By Rebecca Boardman, eHow Editor
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Learning how to properly scratch your horse is one of the best training tools you can have. A horse is a body oriented animal, so speaking to it through body language is the best way to communicate.
Things You’ll Need:
- The ability to get dirty and not care
Rewarding a horse by giving him a good scratch is the best training tool you can use. Scratching is how horses communicate happiness and contentment in the wild, and by using this natural body language, you will communicate directly with your horse in a better way than voice or training equipment alone.
The best place to scratch your horse is where the withers meet the neck. Naturally, this is an area a horse cannot reach itself, so it is an area that is like the middle of the human back. Anything that can access it and give it a good scratching is welcome and will be sought after. So using this area as a training tool by giving the horse a reward scratching is just good sense.
Another spot is along the backbone, but be cautious. The backbone can be sensitive, so scratch more gently and watch your horses reaction. If he stretches out and wiggles his upper lip, he is enjoying it and you should continue.
Scratching down on the chest, between the front legs, is another great spot. Again, be cautious, as in the wild, a horse will nip at another horse in the chest when he wants to play, so make sure your horse knows you are going to touch him there for scratching purposes. Watch his reaction and make sure you are ready to move if he nips at you.
When you are done riding, and have removed the bridle, you can reward the horse by giving it a good rubbing and scratching behind his ears, and in the places the bridle rested against. Just be careful you do not allow him to rub his head on you, as that will become a habit and soon he will be knocking you off your feet.