How do you know your horse loves to do something?

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How do you know your horse loves to do something?

This is a discussion on How do you know your horse loves to do something? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How to tell if your horse likes jumping
  • How to know if a horse likes to jump

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    05-28-2011, 04:40 PM
How do you know your horse loves to do something?

Many people says:
She loves to jump!
He didn't do barrels with heart, even if he did it perfectly.

How do you know that?
I'm always saying my mare loves trails, she is calm and relaxed there, and that she didn't like showjumping, but what tells me that?
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    05-28-2011, 06:01 PM
Super Moderator
You know because the horse is so happy doing it. The stallion in my avatar both jumped and evented and did dressage. He was really good at dressage, but his heart was really in jumping. He would tolerate dressage.

He knew the different tack. When I tacked him for jumping, he was giddy with happiness. When I tacked him for dressage, he would sigh. Doing some of the more boring work, he would start moaning, even while doing it well...just to let me know he was bored. If the dressage got more challenging, he would enjoy it more. He always knew I would pop him over a small jump or two as a reward for good flat work (I hate jumping in a dressage saddle!).

When jumping, since I rarely school over really big jumps, I would set up horrible turns and distances. The harder it was, the more this horse loved it. He would free jump if I turned him out in the ring.

If you know your horse, you should be able to feel what he loves.
    05-28-2011, 06:29 PM
Manca, looking at my qh you can tell right away. When she's unhappy her ears are back and she has that pissy expression on her face you just can't misread. Example would be I tried working her on cows: 2 clinics, couple team sorting, couple lessons etc. EVERY single time she looked upset and tried to get the cow (either bite or kick). So I just switched. Same with jumping: while she tried it was like "ok, you wanna me to do that, I'll do that". No interest, just bored expression. My paint on other hand is like: "you wanna jump? Ok lets do it, lets try hard!" here we go 2+ feet over 10" cross-rails... I think very often it depends on personality of the horse. But again most of the time it's pretty easy to tell if they don't like something at all.
    05-28-2011, 08:02 PM
The pony I ride, when he doesn't enjoy the work, he tenses right up, and really, just lifelessly goes along. When he enjoys the work, his ears perk up, he has more life in his strides(bigger/faster), and it just feels differently. I can see/feel the difference.
    05-28-2011, 09:13 PM
Green Broke
When my girls really like doing something, they listen better. Their ears are perked forward. You can feel their body tensed ready for action, but they aren't worked up just ready. They respond quickly with very little pressure.
    05-28-2011, 09:15 PM
I love my horse we do eventing and my horse has fun when I have fun. If Im happy riding him that I always am:) his tail is up and his forward and enjoys it!!! His such a sweet horse to ride I adore him.
but you know every horse and rider have bad days right. Well when those day's come we don't have fun, but we work thro them ! If you have fun and make it fun for your horse they also will have fun with you :P

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