C K Is your horse reactive (“hot”) or calm and cool as a cucumber (“cold”) no matter what goes on around him? Each individual horse has its own level of sensitivity—we refer to it as “hot-blooded” or “cold-blooded.” It’s important to know how sensitive the horse you’re working with is o you know how to interact with him with the right level of pressure. You could make the exact same cues and moves with one horse and find no reaction at all, then work with another horse and find that your moves were too much, causing lots of reaction and even spooking.
/ Natural Response /
All horses are sensitive, reactive
flight animals capable of responding to the slightest change in their
environment. However, a hot horse is
easily overwhelmed by environmental
stimuli, while a cold horse may be
Horses are trained by teaching
them to respond (or react) to pressure. Pressure isn’t a bad thing, and
you need your horse to react—but in
just the right way.
Physical and mental pressure is
used to cue and signal the horse.
Finding the right amount is the
second most critical factor in how
quickly a horse will learn something
new. (The most important factor is
the handler’s timing.)
Why some horses are more sensitive and reactive
BY JULIE GOODNIGHT WITH HEIDI NYLAND MELOCCO