Give to Light Pressure
You should never have to “push” a horse away. The horse should be very well versed in the concept of “give to pressure” this is the foundation of a good training program.
This may seem common sense but a horse should be able to be touched anywhere, from the tip of the tail to the tip of the nose. If you have taken a medical physical then you know all the places you have to be able touch on a horse. Horses must be excellent patients for a veterinarian and farrier. The better they stand the better treatment they will receive. When a horse receives treatment it could be for a pregnancy check, dental exam, hoof injury, ear injury, stomach problems or other exams.
A well started horse will lead respecting the handler’s space and keeping pace with handler, whether fast or slow. The horse should also carry its head in comfortable position. The horse should respond to light pressure in all directions especially backward.
Stand Calmly While Being Sprayed
It is very important to be able to wash with a hose, put fly spray on or medical spray before an emergency. One of the most important goals is to be able to treat a horse before an emergency. Using a spray bottle and water you can practice spraying the horse everywhere before bug season or an injury.
Many horses are clipped to allow tack to fit better, clean hair from around a cut and many other reasons. The horse should be able to stand calmly, lower its head and not move its feet if clipping around pastern. Before doing around the ears it is recommended that cotton balls be placed slightly deeper that the clipping to reduce sound and not allow hair to fall into the ear.
Stand Calmly While Being Trimmed/Shod
A foal or weanling should be handled as young as possible. Handling young horse’s feet properly will teach the horse to accept willingly to have its feet to be picked up. The goal should be to be able pick up the horse’s feet in a pasture/pen with no halter or lead and stand until you drop the foot. This should be done with all four feet.
Trailer Load Easily
It is important for a horse to learn this as young as possible and tested every few months to ensure the horse will load easily.
Stand Calmly for A Veterinary Exam
If you accomplish the Health Checks monthly your horse will be the veterinarian’s favorite horse. Not only that but your life will be easier if/when an emergency or disease happens to your horse.
Giving your horse a dewormer should be easy. If you rub the inside gums daily or weekly then when you go to give the dewormer it will go smoother.
Easy To Catch
When the horse trusts and bonds with you it will want to be caught. Horse’s should also be caught for reasons other than being worked or ridden. Catch them just to give them a treat or to be brushed, to be washed or the Health Check.
Respect Space of Humans
This sometimes is hard for the horse to accomplish because we want the horse to be our friend. A horse will sometime “crowd” our space and force us to move away. We have just taught that horse he/she is the leader. It is important for safety that a horse maintains a safe distance when we are handling them. Only YOU decide when the horse is allowed closer not the horse.