Why is it important for a horse to be focused?

horse and rider, why should a horse be focussed Horseback Riding

Does your horse focus?

Horses are such incredible animals, they not only give us much joy, love and entertainment, but they also provide us with exercise and even sports competition. Horses are incredibly social creatures and enjoy spending time with other horses. They also love human interaction and ‌can bond intensely with their owners. Training a horse can be rewarding and fun, especially as it involves using your hands, body and voice. However, horses also require consistent attention from humans as otherwise, they can be distracted which can lead to poor respect towards their handler(s). Here are a few reasons why a horse needs to remain focused.

Horse Focus - Training a horse can be rewarding and fun, especially as it involves using your hands, body and voice
Training a horse can be rewarding and fun, especially as it involves using your hands, body and voice

Focusing makes them happy

Focused horses are usually healthier than distracted horses, they can ‌have less colic (as a result of less stress), spooking, biting, kicking, head-shaking, and bucking. Horses that are well focused are happy, gain more confidence in humans and are more likely to remain calm, so much so that they’re easier to handle. One way to have your horse focused, especially when riding is using a Kentucky fly veil, this will help block out distracting noises and also protects them from flies.

Focusing makes them better athletes

Focused horses are always ready and able to perform at their highest ability and endurance levels. Focusing allows them to concentrate fully on daily activities such as training, racing, riding and other activities like competing. Typically a well-behaved horse is more eager to please under saddle and enjoys the activity, especially when hacking out.


Focusing helps them relax

If horses are not focused, they can become easily frustrated and anxious when away from their herd. However, keeping them occupied helps them remain calm and relaxed, giving them the mental clarity to handle whatever they face throughout the day. Ultimately, horses need an environment where they can focus on relaxing by feeling safe. This includes limiting distractions and providing plenty of comfortable bedding for them to rest. Riding a horse can also provide a sense of relaxation.

Focused horses learn things faster

There’s a reason ‌athletes and business people often talk about the importance of focus. It’s a powerful tool that can help you achieve your goals. And it turns out this is also true for horses. Horses that focus on the task at hand learn faster than those that are distracted. This means that focus is an essential tool for learning and that it is something that horses can benefit from just like people can.

Unfocused horses get distressed

Unfocused horses will not concentrate on their training. Instead, they may wander off and become distressed when free schooling, for example. They may call to their herd when stabled, lack respect towards their handler and not want to be caught as a result of lacking focus and confidence in their human. Because the horses’ attention span is short, they will eventually show disregard for what is happening around them and may even start with behavioural issues.

Focused horses respond well to commands

Focused horses will spook or buck less unless there is an extreme threat in their environment. They will respond to commands calmly and patiently instead of becoming aggressive and agitated. A focused horse will also listen to commands and follow directions without hesitation.

If your horse struggles to focus, it is essential to address these issues before they worsen. In essence, this will go a long way towards helping them achieve peak performance in their daily activities.

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