Today our lessons were about in-hand work with horses.
We learnt that working a horse in-hand can be extremely rewarding, as it gives the horse confidence and cements the bond and trust between the two of you. We each worked alongside our favourite horse (me with The Kiwi :-D), and had them in a simple rope halter and lead.
We then began by playing The Friendly Game, to prove to your horse that you can be trusted completely, and therefore gaining their permission to touch them without forcing them to accept it. Starting with your hand, you will gently stroke your horse all over his body, praising him whenever he accepts this and continuing until there is no adverse reaction. Using the approach and retreat, different objects can be used, starting with a soft towel, an empty bottle, a bottle with stones in, plastic bags, and a feather duster; building up from the least frightening to the more frightening objects.
It was amazing working alongside Kiwi; he’s so inquisitive! I felt that we really connected, and aside from a few movements away with his head he trusted me completely with whatever I was touching him with. Such a lovely feeling!
Written by Anna (UK)