Friday, March 30, 2012

Trust - The Foundation of all Training

Bishop has been at Hay River Equestrian for 15 days.  Today is the first day he actually put his head in the halter so he could start eating his grain.  I was a little worried that I was going to have a hard time getting him to trust me.

When I picked him up from the horse dealer he had to be caught with a lasso even though he had a halter on.  The space he was in was about 10 feet by 16 feet.  There was no chance to catch him any other way.  I said wow - he was pretty hard to catch.  She said yeah when she picked him up he had two broken halters around his neck and the one on his head.  I thought oh my - he has not been handled much and when he was handled - it did not look like it went well.

The hardest part was getting him to let me touch him at all.  He accepeted my touch first on his neck when I was feeding him.  Touching his head politley, usually resulted in unplanned trips around my round pen.

I used a natural horsemanship carrot type of stick which helped a lot.  He could be scared to death and away from me and still be touched.

Today was the first time I was able to touch him all over his body (except his legs) and his head and he did not panic.  I also was able to take him outside the round pen and let him eat grass while petting him from both the left and right side.  This was huge because he has to bend and go lower while I stand.  Bending into a passive eating position around me took more trust.

I just do not understand why folks do not do this with their foals.  That would be so much easier.  I guess better late than not at all.

Friday, March 16, 2012


There is a new man at Hay River Equestrian.  Bishop is a 2 year old Arabian gelding.  He is a sweety but super timid.  Feeding time has become friendly game time.  He gets to eat and I get to pet him.  He resides in the round pen until he relaxes and starts to enjoy the people here at the farm.

Bishop is probably 150 pounds underweight - so petting him during eating works well.  He never offers any aggression towards anyone or anything, he just wants to flee. 

Let me be clear, Hay River Equestrian is not a rescue, we are a training barn.  I just have a silly soft spot for timid horses I guess. 

Look for more updates on him as the months go by.  He is a well built attractive fellow with a great future.