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How Do I Show a Horse That I Am The Leader/Boss?
I recently bought a mare and I am newish to horses, not a beginner, but not experienced. She is strong willed and I want to show her that I am a good leader, and the "boss"
Your definition of a strong-willed horse may have a different meaning to each person who answers that based on their interpretation of what a strong-willed horse is.
1. All horses share the same language, so that is hopefully the first basic to help you out.
2. Horses know you better than you know yourself LOL and as a relatively new person to horses, my suggestion is that you find a 3 dimensional live person to help you learn and work with your horse rather than go to any forum for assistance. That is for your own safety as well as your horse's safety.
3. If you find someone to help you, your horse will tell you whether that person is going to be a good trainer and helper to you. If your horse dislikes him/her, there is always a reason, and horses never lie.
I hope these suggestions are helpful to you.
A lead horse or "boss" horse is the horse that can move all the others feet. So making your mare move is showing her you are in power.
I think as a newish rider, you should always start with a horse that is 'perfect', not one that a newish rider would classify as strong willed. If you classify your horse as strong willed, then I would seriously recommend a trainer. Yesterday. Being the boss of a dominant (strong willed) horse requires things that can't be explained on a forum. It requires knowledge and intuition that you cannot get here.
Agreed. You should find someone to help you in person. Also you should learn about herd dynamics and behavior. Then you should study up on how to do groundwork.
There are many places and trainers that you can learn from. Magazines, books, videos on YouTube, shows on tv, and websites. You can learn from various trainers. I personally like Clinton Anderson. I feel he is easy to understand and follow. Others like Parelli, Monty Roberts, John Lyons and many others. You'll have to choose one or more that you can understand. Try to soak in as much as you can and don't stop learning.
To answer your question, doing groundwork and making her move her feet when and where you ask, that will get her respect and establish your leadership.
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For starters, when you lead her, always turn her away from you, to the right. The reason for this is that the horse that is higher in the pecking order will push the horse around like this. When you turn her to your left, she thinks she is pushing you away. Spend a good half hour walking with her making numerous turns away from you. Don't ride her for now. If she doesn't move away use the flat of your left hand, waving it back and forth so she thinks you will hit her in the eye. As soon as she starts to turn away, stop with the hand for a few seconds then repeat. When done often enough she will turn when you merely raise your hand and will better respond to the lead shank. You body will be facing her head. If you don't have a knotted halter, get one as she will be more responsive in it than with a flat halter.
You show her that you're the boss by actually being the boss. It's not so much about whether you can push her around or make her do things. That's how you show dominance and it's not difficult to do with most horses as they're naturally easily intimidated by a human being. Dominance plays a part in it but what a horse trusts is a person who makes good decisions, keeps them out of trouble, is consistently cool-headed, isn't easily startled or upset by anything that happens, provides a calm and reassuring presence when the horse gets unsure or scared, and builds their confidence by challenging them to get better without burning them out or over-exposing them. These are things that only come with time, study, sacrifice, experience, and an unquenchable desire to reach past the mediocre and strive for excellence in your horsemanship.
Groundwork groundwork groundwork
I like Clinton Anderson's techniques. You can rent his videos on Giddyupflix or view his TV show with a paid subscription to RFD tv's website.
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