To me...a willing horse is safe, confident, obedient and fun to ride. It’s the horse that does everything on a loose rein or without a bridle. The one that anyone can ride. Whether you are a high-level competitor or a part time recreational rider, we all love a willing horse.
This type of horse is the most sought after in the industry today. What makes a willing horse? Is it trust, leadership, communication, their ability to learn from their mistakes or just something they are born with? I think it’s all of the above. I’ve learned it’s possible to train a horse to be willing even if they have a unwilling attitude.
If I could give you one tip for creating and maintaining a willing horse... it would be to allow them to make a mistake.
Every horse will say "no" sometime in their training process, some more than others. How you handle that "no" is key. When allowing a horse to make a mistake, it's important that you keep the command on with very little...
World known trainer Doug Mills shades some light on the situation and offers expert advice on how to deal with a scared and anxious horse.
With all the different programs out there we almost need a translator for the different terminology’s. My view of a nervous horse is a sensitive horse. Arabians and Thoroughbreds generally fall into this category. But because of good breeding programs you can find sensitive horses in any breed.
Some people get along with sensitive horses while others don’t. I find leadership is what’s lacking and communication is the key.
A sensitive horse cannot handle unclear pressure. I find most of the time horses are nervous from a lack of understanding. The rider is trying to control the horse and the lack of understanding causes anxiety.