Fun Horse Facts – Horses Are Learning At All Times
Did you know that horses are learning things every moment? That means every minute you spend with them, you are teaching them something, good or bad. Even when riding.
Let’s say your horse walks up to you in the paddock, starts rubbing it’s head against you and all you do is laugh and pat your horse. You have just taught your horse that it is okay for it to push you around and not be respectful of your space.
Horses learn with positive reinforcement. If the horse gets away with doing something once, it will continue doing it, at which time it will get better at doing it as time goes on and harder to correct. After all, habits are hard to break.
There are times we keep treats in our pockets. The horse sees us reaching into the pocket and pull out a treat. Now, when your back is turned, the horse will nip you at your pocket, and you think it is cute, therefore, not disciplining the behavior. The horse has learned that it is alright to do this and continues this habit, at which time the horse will be labeled as a “biter” and dangerous. The horse is not dangerous at all. It was taught by a human to do this.
If you watch horses when they are together on their own, you will notice that horses will let each other know that certain behaviors are not acceptable. They accept it and move on.
Humans need to learn that disciplining a horse is not cruel. It’s a way to let them know what is right and what is wrong. They do not hold grudges. Besides, would you want 1,200 pounds walking all over you?
I certainly don’t.
We should all take a lesson from the horses and learn from every experience. It will make us better in the long run.