Get your horse feeling like he's on top of the world with these four tips for horse happiness
1 It's important to be clear, consistent and calm with what you want from your horse, so praising him when he's done well is key. Just giving him a stroke on his neck or face if he moves over in the stable for you, or a kind word if he picks up his feet without you asking, will let him know he's doing a great job.
2 Tack that fits your horse well is essential if you want him to feel his best when he's working. Get his saddle fitted by a qualified saddle fitter and perform regular checks on all of his equipment to make sure nothing is rubbing or causing him any sort of discomfort.
3 When your horse has a 'eureka' moment during his work, he should be rewarded. So, make it easy for him to get things right by keeping work in the school simple, and he'll feel great for grasping it. Just 10 minutes each day, no matter how the routine, can give his confidence a boost.
4 Brushing your horse isn't just good for his skin, it increases his blood flow and this makes for an all-round happy horse. This, and mutual grooming (e.g. scratching him on the withers), feels natural for your horse and helps to increase that feeling of togetherness. Pay special attention to his itchy spots.
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