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Signs of Release and Communication in Horses

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Releases and Communication

Horses communicate and show signs of release with small subtle expressions or movements.  Some will show big things like shifting the back end, yawning, licking and chewing, sighing or blowing or giving a whole body shake or even wanting to lay down and roll, and other stoic horses will only show a lip quiver, a sleepy demeanor, or not show anything at all until you are out of their space.  


This mare became so relaxed that she relaxed her TMJ, Hyoid apparatus and her jaw where she was holding a lot of tension.

Desensitizing Your Horse to Fly Spray

I, like many people used to flood my horse with new activity. It is best to take a purposeful approach to starting where the horse can handle something new. For example introducing a saddle blanket from a distance instead of just tossing it on and off of the horse. This is the approach I took with the fly spray. Instead of just spraying at their feet or right on them I start far enough away where they will not flee or react and keep taking it closer with an approach and retreat. Slowly but surely they accept with less stress and less reactivity. This mare in the video last summer could not even tolerate it unless it was a good five feet away. She clearly needed me to do it slowly. You can see now how it is working for her. It is easy to forget we also need to listen to the horse, they will tell us what they need and what they are not ready for. This is the same with a saddle blanket, or desensitizing to a whip or crop or tarp. The better start to this the more success you will have in the future. Video may be hard to hear, but you will be able to see the approach that was successful.

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