Training a horse is a long and daunting journey, even if you own a gentle animal who obeys all your commands. Handling a rowdy equine is more challenging. You may have the best intentions and experience as a horse owner, but things could easily get off-track. At times, there are dead ends or long detours on the way. Hiring a seasoned professional for the job is a good idea because they know how to handle even the most stubborn animals. But you must keep an eye on the horse and the trainer to understand whether the practice is working the way you want. Here are the signs indicating it is on the right track.
Good fitness levels
A few months of consistent training are enough to increase the fitness and endurance levels of a horse. These animals are natural athletes, and good training takes their fitness a notch higher. Regular work on the equine’s fitness also ensures good health. If it can run around at a brisk pace without its flanks heaving, rest assured that the sessions are working. The horse will be strong enough to trot uphill and spend hours in the field.
A well-trained equine learns to balance itself under its rider. You will notice its movement becoming more fluid, graceful, and rhythmic. At the same time, riding the animal will be a joy rather than a pain. Conversely, the training isn’t good enough if the animal seems to be out of control. It looks anxious, and the effects are visible as shaky movements that make you uncomfortable..
Another sign you must watch out for is happiness and ease in the animal’s behavior. According to Clinton Anderson, horse trainer and clinician, good training is about safe and enjoyable partnerships between the animal and its rider. The mindset reflects in the equine’s behavior as it seems happy and comfortable when the trainer is around. If it appears tense and lethargic, you should be concerned.
An untrained horse feels unbalanced and wobbly in transitions. You may notice its discomfort while changing from one activity to another at the trainer’s command. A little hesitation is natural in the beginning, but things must improve down the line. Gradually, as the animal learns the ropes, transitions become smooth and easy. At some point, they appear effortless, and it is an indication of successful training.
A healthy appearance
You cannot expect the results of training to be visible overnight. But when they start showing, your horse will look healthy and beautiful. Look for signs like a shining coat as its muscles ripple under the skin. Its legs will look stronger and more stable as it runs around. A healthy horse carries the rider in a relaxed posture, so watch for this sign as you assess the trainer’s job.
Horse training is a worthy investment, not just because it makes the animal more obedient. A well-trained equine is healthy and happy, and it matters even more for a trainer and its owner.