There is always a point in working with outside horses that you start to win their trust. It takes time, as we have talked about, but it always happens, if you can wait for it. At first you are trying to establish yourself as leader. That can mean that you have to be pretty firm with the horse. The result of that is your horse respects you as the leader but does not really want to be around you. But, once you have taught your horse his place in the herd of two, it’s time to teach him to trust you. We do that with ground exercises I call trust exercises.
Trust exercises are exercises where you show the horse that you are not there to hurt him. I use the stick and string, the end of the lead rope, later in his training I will use a plastic bag on the end of the stick and will even use a large blue tarp. I move these all over the horse and around the horse, to teach them that no matter what is going on around them, if they will just stop and wait for me to tell them what to do, I will not let anything happen to them. This takes time. They may not like it, but as long as they will stand for it, I will reward them with rest. In time they will look forward to working with me, or at the very least will not resent it. How can I tell? Good question. When I go to catch the horse early in his or her training, they don’t want to be caught. So, I have to work a little harder getting them caught. They don’t want to get caught cause they don’t want the work, and they don’t really trust me. But when they figure out I’m not going to hurt them, catching them becomes much easier. Even to the point that they will just stand and wait for me to catch them, not running off at all.
It all takes time but it worth the effort. This is where Bitsy is now. She is getting easier and easier to catch every day. A good sign.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.