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Developing The Bond Between Man And Horse

The relationship between man and horse is an enduring one. But dealing with animals is always easier and more enjoyable when you have empathy and understanding. To be able to relate to horses,you need to understand their pychology, in order to anticipate horses' reactions you have to understand how they think and why they behave in certain ways. A good understanding also builds confidence on both sides-human and equine. When faced with a threatening situation, the horse's nature is one of flight, and therefore its perspective on life is one of vulnerability rather than attack. As humans, how we react and feel in certain situations depends on our upbrining and experience. It is the same with horses, which is why careful early handling and training are so important. We can never expect a horse to go against its natural instincts, that is, never to be frightened or wary - but with good training we can control these instincts and show the horse, in a positive way, that a particular situation or object need not be...

 


The Belgian Draft Horse - Large and Black

As the name implies. this breed originated in Belgium. Back in the medieval times, the center of Western Europe became well-known for the large black horses known as "Flemish". These are the horses which carried the heavily armored knights into battle. By necessity, only the largest and strongest of this breed were trained as "chargers" or "destriers". It is from this stock that other draft breeds drew for genetic material. At the heart of this area, Belgium was established as a country. Stallions of the region were exported throughout parts of Europe, as the need grew for the larger stock horses to work in the industrial and agricultural settings. Because Belgium was the resource upon which other countries relied for these large stock animals, all that remained was for the country to establish the breed and strengthen the genetic material already at hand. The Belgian government quickly helped to refine the breed by setting up district shows, from which the winners would move up to compete in the nati...

 


Choosing the Best Bit for a Young Horse

When starting a young horse, (or when riding any horse for that matter) the two most important and influential pieces of tack are in my opinion, the saddle and the bit. The saddle is important for obvious reasons, but the bit often seems to be overlooked as being an equally important piece of equipment. The bit is one of the primary means of communication with your horse in his early years, and whilst the rider is always working towards the primary use of legs and seat, with horses being flighty creatures there will always be occasions when the bit will play an important roll! The selection of the first bits can shape the horses whole riding career, a bad experience at the beginning may set up a lifetime of resistance. Some horses are more sensitive than others, and while one horse may be ridden in an unsuitable bit and tolerate it with no consequences, another more sensitive equine may take longer to resolve issues caused by a badly fitting or chosen bit. The very first bit you put in your horses mouth shou...