Traffic Training with Melanie Watson

Do you ride out dreading what you might meet on the roads?
Or maybe you don’t ride out at all because your horse is scared of traffic?

Well, fear not – we have some solutions for you! Guest trainer, Melanie Watson, shows you how you can train your horse to be calm and relaxed around traffic.

This is a brilliant and really useful exercise – you’ll see Melanie work with trucks and tractors but you can repeat this exercise with push bikes, prams, quad bikes and cars (and to make it trickier turn the radio up, tie things behind it, have things flapping out the windows) to start wherever your horse is at.

Melanie runs a yard in the UK where she takes in ‘problem’ horses and young horses etc and trains them, along with their owner, using reward-based training. This is a fantastic place making big changes for lots of horses and helping their owners understand how to continue to use these techniques at home to get great results with happy horses.

Hannah spent a day filming with Melanie recently and here are some videos of the work she was doing with a mare who was frightened of traffic. This fear had increased to the point where she did not want to leave home at all, was showing extreme napping behaviour and both horse and rider had completely lost their confidence out on the roads.

Watch the traffic training video now:


UPDATE FROM MELANIE:
Helen has gone back home now and I keep getting reports from her. Helen has become so confident now and is riding routes through villages which she has totally avoided for 2 years.

She has learned well and understands about making instant choices for Paisley and keeps up with high reward….as a result she even rides the main bus routes now.

No napping at all. No anger or going backwards anymore on all those routes which were formerly impossible.”

Good stuff, eh? 🙂

You can find out more from Melanie by following her on Facebook!

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8 thoughts on “Traffic Training with Melanie Watson”

  1. It warms my heart to see the time taken to calm a nervous, sometimes mistrustful horse, and see the progress towards trust and comfort. Lovely, truly lovely! Melanie is a wonderful addtion to your already sterling and compassionate team. Wish I were in England with you all!

  2. Once again I find my self wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?” I have two Arabians who have never been ridden outside of a ring and I want to ride alongside the road I live on. It’s fairly busy and the speed limit is 70 mph. Now I know how to train the boys to be calm out there! Thank you so much! Paisley is a beautiful mare and looks great for a 20-year old!

  3. Rachel Bedingfield

    Great comments and we love Melanie and her training. We’re so lucky to have such a good trainer available to recommend when people feel unable to do it themselves. But then Melanie recommends her clients to join Connection Training when they get their horses home so they can keep up the good work and learn how to solve any future problems themselves too. It’s win-win for us, Melanie, our clients and their horses!

  4. Thank you for so generously sharing this. Morgen is afraid of cows and this gives me some ideas on how to help her overcome that. She stops looks and then turns her head back to me and I know she’s ready to go on. My husband gets out of the carriage and walks with her to show her it’s okay, when she is really afraid.

  5. Rachel Bedingfield

    It’s a neck strap…usually a spare stirrup leather. It’s just there to give the rider something to grab if she feels insecure and so that she doesn’t grab the reins. I think it’s an old British tradition…we certainly always had them when I went for riding lessons and lots of experienced riders always put one on just in case. .

  6. Great training idea, I’ve been working with my guy on traffic. I’m getting out the tractor this week. Thanks for sharing. G

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