Calming a Nervous Horse (Another Approach)
Calming a Nervous Horse (Another Approach)
A wonderful day, not a cloud in the sky, and you go for a horse ride. You have been planning it for quite some time and are looking forward to meeting new places.
Unfortunately, your horse is worried. Even during the cleaning and saddle, she showed signs of nervousness, and now, when you sat down in the saddle, you can literally feel her anxiety through an occasion, by the way she fiercely gnaws iron, and with her whole body, because she begins to dance in place. It seems like you are sitting on a bomb about to explode.
A tense, nervous horse can ruin all the joy of a walk. You cannot relax and enjoy it when your horse is annoyed, and you are worried that she will begin to bite, shine, whirl in place, tremble or rush at all paces, try to hit other horses … You start to worry about your own safety …
“There is a big difference between a horse that is excited or tense and a frightened horse,” said outstanding trainer Linda Tellington-Jones. – A tense horse is often afraid of contact with the mouth, sides, or stomach and is overly responsive to the shenkel. She may be afraid of touching anywhere in the body and strain the abdominal muscles. Tense, restless horses tend to be anxious all the time, unlike a frightened horse that “explodes” suddenly, or a “playing” horse. Riding a restless horse can inadvertently worsen its condition. you can start to use the controls in a “defensive” manner, picking up a shorter occasion. However, when you tighten the occasion, you create additional tension in the horse’s neck and provoke her to lift her head. And this, in turn, can switch the horse to “use stolen “regime. Additional tension affects the horse’s breathing and can cause additional problems, because the horse becomes enslaved. Its tense muscles interfere with normal blood flow and, accordingly, provide oxygen to the brain, the horse stops thinking clearly. Neuro-impulses are blocked, which makes it less able to feel her limbs. ”
The solution is to teach the horse to find its psychological, physical and emotional balance. This can be done with the help of Tellington TTouches (a form of working with a horse’s body when you make a lot of circular motions, upward movements and slides with your fingertips or palms), Tellington exercises in your hands and work under the saddle.
Three TTouch and one arm / saddle exercise designed to calm a nervous horse will be described below.
TTouch No. 1. Serpentine upward movement
This TTouch is great for relieving muscle tension in the back and increasing blood flow. It relaxes the nervous horse, increases its confidence and awareness of the body, helps to “eliminate” the flight reflex.
Key points: legs, back, inner thighs.
How to do it: start at the top of the horse’s forearm. Put your hands on both sides of the leg. Start driving with “two-way pressure”. (Below we will specify what kind of pressure should be applied).
Make a circle and a quarter circle with one hand, then pull the skin up with both hands with sufficient contact so that your hands do not slip over the horse’s skin. Hold your hands for several seconds until the skin slowly returns to normal.
Note. Your touch just stretches the skin up, increasing circulation and minimizing the effect of gravity on these few moments.
Move your hands a few centimeters and repeat the circle and rise. Work from top to bottom. If the horse removes the foot from touching, you squeeze too much or pull the skin too much.
TTouch No. 2. Cow tongue
This TTouch got its name due to the long, smooth sliding movements from the middle of the abdomen to the middle of the back. Touching improves your horse’s flexibility, coordination and helps calm a tense or “scared horse,” who does not like pressure on his legs.
Key points: housing.
How to perform: to calm a tense horse, use a flat palm, because curved fingers stimulate and activate. Stand at the girth area. Place one hand on the horse’s back and the other on the midline of the abdomen, directly behind the elbow.
Swipe your lower hand over the growth of the coat with a long, soft, continuous motion. When you get close to the middle of the abdomen, turn your hand so that your fingers point up to the top line of the horse.
Continue to move smoothly until you reach the middle of the top line of your horse. Stop moving when you cross the spine.
Start the next movement at the distance of the palm of your hand from the starting point of the first (about 10 cm) – so you will advance from the elbow to the groin.
Try applying different pressure and speed on both sides of the horse.