3 - Hips to the Fence Emotional Level

Recognising and understanding your horse's different emotional level is the key to all training.

Training Notes:

  • All training is about getting the emotional right but as this is often one of the first lesson people teach a horse when training by these principles, it becomes a good lesson for the trainers.
  • If your horse, like Pie in the video, is rather 'over emotional' then you will need to be quiet and consistent with him. Try to ignore all of the unnecessary behaviour (and by 'ignore' I really mean DON'T correct). The horse will soon work out that kicking at the whip requires a huge amount of energy whereas moving a step to the left requires almost none!
  • Remain standing at the horse's head and hold the rein close to the bit if the horse is kicking up. Be very careful, especially if you are handling a horse that is a known kicker.
  • You are looking for one direction (left) and the horse can move 6 - Pie in the video is pretty sure the answer is 'up' to begin with. Be patient and wait for your horse to move in the direction you are wanting, left, and reward that immediately.
  • Notice that once your horse responds correctly and is released a few times for doing so, his emotional level lowers quickly and the lesson progresses rapidly.