“A horse will never tire of a rider who possesses both tact and sensitivity because he will never be pushed beyond his possibilities.”
In order to understand the horse, we have to stop ascribing him human character. Horses are guided by strong defensive reflexes, sharp senses and swift reactions, which have been allowing them to survive in the wild for centuries, where they were potential pray to predators. For each situation, which they comprehend as threat, or challenges their abilities, horses may not comply, or run away or even become aggressive. And this makes them neither bad, nor stupid, nor smart.
Horses are very good at remembering events – not only good but also stressful situations. They remember for years all good things you teach them but also bad, so when training horses, we must always be careful and precise in our orders and commands.
Many an old trainer is honest enough to admit that he didn’t become a fine rider until he had lost most of his physical strength.’ – Gustav Steinbrecht.
The authority of man over horse is really amazing, taking into consideration the difference in size and strength between people and these potentially dangerous animals. Horses live in dominance hierarchy. Taking a lead role in horse training of any kind of skill, we place the animal in subordination – a natural herd behavior.
“If the horse is trained by force, force will be required to ride it.” – Egan von Neindorff
The objective of horse training is to develop in harmony the abilities of the horse. As a result, he should become calm, subordinate, flexible, and at the same time confident, energetic, having full understanding and harmony with the rider. At any time, even when not in motion, the horse should be under control. Each horse can be trained in the art of dressage, however some breeds are well known for their abilities, grace, elegance of movement and intelligence, not so typical for others.