Two week old donkey baby learning touch and leading. Watch as she is taught

Two pastured horses said: "catch me if you can". This became a great opportunity to desensitize a whip and plastic bag to teach that flight doesn't work. The desensitized whip and bag became, the "face me" cue and then "come to me" cue.

This horse is displaying unhappiness towards people because, of past training. Horses grade humans by coming when they approve, and show avoidance (spooking, flight, bucking, and kicking) when they disapprove. Your best insurance policy is your horse wanting to stay with you!

Learn how two horses and calves over come fear naturally and why. Natural training / teaching is based on the horse's way of life. We must learn the horse's world so we can teach them the human's.


Natural Horsemanship training Tips

© by Gordon Adair / Trainer

Ever since humans have been working with horses desensitizing or "sacking out" a horse have been very familiar words. Desensitizing is the "politically correct" word of today over "sacking out". This is because "sacking out" is associated with tying sacks of cans to a saddle and watching a horse destroy himself fleeing from the object. This is not the case with the better-designed programs. Desensitizing is merely dulling a horse's response to a perceived scary situation. Everyone who works with horses has some kind of a desensitizing program which they unknowingly use everyday, otherwise they could not even get near their horse. A desensitizing program can be a casual everyday introduction to an intense program. Most people understand and are very good at desensitizing "touch" yet they do not associate it with a desensitizing program. For example, brushing your horse is a desensitizing program for a horse that is not used to humans. Bathing and picking up and cleaning your horse's hoof is part of a desensitizing program when a horse is not comfortable with these procedures. People gladly spend the time desensitizing their horses up to this point and then they stop.

The senses that horses react to and the areas that should be covered in a desensitizing program are as follows: touch, sight, hearing, and smell. Naturally each horse will respond differently to each sense. Some will need desensitizing to only one where another may need to be desensitized to all of the senses. When working with horses we must always remember they are animals who originated from the wild. Horses still possess the natural defense instincts of their ancestors. These natural instincts are what protected horses throughout the years while being prayed upon in the wild. Basically when horses reacted naturally, which was frightened of the unfamiliar noises, sounds, or sights, they ultimately survived. When a predator did engage them, their most violent of the senses, which is touch, reacted. Touch will quickly activate the kicking, striking, or biting instincts until they are taught differently. Touch is the only sense that will cause a horse to react with fighting instincts instead of flight. Noise, sight, or sound will cause a horse to flee to a safe distance, then turn and watch. Horses generally will flee to a safe distance and turn to keep the predator in sight. This is why desensitizing must be done with all horses. The earlier in a horse's life the better. Imprinting a newborn foal by introducing new things everyday is extremely important. So if your horse is not comfortable with being haltered, brushed, or bathed you will have more trouble in higher excitability situations such as riding. It is much easier to learn how to react in a low-pressure situation than in a high excitable situation. This is why starting with the basics is so important and this includes a good desensitizing program.

© All rights reserved. reproduction of this site in whole or part without permission is prohibited.

Gordon Adair is a professional natural horse trainer and riding instructor with over thirty-five years of experience. Gordon's specialty is instructing owners with their horses, the philosophy of teaching horsemanship and communication. The ability to teach and communicate can then be used with the owners own discipline and personality. Ocala, Florida for more information

Educate your horse on how to act in the human world and look for your guidance when frightened.

Training programs and rates / Lesson outline / Ground training / Training tools / Gordon's articles

Hoof Studies / Club foot and uneven heels / Laminitis and founder defined / Laminitis / founder treatment

Homepage / G.A. Equine Center / About Gordon Adair / Interview