There are a lot of traditions and lore around horses, and some information we hold onto may no longer be true. It's fun to think that your horse or pony likes doing the same thing you do.
When have you ever seen a horse run barrels, jump a course of jumps, or execute a perfect 20-meter circle spontaneously with no human prompting? A horse may have qualities that make them more suitable for a certain sport but that doesn't mean it likes it more.
You both like a warm bed, the same kinds of food (to an extent), humans and dogs can survive by hunting, and both humans and dogs live in 'packs'. Horses are prey that hunters might like to eat, but they are herbivores and their social structure is quite different from dogs (and humans).
Although many people believe their horses are companion animals, they are not the same as dogs. Horses quickly sense which riders are clear communicators and make their cues irresistible.
But they don't carry on a conversation the way you sometimes see in the movies, with the constant stream of screams, squeals, and nickers. But it is really a complex structure of different materials including keratin, blood-rich tissue, and bone.
Wonderful riders make riding look easy. Watch racers or dressage riders and it seems the horse is going through the patterns on its own accord.
It may look like sitting but riders use their legs, arms, weight, hands, balance, and brains to ride. Although many factors, such as training and age, determine whether a horse is friendly, some breeds are more accustomed to people.
His friendly and charming personality also makes him well-suited to be a therapy horse, enriching the lives of the disabled, sick children and senior citizens. Hailing for Norway, the Norwegian fjord is a muscular horse who got his start working side-by-side with farmers needing help pulling a plow.
In addition to being a valuable therapy horse, he has a smooth gait that's similar to a human's walk, thus providing a pleasurable riding experience. His pure breeding lineage has protected his appearance from having many variances, giving him distinct blond hair with a black stripe down his back.
This is due to his multipurpose ancestry providing work, pleasure riding and short distance racing. His breed’s long history of interacting with people have left him with an easygoing temperament suitable for anyone seeking a friendly horse.
Standing 14 to 16 hands high, he comes in 16 colors, including black, brown, chestnut and palomino. This majestic horse is famous for his leveled, upright gait that delivers an easy riding experience for people.
It's a good sign if he's happy and curious around people, but if he seems nervous and uncomfortable with a human touch, he may not be the horse for you no matter what his breed. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.
Horses are unique animals, and they have always been seen as a sought after pet. Horses are great for people wanting a pet they can get out in the outdoors and enjoy an active lifestyle with.
Horse riding is a great way to keep fit and healthy in the outdoors. You can explore nature while keeping active, all with the help of your horse.
In most areas, there are horse riding clubs and stables where you can form friendships. Inborn temperament shapes how comfortable a horse is with being touched by people, recent research confirms.
In these tests, a horse's comfort level was assessed by measuring how long it took to be touched or haltered. Over the two years, individual equines were consistent in how often they licked or nibbled the motionless person in their pen.
Each horse was also consistent throughout the study in how long it took to being touched or haltered, regardless of whether the person involved was familiar. Horses that took the least amount of time to accept handling at eight months of age, were also the quickest to be touched in later years.
Horses that more often sniffed, licked or nibbled someone standing in their pen were also the ones who most readily allowed touching and haltering. “Equip social relationships are long-lasting and, in some cases, lifelong,” added the scientists, whose paper has been accepted for publication in the journal Animal Behavior.
Ethologist Sanka of the University of Rennes and her colleagues studied 20 Anglo-Arabian and three French Saddle bred horses stabled in Chambered, France. The training program for the horses consisted of 41 steps associated with basic grooming and medical care.
The horses also seemed to accept new people more readily, indicating they had developed a “positive memory of humans” in general. “From our results, it appears that horses are no different from humans (in terms of positive reinforcement teachings),” according to the researchers.
Since horses are able to learn and memorize human words” and can hear the human voice better than even dogs can, due to their particular range of hearing, the scientists predict trainers could have success if they incorporate more vocal commands into their horse training programs. My “what-if” mentality persisted well into adulthood until I finally realized that there was a lot I could do to decrease the chances of dangerous horse experiences.
While horses can be dangerous, risks can be substantially mitigated with things like knowledge, situational awareness, and safety equipment. Yet, if you ask any seasoned equestrian about how the risks associated with horses influence their decisions to ride, the vast majority will tell you that danger and injury are a negligible part of horse riding and pale in comparison to the appeal of horse/human partnership.
Most equestrians agree they gain far more than they risk by spending time with horses. Practical preparedness includes, at minimum, a proper-fitting helmet, safe footwear, and a qualified coach or mentor.
Boots that are safe for horseback riding have at least a 1 heel that minimizes the chances of accidentally getting stuck in the stirrups during a fall and causing you to be dragged by the horse. Boots with heels also help you keep your feet securely in the stirrups, increasing your balance, while riding.
Safety gear is essential, but finding a qualified and knowledgeable equestrian guide also is critical. The emergency dismount is a method of jumping off a horse’s back quickly in case things get out of hand.
Stay Calm If you haven’t noticed already, you will soon find that horses are incredibly intuitive animals. They are also flight animals, meaning that whatever uneasiness they pick up on in their surrounding “herd” (horse or human) will affect their own mental and emotional state.
There are several things that new horse riders can learn from basic equine psychology. Another thing you need to realize is that horses can be startled easily, so don’t make big, sudden movements around them.
Likewise, don’t make loud and unprecedented noises that might scare them. A strong but peaceful presence will foster trust between you and any horse you encounter.
We get to interact with remarkable, profoundly intuitive creatures that genuinely want to be our friends. She focuses on communication between horse and rider, with an emphasis in kind training tactics.
She resides in Auburn, WA, USA, with her husband, and daylights as a non-profit administrator. Dr. Carol Michael PhD says that, ideally, horses should eat 25 different plants per day.
So how can we provide this kind of natural plant and herb variety for our domestic horses ? Some people set aside a ‘doctor garden’ enclosure in their equine permaculture system to provide this variety, and allow their horses in there for a half hour a day to forage and self-medicate as they wish.
A good resource for which plants to avoid and which herbs are toxic for horses is found here. © Danielle MillsAnother great way to offer free-choice, fresh herbs to your horses is to plant them in old tires with upturned hanging baskets over top.
I tested each of them singly first to see whether my horses would eat them and then I mix them together (in varying proportions according to the herb) in a large tub. The pulse I mix in with the kelp powder (or Seacoast seaweed) and sprinkle 1 tbsp.
My willies are also more likely to try plants or leaves, and spit them out if they don’t like them, whereas the domestic horses won’t even take a bite. Dr. Michael noticed the same thing with domestic horses in the UK when they were turned out into larger, wilder fields and given the chance to forage.
Just give them time, and they will gradually begin to try and eat a wider variety of plants. Mini Patel Thompson is a natural health writer and Later Tapping instructor.
Are you in search of a bedding product, but are worried about toxic shavings for horses ? Certain types of wood can be poisonous for horses and can often be the cause of a host of different health problems.
Horses can have sensitivity or allergic reactions to particular types of wood, that’s why it’s so important to know exactly what’s in your shavings. Below is a detailed list of the best and worst types of wood to make shavings with.
Softwood Commonly Pine, Fir, and other woods are used to make animal bedding. Typically, softwood shavings are the cheapest, and they’re often sufficiently fragrant to mask any unwanted odors.
However, in some cases, if Pine is too green, some sap may remain which can irritate the horses skin. Dust should be kept to a minimum as it presents a health risk to both horses and humans alike.
Devils Ivy (Pathos, Golden Pathos, Taro Vine, Ivy Arum) | Scientific Names: Epipremnum aureus | Family: Tracheae Dock (Sorrel) | Scientific Names: Rum ex SP.
St. John’s Wort (Namath Weed) | Scientific Names: Hyperion perforated | Family: Crustacean Stagger bush (Fetter bush, Male berry) | Scientific Names: Lyon SP.