With horse sensitivity mechanics so vastly misunderstood, and horses currently proven to be the silent sufferers of our selfish equine related ambitions, there are things that you can adjust so your horses are provided a better and more relevant environment than is currently the accepted norm. 

Horses need the security of their friends, other horses, a social life, a forever home, some stability and routine.  Their needs cared for and to be understood and provided the time, understanding and respect needed to perform the robotic things we expect from them.

If you start by carefully building a respectful, gentle foundational relationship with your horse, and maintain that in ALL you do, you will naturally,  fairly, empathize with your horses holistic needs.  But if you treat horses as a mechanical commodity, (which is the accepted norm), then you will inevitably cause your horse mental and emotional damage at the very least.

Horses love to really connect with people, to engage and to do things, much like dogs.  But they don't like being treated like machines, not allowed to show any sort of exuberance lest they frighten their handler and receive punishment.

Horses need to be allowed the freedom of their own space where they can be themselves, play, buck and rear, kick out, be a horse without reprimand or restriction.

But people tend to control their every little move even in the horses own space.

Give them toys, encourage them to come out of their shells, play with them like you run around and play with dogs, encourage them to express themselves, unlock them from the mental prison people have placed them in their whole lives constantly.

Allow freedom as much as you can, ride on a loose rein, take them for walks, let them go for a run around like a mad hatter in the arena then roll like a frenzied chook, they aren't hurting anyone and they need to be able to express themselves and be allowed to 'be' a horse.

Your lead is not there to be clung to and held, it's there for a signal if you need to give one, your reins are not there to be gripped in case the horse decides to do something, they are there to provide a signal IF needed, your legs are not there to grip and to inflict a boot, they are there to gently rub on the horses sides to provide a signal if required.

Your voice is not there to provide growlings and defensive commands, it is there to communicate kindly and normally as you would with a pet dog.

Horse riding is not all about work and achievement, you must also balance learning with fun and free enjoyment times, like going for a relaxed pick of grass or letting the horses explore and socialize.

Allow time and show your horse gently what is wanted / needed and understand where they are coming from and empathize with them, provide a relaxing and a calming home for them with all their mental, emotional and physical needs met and be gentle, kind, fair and respectful with them, encouraging them to show their unique personality and express themselves, provide a safer diet for them that doesn't hurt their belly or natural mechanics,  then you will see happy horses with blue ringed eyes and dappled coats ;)

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