How To Tame A Wild Horse

Ever wondered how horses go from being wild, free-spirited animals to people's most faithful travel companion? Grab your lasso, put on your cowboy hat, and get ready to become a horse whisperer. I mean, you'll probably never need to tame your own horse, but if you did, this is how the masters do it.

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In this video from the BBC Earth YouTube channel, you'll see a Patagonian gaucho (skilled South American horseman) tame a wild horse like he's some sort of wizard. Basically, your goal is to get the horse to trust you enough that you can approach it safely and prepare it for riding. Catch the attention of the horse (make sure it's looking at you) then be as calm as possible so it knows you aren't a threat. Slowly reach out your arm and let it get used to your scent. If it looks away, scare it into running while you keep your distance. The gaucho explains:

What you have to do is catch the attention of the horse. I shoo it away a few times until it realises that when it's looking at me there will be calm. But if it looks somewhere else, I'll scare it.

That tires out the horse while it slowly but surely trains it to keep calm and stay focused on the gaucho. The whole process takes several hours - and should obviously only be done by a professional - but it's fascinating to know how it's done. Perhaps some of these tips might come in handy if you ever need to calm an already tamed horse who's getting out of hand.

Wild Patagonian horse is masterfully tamed - Wild Patagonia - BBC Earth [via Kottke]


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