Ever have one of those weekends where you planned to work with your horse, but your spouse had other plans. Yeah, you know those honey do projects that you’ve been putting off. Last winter when it was cold you promised to build the deck in the back yard and now it doesn’t exactly fit with your horse training plans. Well, don’t over look these opportunities to keep your promise and train your horse at the same time.
A couple of days back, we had a project to do that involved some light construction. Saws, drills, hammering, and a lot of yelling when thumbs were hit instead of the nail. It was a great chance to conduct a little training. We saddled a horse and stood him right next to the work area. He got to watch and hear the saws, drills, and yes the hollering.
At one point, one of the helpers complained about me pounding the hammer on a pry bar and said it hurt his ears. No problem, I pulled my boards over and dropped my stuff directly in front of the horse and went back to work. Clang! Clang! Clang! Next the saw was needed and it screeched as it started to bind in the board. I’m not sure the horse learned how to cut boards very straight, but he stood quietly in the shade about 4 feet from the work and observed.
The horse did his part as well and came in handy. As usual, there were a couple of things left behind at the barn so he was used to run the errands back and forth. The point is we do ranch work with our horses and they learn to accept all sorts of sounds and noises from chain saws to heavy equipment to you name it. But you can do the same with your own chores. Saddle up and let your horse watch and participate. No it’s not as much fun as riding, but it is beneficial for the horse.
When you mow the yard, is your horse around or out in the pasture. Why not take a few minutes, saddle, and let him stand there. Don’t forget the weed eater, they make a lot of noise too. There are all sorts of noisy little tasks that you can use as training tools. Mud in the truck that needs cleaned up. Grab the shop vac and go to work. It’s another new sound for many horses. As a reminder, don’t tie your horse to the mirror on the truck the first time you do it.
Give it some thought and see if you can come up with some simple, but effective horse training that will pay off for you. Your riding buddies will be amazed at your ability to train your horse (and still finish those honey do’s).