Desensitizing your horse means exposing him or her to a wide variety of colorful objects, loud noises and scary situations so you know he or she can handle them without spooking. The goal is to create a bombproof animal you can trust to stay calm in the midst of chaos. This practice is commonly used for training police horses, but it is a good habit for all riders to do. Here are three reasons you should consider desensitizing your horse.
A Desensitized Horse Is Safe
If you plan on using your horse for riding lessons, he or she needs to be bombproof because beginner riders have no idea what signals they are giving the animal. If something unexpected happens during the lesson, you don’t want the horse to bolt with the student. You can trust a desensitized horse to act appropriately in any situation.
A Desensitized Horse Is Predictable
You don’t want to be alone on a trail ride and have your horse spook at some rustling leaves and dump you. Not only could you get hurt, but your horse could bolt and get lost. If you take the time to get your animal accustomed to loud noises, you know how he or she will react when he or she hears one so you can react appropriately.
A Desensitized Horse Is Reliable
If you compete on your horse, you need to know that he or she is reliable in the arena. Try exposing your animal to many horse jump designs with bright colors so you know how he or she will react when approaching them in competition. A reliable horse will approach jumps steadily without spooking.
Desensitizing your horse is a good idea because it keeps both you and your animal safe in unpredictable situations. Although the process may seem daunting, these three reasons prove that desensitizing your horse is a great way to improve your riding skills.