attitude. Scratch them, pat them etc...
Then watch their confidence skyrocket, their bad behaviour disperse...etc...
I've worked with the worst of the worst horses in my time. All have responded miraculously to this change of approach.