Breeding Stallions Pregnant Mares Imprinting Foals Basic Training 101


Basic equine survival instincts in the natural environment:

  1. HERD BOUND INSTINCT: Their safety lies in numbers. They feel safe from predators when the herd is together. Horses don't like to leave each other, or be left alone for this reason.

  2. ESTABLISHED "PECKING" ORDER: All horses have an organized hierarchical leadership order also related to the herd's survival. The stallion is the most dominant, considered the #1 head of the herd. Then comes the alpha mare that leads the other mares and foals. Then the other herd members maintain their position by the level of aggressive behavior from most to least until the last place is filled. They prefer this order and want to know their place, therefore, you need to be the head of your horses's pecking order so they will be submissive to your will. Lacking that position, the horse will dominate and rule over you. This process begins with the horse agreeing to whatever you ask, and continues throughout your lives together. In other words, you must become the herd "stallion".

  3. FIGHT OR FLIGHT INSTINCT: Whenever a horse feels threatened or fears something, their first response is to RUN as fast as they can away from whatever just scared them. If they feel trapped in that fearful situation, they will fight by biting, kicking, striking, or rearing and stomping. This is their strongest survival instinct. You will be seen as a Predator to be feared, or as a respected and loved Herd member depending upon your stance or actions.

  4. THE THREE SECOND RULE: A guideline for discipline and reward is the 3 second rule. In order for a horse to understand why he is being disciplined or rewarded, it must be done within 3 seconds. The mind of a horse is like a 2 year old child, their attention span is short and winning your approval can be their reward, so plan your lessons accordingly.

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