Sensitive horses are also known as high strung. They are usually forward, light on the aids, and quick to react. This can be wonderful for a skilled rider, but disastrous for a novice. A sensitive horse needs clear, understandable aids. They can quickly become frustrated or enter a flight mode, if provoked. There’s an art to riding them!
These horses are best left to an experienced rider. This person must also have light aids. Here’s some tips…
- Keep training sessions simple and short
- Utilize figures, circles, and transitions
- Don’t go overboard with the whip or spurs
- Avoid harsh punishments
- Be patient and allow the horse to learn at their pace
- Don’t push past your horse’s comfort zone
- Know when to slow things down or go back to the basics
- Reward them when they try
- View training as a series of steps, rather than leaps
- Be flexible with your goals for each ride
Remember, the sensitive horse is easily stressed, overwhelmed, and spooked! You want to keep your riding sessions positive by knowing when to stop and when to push. When in doubt, slow down your ride and go back to something your horse is good at. As you progress, take smaller steps in the right direction and reward the tries!
Each horse is unique! A skilled trainer treats the horse as an individual. Some training techniques may work with one horse, but not the other.
Need more tips? Check out ‘Tips For Dealing With A Hot Horse‘.