Australian Brumby Challenge ©
This week I had the most rewarding and proudest moment with Magnus to date. Magnus more than earned his keep working on the pay roll for our business, and he did it humbly.
The most successful horse trainers I have met and mentor, put more emphasis on the way a horse feels than what they do. I work my horses, and they feel good for it. They can tell the difference between when we are training, and when they have an actual real job to do. Nothing beats the satisfaction that I can feel, that they feel, when they achieve something real.
The Phycology behind effective horse training relates to any other way of advancing in life as people, in careers, relationships etc. This is why I use analogies to explain horse training; it should be easy if you use common sense.
If we would like teenagers to behave like adults, they need to be treated like adults, or they will never “step-up”. They may not always get in right consistently, and that’s ok, they still deserve the chance to. The same expectation applies to horses, and especially green horses. If we treat them like green horses, breakers, colts, or like they are a wild Brumby all their life, they will never step-up.
This week Magnus and I as a team trained a 9 month old quarter horse foal I had in for handling and educating. I always warmed up Magnus to make sure he was in a good state of mind before working the foal off him. My broke horses get saddled up and put straight on a job, but they’re ready. If he was telling me wasn’t ready in his warm ups, I wouldn’t have put him under pressure. I always listen to the small things a horse tells me they are not ok with, if not addressed this will lead to big things. Like when I went to open the round yard gate off Magnus to go into the foal after his nice warm up, he didn’t want to stand next to the gate while I opened it. Standing still in a tight situation is sometimes a must for effectively ponying another horse, so we worked on getting him happy next to the gate on that day before doing anything else. With him settling with the gate he was even better prepared with the foal.
The first day I just ponied the foal in the round yard, we lead him around, dallied him on the saddle to get him used to coming off hard pressure, moved his fronts and hinds around and sidled up next to him on both sides for me to get right over him and rub him all over. Magnus handled this with a very cool state of mind. Sometimes I had to work him with two reins to side pass him into the foal, but most of the time he moved around with a relaxed softness with one hand on the reins and moving nicely off my legs, while I had the foals lead in hand all the time. Some horses will take to pulling a load, horse, cow etc. with no dramas, some love it, but some hate the feeling and may never do it happily. Magnus was unfazed by me dallying the foals lead to the saddle and pulled on his resistance with ease. He knew what were achieving and he stepped right up to help get it done.
Leading Magnus out the arena that day after achieving a great job well done had me bursting with pride and happiness for him. He felt it, and felt great about himself.
The rest of the week we did a range of work with the foal including ponying out on the roads and around the cattle. Each time Magnus improved way faster than if I had been “dry” working him, and it was because he felt great about what he was doing. The emphasis wasn’t on him as a horse in work, but on helping another horse to advance and improve in his confidence and knowledge about human and training life. Magnus was a worthy mentor for the foal.
This weekend Lauren and I had dressage lessons at another training facility. So to end the week Magnus had a trip to “Tilling Hill Equestrian Centre” where he was first tied to the float for hours, then bought into the indoor. There he had many horses and people coming and going, and he had some major love dished out to him from some admirers who met him in flesh for the first time. “Cute” is not the word I’d choose to compliment my main Ponying horse for the week, but whether he likes it or not, he gets called it by others an awful lot.
He spent the night in a stable there for some exposure, and apart from not working out how to drink from the little metal trough up high in his stable, and being a bit thirsty in the morning, he was relaxed and unfazed… even with more “Cute” name calling again the morning.
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