Natural aids and horses’ temperament

A good horsemanship should be able tu use the aids’ language in relation with horse temperament

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  • #equine science

Aids are signals or means by which a rider communicates with horse and and conveys his wishes to his horse. The horse must be taught stage by stage and with complete clarity until the relation between rider and horse is built up to such a level that it appears that the rider has but to think for the horse to obey willingly. This is the true horsemanship.
A trainer who can combine intelligence with mental and physical control and co-ordination can produce a higly trained, alert and happy horse, working with ease and with complete confidence in his rider.
​The natural aids are the rider’s voice, legs, seat and hands.

Training a horse means not only to use aids in a correct way with a balanced seat but to know deeply the temeprament of each horse. Each horse is an individual and has its own personality and temperament. That personality can determine how your horse learns, how suited he is for certain disciplines, how well he adapts to certain situations and environments, and how well he matches up to his rider or handler. A good horseman should know the personality of each horse he is handling, riding, breeding or training. The horse expresses his personality through his behaviors. Behaviors are a very complex sequence of events, and heritability of any behavior is likely associated with multiple genes, which might also be linked to genes for other physical and behavioral traits. Since domestication, it seems clear that over many years horses were (and still are) largely selected and bred for the anatomical and physiological characteristics best for their particular environments and uses. Temperament is generally defined as a set of behavioral tendencies that show up early in life and remain relatively stable over time. Still, we know there's such great variation in temperaments even within a breed. Selecting for certain traits is also at the whim of the breeder's preferences. A horse that is ‘too hot’ for one person is an ideal candidate for training to another. We must consider that there is no good or bad temperament in horses, just temperaments that are more or less suited to specific disciplines and situations.

If you want to become good trainers and riders you mist be first of all a good horseman. You must study horse’s natural way of living, you must learn the temperament of each horse you deal with, you must learn and understand the way the horse move at the walk, trot and canter but even more you must listen to him, understand what he’s telling you and try to comunicate with him with calm, patience and love. In order to obtain these aims, you must learn Ethology, the science that studies animal behaviour and that provides information on how horses have evolved to live. It helps to explain natural equine social structures, including complex dynamic social organisation with a social rank that determines access to resources.