We had a windy day, and we did some confidence building. My horses live on 2,5 hectare pasture, and their environment is pretty much the same all the time. Not so much room for mental stimulation. I want to have confident horses, so I give them possibilities to investigate things. First on safe ground then further away from home.
Wild horses roam many miles, they have to habituate to lots of unknown things. They normally quickly decide that something strange they have encountered, will not eat them. So they can relax again. That is the true nature of the horse. They explore their world.
To have a horse who can mentally cope with things we have to give them opportunity to learn to deal with al kind of situations. I love introducing new things to them at liberty, so they cannot feel trapped by me. It keeps a horse feel safe that he knows he can run away when he would like to, that gives the confidence, the safe feeling. We humans think in the oposite way, we think we are in control if we can hold on tight.
I made something new for them to investigate, making use of the elements. The wind was blowing so I made a flag and installed it on the pasture.
Ramon who is shown in the pictures, was the bravest and most curious. He will be three years old in May, but he is physically a big horse. I am lucky that he sees me as his role model. And no I am not anthropomorphizing here. He sees me as his second mom. He was a big foal and the delivery almost got wrong. I had to pull him out his mother, and the mare was so exhausted that I was taking care of Ramon when he made his first steps in this world. It took an hour, before Maya started to connect with her son. This bond is still between us.
My attitude towards the flag was relaxed. Ramon mirrored this feeling, and before I knew he figured out that thing was harmless.
Ramon helping me with Csìk, she was more sceptic about the situation.
If you are a rider who believes his/her horse is spooky in the wind. Think about this, wind is just something natural. If wild horses would panic around every time the wind would blow, not much chance that they have survived. It is not the wind that is the problem. The true nature of a horse is cognitive. They can adapt to things. They will figure things out, we can just help them by giving the chance.
NOTE: Lot of humans need to despook themselves first. I despooked myself in windy situations because I was spooky myself. This I will explain in another post. Its a sort of brain training I figured out that helped me with stress issues. If you lack the confidence you simply cannot be a role model for your horse.
Let the horse be with you!