Horse Trust: 5 Clear Signs Your Horse Trusts You

Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price


Every horseback rider wants the ability to trust their horse. A horse that trusts you is a key to winning riding competitions. It can also help you avoid dangerous situations. This guide will help you identify the signs that your horse trusts.

How do you know if your horse trusts and respects you? Trusting you means that your horse will follow your orders even if you ask them to. They will also come to you when you call them and will respect your space.

These are the main signs that you should look out for to tell if a horse trusts your. However, there are many other signs that can help you determine if your horse is trusting you.

Signs Your Horse Believes In You

Horses trust you when they follow your instructions

You can tell if your horse trusts you by their response to the instructions you give them.

A horse that is confident in their authority and leadership will be more inclined to follow your direction when confronted with an intimidating situation or a patch of grass full of potential rewards.

Horses that trust you will be able to trust you and correct their mistakes.

Desensitization training can help your horse to be comfortable in unfamiliar situations. It also helps to teach them that you are trustworthy. You can find more information about how to desensitize horses here .

Horse Trust

Horses Trust You When They Visit You

You can also gauge whether your horse trusts and responds to you when you take them home.

Your horse may run away from you if they associate you with hard work and little reward. If this is the case, your horse will prefer to rest in their stall or field where they can eat without being pushed around.

This can be corrected by teaching your horse to trust you and reward them for their hard work. Although it is possible for your horse not to be coaxed into coming to you with treats, it is much more beneficial and rewarding to have your horse come to your side.

If you are having trouble getting your horse to follow you, I wrote an article that will explain the subject in greater detail and help you to implement a treat-free approach.

Horses trust you when they respect you

Trust and respect are essential when it comes to horses. You will not earn their respect if you are inconsistent with your training.

Horses in the field establish a hierarchy over time. One horse is considered to be the leader. The horses will challenge each other in the process of creating this order and they will continue to challenge each other even after the leader is established.

As a horse owner, your goal is to win respect from your horse by being the leader of the relationship. You can do this by being assertive and firm, but also being gentle and kind and ready to praise your horse for any progress.

You will be challenged by your horse from time to time. Therefore, you need to be prepared to be firm when needed to keep their respect and trust.

Horses trust you when they allow you to touch them

Horses that are unfamiliar with you might not allow you to touch them if they feel uncomfortable. Horses that have been abused or who have never had human contact may be more cautious.

Horses are flight or fight animals by nature. Horses will choose flight, if possible. If a horse doesn’t know you well, it may think you are a predator. Preditors are known to attack their prey most often in the head and neck areas. The neck and head area.

Horses that don’t trust you will be most afraid and uncomfortable when you touch their neck, face and ears. Be careful not to mistake negative reactions to physical contact for a trust issue. This is covered in my article on dealing to a shy horse.

You will gain their trust by spending more time with them, doing groundwork, and they will be more open to you touching them. If they seem still hesitant, you can refer to the article above.

Horses trust you when they’re at ease around you

The horse’s body language can reveal a lot about their mind. Horses should trust you and show relaxed body language when they do. These are signs that a horse doesn’t feel at ease with you:

  • Their bottom lip is tight
  • Their nostrils are tight
  • Their tail moves quickly, or not at all
  • Your ears may be pinned to your head or facing you.

Horses who are comfortable around you will be more relaxed. Horses that are at ease around you will be more able to spot problems.

Tips to Make Your Horse Trust You

If your horse is showing any signs of distrust, you can start to implement solutions that will help him gain trust and confidence in your abilities. These are some of the most effective ways I have used to win my horse’s trust.

Be a good leader and make your horse trust you

As I have mentioned, horses in fields naturally form a hierarchy where one horse is the leader. It is crucial that you establish yourself as the leader of your horse-human relationship.

This is done by being firm with your horse whenever you ask him to do something. If they don’t respond in a timely fashion or correctly, it’s better for you to teach them that they can do more work than complying.

You don’t want your horse to be afraid and become aggressive. Encourage and reward your horse for doing what you ask.

This helps me set low-achieving goals for each session. It helps me to set smaller goals that lead to my main goal. This makes it easier for me to praise my horses when they merit it. The horse will also be less likely to get burnt out or start to associate too much hard work with me.

Get Your Horse to Trust You By Doing Groundwork

Your horse and you should have a good relationship. Your horse must first trust you while on the ground if they are to trust you in the saddle.

Groundwork is a way to gradually push your horse through mental blocks by slowly introducing them to new challenges. They learn to overcome all obstacles without fear and can then confidently do whatever you ask.

I always notice a change in my horse when I stop doing my groundwork. They become less interested in me, are more likely to spook and are less willing to listen to my commands. You should make sure to set aside groundwork time every week. To help you get started, here are my 5 favourite groundwork exercises

Reward Your Horse To Make Them Trust You

Finally, rewarding your horse for his efforts is a great way of building trust. After a hard workout, brushing your horse and spending time with your horse while they graze can be ways to reward them. Even if they don’t have to go through intense training, just being with them will make them more trust you.

When your horse follows you everywhere, you know you are doing something right. How to make your horse follow YOU!

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!