The balance ratio you need between sensitizing and desensitizing depends on a horse’s temperament, but all horses need exercises doing
Desensitizing the horse does not cause him to lose any of his
responsiveness—it just makes him calmer, quieter, and less likely to
spook and react to movement around him. When we want a horse to move
in response to our pressure, that’s sensitizing
Here’s how To Desensitize Your Horse
When we’re desensitizing a horse, what we’re actually doing is
teaching him to ignore a stimulus. Desensitizing the horse does not
cause him to lose any of his responsiveness—it just makes him calmer,
quieter, and less likely to spook and react to movement around him.
If you desensitize a horse too much, he may well become quiet and
relaxed, but he won’t want to move, and may become resentful, pushy,
Here’s How To Sensitize Your Horse
When we’re sensitizing a horse, we’re asking him to pay attention to whatever stimulus we’re using to cue him. When you sensitize a horse too much, you may well get him respectful and moving his feet whenever you want him to, but he may also become quite reactive and difficult.
Here I am doing some sensitizing groundwork with my horse.
Two Sides of the Same Coin
I want a horse that is responsive when I want him to move, but when I ask him to stand still and fall asleep, he’ll do so in a heartbeat. My horse, Mindy, loves it when I relax my body language, because she knows that is her opportunity for a well-earned rest.