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February 2016

January 2016

Three students, building foundations for different types of learners.

Lyra face

This winter at my farm I have three horses getting similar training,  but each horse is so very unique.  Two of my students are not saddle broke, so starting from the ground and working up is the only option.  The third horse is saddle broke but doesn't have a concrete foundation.  It is fun to apply the same tactics such as moving a horse around but for different reasons.

Lyra is 18 months old,  everything is fairly new to her,  so we are just addressing basic comunication.  At this age she is excited to learn and very impressionable.  If I rush her ground work,  her training will collapse in the future.  Calm, quiet and slow is what I strive for.

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Cativo is five years old and hasn't been handled since he was a yearling.  When teaching him to move his body around,  his attitude was "why do I have to do this?"  While I called him out on his bluff,  at 17+ hands high,  I had one chance to make a good first impression.  He went through the normal bag of tricks to see what I was made of.  Including longing away,  kicked out and trying to run me over.  Once this was established as "not an option" for behavior,  he is a quick learner.  

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Lastly, Chloe knows what to do,  but has the Morgan attitude that she could do it better with out my help.  She has a very strong herd instinct,  not like a collie,  but raher that she needs to keep an eye on the rest of the herd.  It is difficult for her to pay attention to herself when parted from the other horses.  Chloe can move her feet faster than Gregory Hines,  getting her to stop and relax is the main objective.  Taking it back a step and ground driving rather than riding will benefit Chloe because everything will be done at a walk.  Her brain needs to focus on one move at a time.  Morgans are notorious for trying to finish our sentences,  rather than working in the moment.

After a couple weeks of adjusting to their new jobs each horse looks forward to learning and gets comfort from leaving the herd.  My objective is to ground drive each one by the end of the winter.  Lyra and Cativo will be learning the ropes, obedience and partnership. Chloe is having a more of a yoga approach toward the whole thing.  Physically she can do anything,  mentally she is learning to hold a pose,  take a breath and just relax.