This sweet mare is learning all about life with humans and she’s…okay with it. She has some criteria that needs to be met for her humans: not only do they have to be quiet and respectful of her, they also need to be happy to take things at her pace and use positive reinforcement to let her have choice in her training. She has tried other gentle training methods and very strongly said no way, no how. And you know what? Fair enough. Our belief is that since she is tried a lot of things and found a way to learn that works best for her, she should stick with it!
So, positive reinforcement it is. And you know what? She is great at learning! She targets her neck to us to self halter, lines her back up with our request to allow us to put a saddle pad on her, and she even lines up at the mounting block with no halter, no lead rope, no tack for mounting. She has had a rider on her back but still finds it pretty intimidating so we are going at her pace.
She thinks the less equipment, the better, and while we get her used to the “normal” equine equipment (halter, saddle, etc. both for her safety and her human’s safety) we tend to support her requests.
She also finds us in the pasture and comes flying up to us to “request” training time. We LOVE that! She knows verbal cues for stop, walk on, and back up and she’s been very happy continuing to learn with us. And we’re happy about that too! Happy horse, happy humans – that’s the goal! Does well for the farrier. Does very well working at liberty and loves learning via positive reinforcement.