Horses Choosing to be Tacked Up and Ridden?

This topic is all about horses choosing to be tacked up and ridden – is it possible that they actually will choose to be ridden and, if so, how can you train it?

Choice is a huge part of Connection Training and giving horses a voice and allowing them to participate in the decisions you make together is key to building a strong, trusting relationship. But, how do horses express their opinions?

This all comes down (as always) to the emotions your horse displays. Horses communicate their preference by obvious signs such as walking towards or away from the mounting block when given both options, and small signs such as tail swishes or posture showing whether they’re happy with the situation or feeling some tension. By watching for these signs and listening to them, you will always be working with your horse, giving them a say in everything you do. For example, if you approach with the saddle and your horse walks away, stiffens up or swishes their tail, he’s clearly saying, “no” to being tacked up and it’s then up to us to listen and stop. 

Changing negative emotions and tension into joy, enthusiasm and relaxation is a key training area of CT – think about despooking, ‘problem’ behaviours, resistance or anxiety. In this video, I look at some specific areas you can work on to help your horse feel so positive about being tacked up and mounted that they say a very definite, “YES!” when you ask if they’d like to be ridden! This is the grounds of a fantastic ridden partnership and, honestly, is one of the best feelings in the world!

Hope you enjoy it and find it helpful. Please leave any comments or questions below 🙂 

You can see this session in full, along with hundreds of other video tutorials in the Connection Training Club. I’d love for you to join our friendly, supportive and fun global community and learn more about how to use CT in a practical way with your horse. Head over here to find out more. See you there!

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1 thought on “Horses Choosing to be Tacked Up and Ridden?”

  1. My horse will come to the mounting block if I give him a little bit of encouragement, a very slight pull on the leadrope, definitely not a battle, but hardly enthusiasm. I reward him, and he enjoys that, and he is MUCH better than he used to be, still, it is more as if he is saying, Oh, alright. I even stopped using a saddle in case that was the problem. I wonder if my treats just aren’t appealing enough. I was giving him things like carrot and apple, but I was treating him so much that I thought I should switch to something else. I still give him some sweets, but mostly Romaine lettuce, which he seems to like. What do you feed? You’ve probably answered that before, sorry.
    Thanks, love you videos and help!!!
    Kimberly Smiley

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