The day I entered the paddock without a cookie and was greeted with charging, teeth bared, kicking and striking is the day I decided to put her into training much earlier than planned. I like to give young horses a week or so to acclimate to the new surroundings and routine before engaging in a serious training regimen, but she earned an early start.
She was aloof and distracted prior to my hopping aboard on our last ride. In retrospect, the lesson should have ended without riding time. It didn’t, and after some walk and halt work, she started to rear.
Horse tales that are made for the movies: a trio of alpha fillies starting under saddle makes life interesting at Halcyon Acres
It’s a good thing I like alphas – and have a knack for reaching them. Right now there are three uber alpha fillies at Halcyon Acres starting under saddle. This trio has the ability to make my blood pressure rise or make my day, but mostly, they keep me smiling with their clever approaches, dramatic communications and immense staying power.
While instinct, bloodlines and breed will cause some horses to be naturally spookier than others, most of the horses that come into Halcyon Acres are jumpy and jittery due to angst. They’ve been asked for too much too soon, handled with impatience and intolerance, not encouraged to develop self-confidence or handled by a frightened person.
Some are in a big hurry to accost a foal with training regimens the moment he drops. This may create a compliant equine, but it rarely teaches a baby to view human contact as interesting and engaging – and to enjoy building a trust together that offers a lifetime of opportunities for collaboration. Usually, it’s just a matter of days spent giving the foal the opportunity to choose that means the difference between forcing a conciliatory attitude and building a reciprocal, exciting and special relationship.
Friday’s Opinion Dr. Robert Miller (http://www.robertmmiller.com) popularized imprinting foals with both the term and practice. He’s famous now and deserves credit for the time, research and material he’s put out there to encourage breeders to interact with foals at an early age. Granted, Miller’s convictions concerning early handling makes first encounters for vets, other service […]
Want to bring along a young horse that loves to train so much he nickers when he sees you coming? It’s not that hard if you’re willing to hear the horse. Below are some easy ways to ensure your horse is excited about performing the jobs you request.
Do you cringe when you see what some people do to young equine minds? You will. Common sense should prevail when a horse starts acting out to be heard so dramatically he becomes dangerous, but sadly, it doesn’t in many cases.
Whether you are a novice or professional, there’s a lot the horse you are working with can teach you about communications. Keep it safe, fun, engaging and interesting for both of you and you’ll be amazed at how much more effective short and collaborative lessons can be than long sessions you dictate alone.
Friday’s Opinion It seems the older I get, the more I’m inclined to ask the horse how he wants to proceed. Years ago, I’d relish the opportunity to engage a horse in a battle of wills that demonstrated my mettle and glue. Granted, it’s hard to know how much of my collaborative approach comes from […]