5 Benefits of Teaching Your Horse to Stand on a Mat
Using the Mat Method is a great way to teach your horse independence and commands without developing a focus on your hands or pockets. This also helps to teach the horse how to be away from you and how to move to a thing, rather than always moving away (A common trope of standard horse training). Additionally, this provides a psychological “safe place” that is familiar for the horse to go to when it is distressed or upset.
- Mat training can make horse training safer for the trainer.
- The horse considers the mat to be a positive reinforcement and a place of safety.
- The mat helps divert the horses attention from the trainers hands.
“Mats can become ‘safety blankets’ because of their positive reinforcement history. If the horse spooks there is a huge chance that he will look for the mat to stand on to give him comfort.”