What's the nicest thing I can do for my lesson horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-25-2016, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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What's the nicest thing I can do for my lesson horse?

First lesson coming up soon. What's the nicest thing I can do for my horse? Would like to start our own little tradition.
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-25-2016, 05:45 PM
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Horses love food...a nice carrot if allowed by the owner.
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-25-2016, 07:02 PM
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The nicest thing you can do for a horse is to be respectful and considerate in all that you do with them, even if you don't know what you're doing around them yet. Be sure to never yank on their mouth, and try to be quiet and relaxed in the saddle. If you feel tense, practice deep breaths to try to help you loosen up.

Depending on the horse, a treat may be appreciated, though many horses get nippy when they're fed treats so you may just need to give the horse some scratches instead. Many horses love to be scratched on the neck underneath their mane and by the withers.


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post #4 of 14 Old 03-25-2016, 07:27 PM
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All lesson horses are tuned out to some extent or another. Not (necessarily!) in a bad way, but you're just another person to them.

Do something no one else does. Are you familiar with horses? Maybe taking him out to graze on the lead. Spending some extra time grooming and really groom him, don't just do a quick cleaning.

Of course he will love a treat but I'm sure he gets a TON of treats, it won't make you special.

Be there *for him* be very quiet-just calm and enjoyable to be around, personality not noise (though quiet noise is good too lol). Go nice and slow and do little extra things. If you appeciate him he will start to appreciate you. Rocky has a good post. I'm sure he'd love a good scratch, some are very itchy :)

Make sure you check with the help before doing anything of course. I would not do treats personally.

I worked at a lesson barn for years. You could tell the people who "knew horses" even if they had never been around them before. I would take a person like that over most experienced people any day!! I was always happy to help with "extras" but sometimes wasn't able to and had to say no, so if unclear ask "if you're busy maybe next time? or is this a barn rule". (If you want to handgraze you will be supervised at least at first) The fact that you're even asking brings a smile to my face and tells me you'll be just fine. Ask the help what that horse likes and tell them you want him to feel appreciated. Keep in mind you may not have the horse every lesson and that's just fine.

There was a very nice teenager who made sure to spend time with her horse and wanted to know if he liked her. Honest? He didn't care. She may have spent time with him but her focus wasn't on him. The horse will know what you are paying attention to and what you're trying to do.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-25-2016, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you

"Do something no one else does. Are you familiar with horses? Maybe taking him out to graze on the lead. Spending some extra time grooming and really groom him, don't just do a quick cleaning."


This is what I was after -- something s/he will come to associate with only me. :)
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-25-2016, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by thisiswater View Post
"Do something no one else does. Are you familiar with horses? Maybe taking him out to graze on the lead. Spending some extra time grooming and really groom him, don't just do a quick cleaning."


This is what I was after -- something s/he will come to associate with only me. :)
If you care and you ride him regularly he will look forward to you ritual or not, though I like the ritual idea :)
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-25-2016, 10:06 PM
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I like the idea of grazing for a short bit after your lesson. Another idea would be to let him roll after he's untacked (some horses love a roll after every ride, some don't seem to care as much)
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-26-2016, 09:54 AM
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Before we had our own horse, I always took a lot of time grooming the lesson horses after our lessons. I especially would get the itchy spots, like behind their ears, etc. They loved it. I'm not sure if they looked forward to us and knew us; I sort of doubt it. But, it was fun to love on them. Enjoy your lessons!
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-26-2016, 10:29 AM
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Most horses love to be scratched on the underside of the neck, all the way down to the chest. Watch the nose stick out with pleasure when you do it!
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-26-2016, 10:55 AM
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And I bet Chasin Ponies would agree that giving them a break from the ring every now and then..Trail Rides are good for them and the students
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