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© by Gordon Adair / Trainer

Scratching the favorite spot builds a rapport with your horse as a friend, teacher, and leader. Show your horse that you care, begin by finding your horses favorite itchy spot using a rubber mitt or bare hand. The mitt or bare hand gives a more direct personal feel and horses love it. An itchy spot can be more rewarding then food to a horse. For some reason horses will accept us as their own, horses help each other scratch those unreachable spots.

Then use the desire to be scratched as a reward for other requests like side-passing towards you. Having a horse move towards you in this manner can be used in many ways but, most important it helps build a bond with your horse.

To cue your horse to side-pass towards you lift your arm in the air and snap your fingers. If no response tap on the far side of the middle body with an arm extension and release to movements in your direction. Reward with a scratch when any movement is made side-ways.

Beside looking cool, side-passing for a scratch encourages horses to earn your affection by doing something for you.

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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

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