What the horse is wondering...

When faced with an unusual or new object or situation, the horse wonders: “Should I be afraid of the dog behind the net?”… “Should I be scared of this jump with such strange colours?”

A careful rider can perceive these thoughts thanks to the horse’s change of attitude, such as a change of direction, slowing down, a flicking of the ears, body contraction… It is at such times that riders must keep a neutral physical and mental attitude.

We must respond clearly to the horse’s amazement. The best attitude, as we have already seen, is to take time to think before reacting.

This time lapse will, in most cases, be sufficient to reassure the horse. The advantage with horses is that they can switch very quickly from a state of fear or doubt to a state of trust.

Michel Robert, “Journal of a Champion”
Photos by Stefano Secchi, Images