Alpha mares, fillies and the occasional gelding can present some interesting challenges where training and handling are concerned. They also become some of the most loyal high achievers you’ll ever encounter if you learn how to reach them. All seem to have heart beyond the norm, smarts and a willfulness about them that will test your fortitude.
“And the light bulb went off as soon as I hit the class because I realized it makes so much sense. Horses are herbivores. They’re meant to be eating plants. I realized that they’re subject to a lot of the fast food regimes and high-paced lifestyles that we as people have become accustomed to. So I wanted to bring back some normalcy to their domestication.” Stacey Small
Genetic wiring, prior experiences, personality styles and horse proclivities all play a role in designing an effective strategy to build a partnership with the horse. If you’re not keeping your horse in the conversation, you’re losing opportunities to bond on a much deeper level.
Thinking about starting a horse business can result in a confusing tangle of questions and uncertainty about where to start. People often jump to opening their doors in their excitement of “just do it” rather than sorting it all out and tackling the research and strategic thinking. They soon discover that what they skipped over in early planning reappears as a stumbling block.
Even though Rain Man was potentially one of the most dangerous horses we’d encountered, there was something about this comical kid that stole our hearts.
there’s no reason to put up with a bad equine vet because if you do enough digging, you can find a great one
If you think your horse learns to trust you because you run him around in a restricted circle until he’s exhausted, think again. Some practitioners boast ‘licking and chewing’ as a sign of submission and associated respect (and this is something to be proud of?), but this can also signal stress.
Well, maybe horses are more forgiving than humans, but they remember. Plus, anyone who thinks they’re “teaching their horse respect” with what they do to the equine vs. how they relate to him is living in a dream world. Sure, you can gain his fear, her obedience, his compliance and her cooperation, but you’ll never win a horse’s trust with an end-game in mind that doesn’t include the equine in the conversation.
Even if you don’t think the horse should be part of the conversation, if you fail to incorporate his personality and issues into your training plans, you’re bound to get hurt.
Of course, almost every business-savvy multiple-horse-owner who has engaged vendors for training find themselves stuck with a bill that delivers a horse that is not only ill-prepared for the stated job request, but also set back by human mistakes made in the ‘schooling’ process, ONCE. What really puzzles me is why there are so many who go back for more.