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Predators and Prey
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Predators and Prey

If you try to think like a horse, you’ll have a much easier time working with one. You can’t be expected to know everything that’s going on in a horse’s mind, but to the extent you are able think like a horse does, you’ll at least gain some understanding as to why it acts as it sometimes does, and what you need to do to make it behave differently.

First of all, recognize that from a horse’s point of view, humans are predators, while the horse is a prey animal. Wild horses run from people, domesticated horses that are still green will often move away when approached by a human, and even well-trained horses will sometimes step away when they aren’t sure what’s going on in a person’s mind.

Like many other predators, our eyes are in front of our head, instead of at the sides; the better to see prey with. Our ears are pinned back as if ready to attack. When we approach a horse, we tend to move directly towards it, as a predator would tend to do.

A horse, being a prey animal, is somewhat of a coward. It fears being attacked, and it fears being caught, which is why it will sometimes run from you if you approach it carrying a rope and a halter. Even if it’s not afraid of you, it will often try to avoid being caught if it doesn’t fully respect you.

A big part of training a horse, and perhaps the most important part, is to convince it you mean no harm. After that, it’s a matter of gaining the animal’s respect, which can take some time, and with some horses can be an ongoing challenge, as they will test you. Once you get a horse to respect you, much of the fear that goes with being a prey animal will go away, at least when you are nearby.

Written by William S. of www.babblingink.com "Outsourcing Professionals United"

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