Some horses struggle to maintain their concentration on their rider. Here are some helpful tips to help you overcome the issue:
Often keeping your horse’s brain occupied is a quick way to gain your horse’s attention. You can ride basic transitions but you can also utilise transitions within a pace. For example, play with your horse’s trot by asking him for an active but collected trot and then as soon as he softens, move the trot forward, making sure that you get the transition as soon as you ask for it.
You need to establish an even rein contact for your horse to give his full focus to you. The tension down both reins must be the same — don’t let him drop behind your contact or swing on it as this will give him a prime opportunity to lose his concentration.
Don’t just ride around the outside track of the arena trying to get the attention of your horse as inevitably this won’t work due to the lack of brain power it requires. Instead, ride plenty of circles, figures of eight, and generally make good use of the space you have. This will help to engage your horse’s brain and focus on you.
If your horse tends to lose his focus more at competitions or in a particular situation, try to expose him to that situation as much as possible to try and desensitise him. Although it might be a bit of a struggle to start with, stick with it and hopefully your horse will learn to accept where he is and pay attention to what you are asking.
Remember it is your job to stay relaxed and calm. Don’t get upset with your horse if he doesn’t do what you ask. Repetition is key and eventually the penny should drop.
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