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...