Written by: Sarah and Rachel from Equipped for Equines
We have found that the KEY to having an amazing experience with horses is, simply, to understand them, both how they think and how their body works. The importance of this knowledge has been (and continues to be) confirmed to us by the struggles we see people go through with their horses.
Why it’s important to understand how horses think:
Understanding how horses think, why they do the things that they do, and how they interact with each other equips you with the knowledge needed to have a safe, successful, and rewarding relationship with any horse. Knowing how horses think will make training a straightforward process because both you and your horse will be able to understand each other.
Knowing how to train your horses yourself is so empowering! And it’s very important that you do train your horses because respect isn’t transferable. It must be earned individually, which is exactly how it is in a herd of horses.
When you understand how horses think you will know how important it is for horses to never be without a herd mate, as the interaction a horse enjoys and needs from their herd mate(s) is vital to every aspect of their health. They need a herd mate to feel safe and comfortable in their environment. Horses can develop very strange and unhealthy stress exhibiting behaviors when they are alone such as: cribbing, pacing, weaving, excessive pawing, and frantically whinnying. We cannot fulfill our horses’ needs for companionship, only another horse can fulfill that.
Why it’s important to understand how the horse’s body works:
Understanding how the horse’s body works (especially the digestive system) is crucial for knowing how to feed and care for your horses in such a way that they will thrive, thus avoiding health problems (ie. colic, parasites, ulcers, etc.) and even some behavioral problems. How you feed and care for your horses is not only important to their physical well-being but also their mental well-being.
When you know how the horse’s digestive system works you will realize just how important it is for horses to have access to forage 24/7. When horses are not allowed access to forage 24/7 it not only stresses their digestive system, but it also stresses them out mentally due to the fact that horses are wired to forage all throughout the day. Horses are big strong animals that are meant to move, so providing free-choice forage in the form of pastures (as well as available hay) provides wonderful (ESSENTIAL) mental and physical stimulation for them.
Understanding how horses think and how their body works truly equips you to have a great experience in all aspects of keeping horses.
Check out our website (equippedforequines.com) to read about our simple, natural, effective, affordable approach to horse keeping, where you can find both articles and eBooks. Be sure to get our free eBook checklist “What You Need to Own a Horse” by signing up to our email list! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest as well.
Whether you are brand new to horses or not we’re sure you’ll be able to find something helpful for your journey with horses on our website. The goal with our website is to be an easy to navigate resource of information to help you be “equipped for equines!”
We are Sarah and Rachel – sisters who have loved horses for as long as we can remember!
We grew up around horses and have now owned horses for almost 10 years. A lot of our time when we were younger was spent learning as much as we could about them! We did this through books, magazines, videos, blogs, first-hand experiences, observation, and more. It was fascinating to us! We started out with more traditional ways of caring for horses. However, we soon found that a natural approach is more effective, safe, enjoyable, simpler, and less expensive. Owning horses really doesn’t have to be as expensive as you may think! Much of what we have learned has been because other people decided to share their knowledge and experience. Now we would like to do that too, hoping to be a source of encouragement, inspiration, and help in your journey with horses.
We have two amazing Quarter horses, Star and Pete, and an adorable Shetland pony named Duke (seen in the second picture)! We welcome you along for the ride.
A huge thank you to Sarah and Rachel for contributing to The Narrow Trail. Please follow them on social media and check out their website and be sure to grab their free ebook. (Links above)