To Move or Not to Move a Horses Feet- That is the Question!

Dec 07, 2020

To Move or Not to Move a Horses Feet- That is the Question!

What knowledgeable equestrians, trainers, and happy horse owners have in common is that they know how to move around a horse to build trust and when to ask a horse to move around them to develop and keep a leadership position. Horses inherently look to follow a leader. We need to know how to get a horse to choose our leadership. 

We see many people who are letting horses move their feet, causing the horses to lose respect. This blog addresses this matter.  

Word of warning: letting a horse move your feet or habitually moving around your horse rather than putting your horse where you need the horse to be can cause a horse to become dominant and unwilling to be directed. It is essential to know when to surrender by giving room to a horse and when to create respect by moving a horse's feet. This will bring a horse to a willing connection with you.  

The benefit of knowing when to ask your horse to move around you and when to move around a horse is that you will have a respectful horse that will automatically follow your lead. Your horse will behave like a well-schooled horse when, in fact, you have not schooled him at all. From this kind of leadership in reciprocal movements, your horse will follow your lead because you know how and when to move his feet. You will find a working partner while riding and training. He will respond to your lessons effortlessly. 

The practice I am about to share with you will build the horse's confidence, focus, respect, and trust, simply by how you choose to move around a horse in a safe, quiet environment. It is one of my secrets that gives me the ability to make the right choices in leading, training, and communicating with horses and getting positive results in a time-saving manner. It is the core of a successful partnership for riding and training. 

You can do this lesson with your horse, but to see how profound the lesson is, find a horse that you do not know, so the horse you are working with is only influenced by when you choose to move around him or ask him to move around you. 

Lesson: Reciprocal movements

Plan for a month of practice. That is not long at all, considering you could spend a lifetime trying to gain a horse's cooperation and may have to depend on horse trainers to solve your problems.

Take your time with this lesson, and give it as much time each day as you can. Start by sharing territory in a paddock with the horse. Walk across the paddock so that the horse is in your pathway. If he is resistant to get out of your way, take your time and move him off your path. Move around the horse when the horse is soft and willing to move.

As you Share Territory:

Keep this practice of randomly crossing the paddock with the horse in your path. Depending on the horse's reaction, choose to move the horse out of the path or walk around him.  

I call this 'reciprocal movements'.

It is critical to interact with a horse in this simple way - sharing time and space every day as horses do with each other, moving a horse around, or choosing when to move around a horse, easy and gentle, with lots of pauses in between. It is important to continue using this approach in all you do, from the ground to the saddle. 

That's it! This lesson will earn you the trust and respect that you desire with the horse. 

Reciprocal movements are essential to animals. It is largely how they communicate with each other. Even different species can communicate with each other in this manner. Such simple things bring about such a powerful bond.

Learning the Resnick Method develops horsemanship skills to help the training and riding of horses. 

To learn more about developing your horsemanship skills at Liberty,  and how we may be able to help you with your horse,  schedule a call with us so that you can see if we are a good fit for you! We are happy to help you with a plan that will benefit you and your horse! Schedule a Breakthrough Call Today!!

Keep on the lookout for new horse and human sightings. May the horse be with you.


Carolyn Resnick


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