17 April 2018 - Updated 14 January 2019

The Horse Whisperer

horse whisperer - problem horse

Many of us will know the successful film adaptation of the book “The Horse Whisperer.” It tells the story of a horse with psychological problems that is due to be euthanised because of its aggressive behaviour. The horse whisperer takes this horse under his wing and tries to rehabilitate it by showing it patience and by using special ways to communicate.

What defines a horse whisperer?

We tend to describe someone as a horse whisperer when they can communicate well with horses and can manage to control so called “problem horses.” Probably the most well-known horse whisperer is Monty Roberts from America. He is able to create a good relationship with even the most unapproachable horse within minutes and leaves bystanders astonished. Every horse handler can learn the basic rules and should keep them in mind during day to day contact with horses.

Misunderstandings between people and horses

Horses communicate through their body language; therefore, we must learn to understand their movements. There can often be misunderstandings between people and horses because of the different ways in which we communicate. Nowadays training sessions and workshops are available to help build trust between the horse and its handler and to continually improve communication. You can get closer to the animal through understanding and sensitive behaviour.

The rules:

  • Don’t approach a horse that you don’t know but rather give it the opportunity to come to you and give you a sniff
  • Don’t use any whips, crops or spurs!
  • Good behaviour should always be rewarded

Learn to interpret your horse’s movements. The following provide important clues – the ears, how it holds its head, the direction of its gaze, displacement activities.

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