The Primary Equine Language ~ Touch.

Teaching a horse to willingly follow a feel is an important part of your communication and applies to skills on the ground and in the saddle.

This component of the Primary Equine Language is about moving the horse with a constant physical pressure such as your hand directly on them, the halter, the rein, or your leg aid. It is in the stimulation category and thus requires some energy “up” on our part and must be paired with our intent (our confident feeling of moving the horse). Touch starts with a consistent pressure on a specific body part, but be sure it’s not a shove, a push or a pulsing pressure. It is following a consistent soft feel, like when you are dancing with a great partner! It is a positive pressure between you that means you look to and feel off one another.

  • Start with steady pressure, increasing incrementally until your horse yields in the direction you want.
  • In the beginning remove the pressure immediately - as soon as your horse responds.
  • After a few repetitions, reduce the pressure with your hand, leg or rein to be about as firm as it takes to press a puffy jacket to your skin. 

It’s a delicate acknowledgement between not allowing the horse to be dull (slow to respond) or not allowing the horse to become too light (like dancing by yourself). 

Start simply and safely! Try moving the forequarters or the hindquarters to move your horse sideways or backwards. When that’s going well, put it to purpose by moving the horse over inside a horse trailer or have them sidestep out of your way. 

Teach them daily to follow a feel and have some fun!



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