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by Downunder Horsemanship

Learn How to Build a Spooky Horse’s Confidence at the Kalispell Tour

As a prey animal, your horse is naturally cautious of the world around him. After all, horses have survived millions of years by relying on their flight or fight instincts—their ability to flee a perceived danger or stay and fight for their lives.

“Horses are what I call big chickens. They’d always rather run from anything that frightens them instead of hanging around and fighting the danger. Mother Nature says, ‘run!’ If the horse can’t escape the danger, his only other option of survival is to fight. He’ll kick, bite, strike or do whatever it takes to survive the situation,” Clinton says.

Your job as a horse trainer is to desensitize your horse to as many objects as you can. Your horse classifies an object as anything that doesn’t live in his stall or pasture. It’s no longer an object if it lives in his stall or pasture because he’s already familiar with it; it’s become a part of his daily routine. Horses especially hate objects that move and make a noise.

“The more objects you desensitize your horse to, the quieter and more confident he’ll become. However, even if you spent every day desensitizing your horse to new objects, you’d never be able to desensitize him to everything in the world. There’s always going to be something that could potentially spook him,” Clinton says. “That’s why it’s important to know how to handle the situation when your horse does spook at an object, whether that be crossing water on the trail, fly spray, a plastic bag, the neighborhood kid riding his bike, etc.”

At the Kalispell, Montana Walkabout Tour, Clinton and his clinicians will work with a horse that has a history of spooky behavior to show horsemen in attendance the steps to take to build a horse’s confidence about a variety of objects. Because the horse used in the training demonstration will be frightened of objects such as fly spray, tarps, and plastic bags, horsemen at the tour will get a realistic look at what to expect from their horses at home when they apply the training steps Clinton shares.

The Kalispell, Montana tour is being held August 1st and 2nd at the Majestic Valley Arena. Tickets are $25 for the weekend and can be purchased on our website. No Worries Club members receive five complimentary tickets to tours each year. Members can claim their tickets by logging in to their accounts on the Downunder Horsemanship e-store and selecting the NWC Member Ticket for the Kalispell tour.

Learn all about the Walkabout Tour, including the training demonstrations Clinton and his clinicians will present, on the Downunder Horsemanship website.