Working on the basics.
When I talk about the basics, what I really mean is what is basic to the horse. Most of the horses that come to me have problems rooted in some very basic skills. For example. Can I catch my horse? You may say “yes”, but can you catch your horse without using treats?
I remember a time a few years back, when Kathy and I were asked to come to Chicago Ill. to help a show jumping horse. This horse was some where in his late teens and had been a show jumper all his life. However, he had started to refuse at water jumps. The owners had to either blind fold the horse to get him in the show pen or, they had to bribe the horse with treats. There were times when that didn’t work either. Now this horse had a lot of experience in the show jumping world, but he was starting to cost his owner a lot of money in entry fees. He would not stand still to be saddled and would stick his head in the clouds when they tried to bridle him. In his life time, he had broken the arm of two separate grooms and who knows how many others had been injured over the course of his life.
So, what did I do? Good question. We, the horse and me, started from the beginning. I first taught him to respect me and my space and to listen when I spoke to him. I was there for only 10 days or so and we worked just about every day.
We had the chance to go to a show just before we left to come home to New Mexico. When he walked to the show pen he walked in like a perfect gentleman. He took first place in that show and placed in the top three in the two shows after that.
So you know, I never rode the horse while I was there. I just worked on the basics, teaching the horse where his place was in the herd of two. He finished the season making money for his owner and his life was much better because of taking the time to take the horse back to some basic horsemanship exercises that I use in my program..
The moral of the story? If you are having problems with your horse, think about starting from the beginning and make sure he understands his place in the herd of two… you won’t regret the time you spend doing it.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.