Teaching Patience

Yesterday IIMG_1713 changed my feeding schedule slightly, and unlike before, my horses are not eating their grain while I fill the hay nets. So now they are very eager to get to the hay, but having both of them on top of me while I am trying to fill the nets, is not only annoying, but dangerous too.

So simple solution I claim the hay as “off-limits until further notice”. Which is achieved by making them stand off away from the hay. Every time they try and sneak forward I make them go back, until finally they will accept this and stand quietly.

Mac picked this up really quick, because it is something we have done before, whereas Maggie was very frustrated at first. Why? Because she had no idea when I would let her eat, and as far as she knew, it would be never! Mac on the other hand new full well from years of living with me, that it was only temporary, and if he waits patiently he will get his food much faster.

Understanding the horses way of thinking is necessary in teaching them patience, we must understand that when you ask them to wait for their food, or stand tied to a trailer, etc they don’t know what kind of time frame we have in mind, and generally they jump to the conclusion that it will last forever.

Remember to take small steps, and reward the tiniest “try” they offer, take into account if they don’t have patience to wait 5 minutes, then 1 hour is a huge leap.

The most important thing to remember in teaching patience is, if you don’t have any, your horse never will either!

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