Training Arabian Horses
Left: Georgia Bruce riding the Crabbet Arabian Stallion "Prince Rasheyd".
Arabian horses originate from the desserts of Arabia.
They have been selectively bred for endurance, stamina, beauty, spirit and refinement.
They are also known as a hot blooded breed. Like thoroughbreds they have a hair trigger flight response and are very sensitive creatures. They need a different approach in training than you would use for a quarter horse for example.
Arabs can quickly learn to respond to very light pressure cues. They may have a tendency to react rather than respond initially. However once the Arabian horse is tuned into your energy, body language and cues, they can be a wonderful companion and riding horse.
High head and tail carriage displayed by the Arabian horse require that they are taught to round their backs and relax their top line while ridden. So as to avoid overstraining their back.
Lots of one rein halts teach the Arabian horse to relax into the flexion and soften through their whole body in response to the rein.
Clicker training is also a wonderful tool for training the sensitive Arabian Horse. They are often very food motivated, but may be a little more polite about the food game than some other more pushy breeds.
You can use clicker training to teach the Arabian horse to pose for led classes at shows.
Arabians are traditionally shown in hand with an outstretched and arched neck.
Some techniques for aquiring this behaviour include tapping the horse with a whip in the face. I personally find this a bit intrusive and unnecessary.
Instead you can use the clicker to reward the horse any time they stretch their own neck out. You can capture and reward this behaviour with the clicker.
You could hold up something for them to smell or look at, so that they stretch out to sniff it. Click and treat when the horse stretches its neck out.
Repeat this until the horse stretches its neck every time. Then you can put it on cue.
Put it on cue by giving the cue every time immediately before the behaviour occurs.
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