I love my little wild stallion, but it is not magical the relationship we have. Horses are horses and if you treat them right, train them correctly, and understand them, you can do amazing things. There really is no better feeling than the galloping freely across the beach, or the rush of adrenaline and sensation of a huge adventure when exploring new places. Knowing your horse is your partner, the feeling you can trust them, and the sense of achievement i get when i know i have done all the training myself is a huge thrill for me, and the reason i chose to work with these creatures.
Whether mastering a new dressage movement, jumping a big scary obstacle, or just out riding rough country and making it through challenging terrain, its all the same to me. Its an adrenaline rush, I love the feeling of knowing my horse will do whatever i ask, and do it safely. That's all training should ever be, is teaching a horse that if you ask it something, anything, it must try to do it and gets rewarded for that. the more trained, the more refined the questions we ask of it.
Anyway...not magic what i can do with the stallion. he is lovely and i definitely had a great horse to start with. But its all the little things most people take for granted that makes horses amazing.
i can ride him with mares, because i handle him around mares. When handled, there are simple rules, he must stay focused on me and the job at hand. if he gets distracted he gets asked to work, or move or anything to get his focus to me again. Calling out, looking around, are outside the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. when he is focused on me and not distracted, hes always rewarded, so staying focused and ignoring whatever else is going on, becomes pleasant and reassuring thing for him to do. Simple as that....well almost that simple anyway.
horse are herd animals, they like leadership. if you can be ther leader, them kindly and compassionately as well as clearly in a way they understand, then they generally are happy and unstressed and really will do anything for you..
The beach story..
I didn't actually plan to ride the stallion down the beach bareback. When we got up there, we realised that we'd been to overcome with anticipation and excitement, both my friend and i, had forgotten our helmets, as well as one of the girths for the saddle. So in the spirit of fairness, we decided to both go bareback, and took turns with the spare helmet i had in the car.
I did however have a quick, literally 5minute ride on Matai, with both the saddle and helmet, when we first got there, before moving on to bareback, when we started our ride.
This didn't really bother either of us, we spent every summer holiday when we were younger, riding across farms, beaches and the steepest wildest places we could find. We usually did this dawn until dusk. The horses were'nt bothered either, we were relaxed and so were they. Even upon coming across the roaring waves and water, they looked with ears pricked but didn't get upset.
We had a blast! i think the horses did to. The stallion came across tussock grass in the dunes and obviously recognised it as edible from the mountains, as every opportunity had him stuffing his mouth full, while my other mare politely declined to eat it. The rough and varying terrain got both horses using their brains and bodies and they adapted well, and never had to be asked to do anything twice. they walked, trotted forward happily and confidently, completly at ease with what ever we came across
i could go on and on...but basically, i had a fantastic time and even though i don't believe in magic i still think Matai, the wild stallion is amazing.
So did all the people who met him on the beach!! I got to explain his story to many a tourist and now all over the world their will be people, with a photo or two of the wild horse from New Zealand