Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Good horses born or made???

There are so many thoughts swirling around in m head at the moment, I'm having trouble making order, of just what i want to say. The wild horse show, put on by the KWHWT, has given me lots to think about, my stallion's training and behaviour while very good, still has some tiny issues that need fixing, it also made me realise how vunerable to abuse and neglect these horses are, once they are removed from the wild. but also what a great and diverse group of horses, fitting into every different niche of the horse riding world. They really do seem to inspire people, and everyone there, from all walks of life, seemed to really love and take pride in their horses, regardless of how they did. Except for one exception...who hated there horse, and swore they would never own another one. This annoyed me something chronic, not because they didn't like there horse, but the reasons they didn't like it, and the complete lack of understanding and responsibility on their part.

I'm firmly of the belief, that while talented horses are born, good horses are made. Its up to the human to make a happy, well mannered and well behaved horse. Ive never met a horse that was born nasty, or one that couldn't be improved with a little understanding and good manners (from both the person and horse). I'm not just thinking of this one person at the show, because there are so many others at all shows, and throughout the horse world, who are completely blind to there own faults, and spend there whole time blaming the horse for all the worlds problems...

Horses are just animals, and prey animals at that. They lack the cunning and brain power to be able to plan out and think ahead of ways to annoy their owner, why would they want to anyway? horses just react to whatever is going on around them. If you the handler, is stressed, irritated, and conveying those emotions into the way your dealing with your horse, they sure as hell, will pick up on it, they just don't understand the reason behind it, so therefore only react to whatever your doing, usually by becoming stressed or agitated themselves. Yelling, constantly nagging, pulling and whacking just doesn't solve anything, except to get you both more stressed, the horse just wants to get right out of there, away from the crazy handler a and the area where all the strife is occurring.

Somethings can be solved so simply, just teach you horse to lead quietly so your not dragging, or being dragged around the ring. Teach it to be light in the mouth, and make sure it understands clear aids for what it means to trot, walk and halt. To many times the horse hasn't really been taught anything and has no idea what to do, when people start swinging whips, jerking its mouth, its just plain old confused, while the human is getting upset because things go pear shaped in front of the judge. To me this is just good basic training, that you do with every horse.

I'll admit there was a couple of times, Matai spooked at something in the ring, or was worried about trotting past where all the people were sitting. He didn't do it on purpose, and hadn't planned it he was just reacting to things as he came across them. But by the last few classes he was foot perfect, and wasn't worried about anything. he never dragged me around and 90% of the time was extremely well behaved and attentive. If he did get distracted by other horses, i didn't simple hit him, or jerk on his bridle, but did little exercises to get his attention back to me. Then when he was standing happily i left him alone, to help him understand this was the behaviour i wanted. You really just have to give them a chance to understand, what is acceptable and what is not.

For me the whole show was just a test to see how well he coped with everything. he did well, you forget, that theses horses were once wild and can take a little time to get used to new people. It did the little wild stallion wonders, to have all sorts of people come up and rub, pat and lean all over him. It moved him slightly out of his comfort zone, but in a positive way, because he quickly relaxed around all the differant people, even the judge took the time to pat him and get him used to being examined. I also from time to time parked him in amoungst all the other horses, becuase he needs to know that no matter what going on he is to stand quielty, and that stallion behaviour is not acceptable. If you dont take the time time to teach them this stuff they dont magically learn it.

Talking to other people with wild horses, even though not all had gotten them straight form the wild, Made me realise that there are some kind and generous people that really go out of their way to help these horses. But there are some horses that do end up in horrible situations, because once people realise the dream of training a wild horse, is very differant from the reality of it, they giive up, and the animals end up starving, abused or completly neglected, and usally wilder than when they were first mustered. They are wild animals after all and realistically the first bit of traing and handling is probably not for begginers! Again good on all the people who do help them and KWHWT who try and keep track of adopted horses, and rescue any who are in trouble.