One of the hardest lessons when training horses is learning to be the boss mare. The boss mare is the leader of the band. She is who the other horses look to for direction and what she says goes. Occasionally others will test her, but ultimately they know exactly who is in charge. She isn’t mean, and she isn’t a tyrant. She is a well-loved member of the band who can elicit a full on gallop in any direction with a look in her eye and a twitch of her ears.
She is who we have to learn to be.
But being boss mare doesn’t happen overnight. It takes consistency, and some well-timed smacks on your horses’ rump. And just as important are some well-timed rubs between the eyes. Everything is a balance.
The hardest part of becoming boss mare is being willing to escalate your energy to meet our horses and prove that you are in fact the bigger badder person in the relationship. This is not an attempt to use fear to influence your horses behavior but instead it is how we gain respect. And from respect and fairness we gain love. Being a loved leader is the ultimate goal.
Becoming boss mare means that we have to be aware of our timing, we must be aware of our horses slightest try, and we must reward that try as fast as we possibly can. The faster our reactions and the better our timing the softer our horse becomes. When we are truly in boss mare role our horses get them benefit of being relaxed. After all there’s nothing to worry about if you have a good boss mare watching over you.