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This American Saddlebred horse runs away at the show in a funny way

I’m sure this video will make your day, especially if you watch it with the volume on. Joey, the horse, starts to run away at the show and his owner tries to calm him down a bit. It’s his first show, so he was excused, which is good. And maybe the next time he will do better.

Horse shows are fun, in general, but they can also be stressful. One of the biggest stressors – let’s face it – is a horse that gets nervous at a show. Your voice alone can’t help your horse as much as it might help, let’s say, your dog. We can see how helpful was Joey’s owner, with her calm voice.

Also, you may think you’re being calm, but your horse can pick up on signals you don’t even know you’re sending. Recent studies indicate that even if you’re saying reassuring things to your horse like ‘Easy, relax,’ it won’t help calm him unless your actions and body language reinforce that message. For your horse, it’s less about the tone of your voice than how you’re interacting with him.

Being abrupt with the reins, holding them too tightly, gripping your horse’s sides with your legs – all these are ‘I’m nervous’ signals that your horse picks up on and responds to. And then each of your feeds off the other in a vicious circle.

The key, then, is to do all you can to be mentally prepared before the event so you can feel as truly relaxed as possible at the show. This requires diligent advance work. Know the rules you’ll be showing under, and what your horse will be required to do. Know which cues your horse responds to and how best to use them. Know exactly when your classes are and have a plan for getting to the gate on time. It helps to have someone to assist you who knows the routine and requirements, too. Then, once you’re in the ring, ride the way you do at home.