I believe it was Ray Hunt who said the “Little things mean a lot to a horse.”
Indeed the same can be said of people and most other species. Because they are small things, they are easy to skip over, DON`T
I have mentioned some of these things in earlier blogs but here are a few ideas to remember;
· Learn your horses body language
· Get an invitation before going in the paddock
· When you approach your horse let them touch you first
· If you touch first do it at the withers
· Stroke, don`t pat
· If they ask, scratch
· Be gentle as possible and firm when necessary (never be mean)
· Inspect your horse often, for cuts, bruises, stones in feet, etc.
· Check equipment, ensure it is safe and comfortable.
· If you use a bit be careful with the lip, gums and teeth
· Monitor your horses feed and water, it can be the first sign of a health problem.
· Don`t ignore things like a cough
· Touch your horse often, feel for lumps, swellings and ticks
· Check your horses paddock, stall and barn for anything that could hurt them. Anticipation is easier to deal with than regret.
· Spend undemanding time with your horse
· Groom your horse yourself and do it often
· When your horse does something helpful reward them
These are some of the little things that take moments of time and relatively little effort. They are very BIG deals for your horse.