The Importance of Building a Good Relationship with Your Horse
Rewarding your horse isn’t always about training; sometimes it can be just as important to bond and build a good relationship with them. It is always important to remember, especially with a new horse, that they will only respond well to training once you have built up a positive relationship with them.
If you reward your horse with a quick pat when you’re in the saddle for something they do well, then they begin to develop a consistency in their actions, in expectation of the praise you have previously rewarded them with. This way, a healthy and positive relationship can be built up with the horse in a fairly simple and easy manner. There is little use in saving up treats until the end of the day. In fact, such actions only serve to confuse horses if the reward comes hours after the action for which they are being praised.
A popular reward system is to give them a sugar cube or perhaps a carrot, but such rewards should really be reserved for when the horse has done a particularly good job. For example, if you have completed a particularly difficult show jumping course. For everyday rewards, the horse should only expect a pat of affection as oppose to nutritious treats for their efforts, otherwise you run the risk of having a lazy or overly-expectant horse on your hands.
If you take the time to learn your horse’s soft spots, for example, behind the ears or on the withers then you too should be rewarded with a well-behaved and compliant companion. Whichever way you choose to go about rewarding your horse, be sure that you have invested in the best horse insurance. E&L insurance provides excellent rider insurance that will give you the peace of mind needed for riding and building a positive relationship with your horse.