“One of the things I love about horses is learning to go with the flow. Long story short, a herd of cattle followed me home from a walk Saturday, and stayed. I wanted to ride my mare, who was totally bothered by her new friends. I had wanted to go out, get on her and just ride. It took 2 hours to get to the point of catching her. I turned her running around and snorting at the cows into lunging up and down the fence line. I then cheated and used a treat to catch her. Worked her on the ground, then in the saddle. I was actually able, for the most part to re-focus her attention, with the occasional look at the cows. This was huge for me, as I was not that easy about working her in her original frame of mind.”-Karen A.
I love several things about this story. The first thing I love is that you live somewhere that a herd of cattle can follow you home from a walk, lol!
On a more serious note, it is great that you had the knowledge, skill and took this opportunity to train your horse. At some point you took the time to gain the knowledge of groundwork and mounted exercises that you could use. It is also very likely that you practiced these exercises, or versions of these exercises, to increase your skill before you needed them.
The time that you took to gain the knowledge and skill paid off for you when you saw the opportunity that…walked into your front yard.
Training situations like the one you described are something that I seek out and take advantage of. I do this because I know that I have put in the time practicing the foundation work; the results will become most fruitful after they are put to use in many places. Just last week my family had the opportunity to ride out to a marker on the Chisholm Trail. Newt has been trail riding many times…but something about this time set him off. He was being a brat!
The hardest part of the situation is remaining calm and seeing the problem as an opportunity. I got more training done on that one trail ride than I had in the previous month of training. Thanks for sharing your story and congratulations on your success!
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Good advice re: “remaining calm and seeing the problem as an opportunity.” That is something we should write down and post where we can see it when we need it (I’m thinking between the horses ears, on the top of his mane haha). Many times, these “opportunities” pop up when they are very inconvenient, and we had other plans…like trying to get yearlings back on their own side of the fence from horseback.
I really think your statement is one to remember. We don’t just “Train” in the arena, sooner or later we will be using the horse to get a job done, and becoming frustrated and impatient is definitely going to cost you in one way or the other.
Stacey PLEASE wear a safety helmet….you need to be mindful of all the folks who follow you and you set the example for safety and proper horse training…lets train the humans too, to ride safe….