Friday, September 16, 2011

Why did i want wild horses again??

I wanted wild horses for a reason, I'm sure i did. I just cant remember at the moment, why? I have after all gone against my own better judgment, and purchased four non-wild, but pretty feral ponies, and taken on, 3 ex racehorses, and two other, excuse my french 'f*cked up' problem horses to re-educate in the last 6 weeks. So why on earth did i think last year it was good idea to get wild horses, when i could buy 'pretty coloured' feral, for $250 and make a healthy profit on, once broken in and schooled, or actually get paid to ride ex-racers and problem horses? Im struggling to remember..

O that's right now i remember, because all of these horses come with baggage, the amount and intensity of baggae may differ, but all of them are carrying it never the less. While all of the above horses, come with attitude, behaviour problems, are naughty, panic, kick, bolt, rear, buck, are anti social and have no sense of self preservation. The wild horses just came with worms and lice, which all of the above horses seem to come with as well anyway. The very reason i wanted wild horses to begin with was because they were a clean slate, a blank canvas, they were just horses.

They were not some one's or syndicates, spoilt million dollar racehorse that wasn't fast enough and could only run around in a circle, that was looking for a new career because it had already failed at its first one. That came with a with a iron mouth, no slef preservation and a pretty good panic button to boot.

They were not some backyards breeders money making scam to breed "pretty coloured' ponies, that while a fashionable colour had every confirmation fault under the sun. Who had been dumped, when the couple divorced, had been half broken in, before the divorce, before the wife lost interest, before it was realised that working with cute ponies was not butterflies and daises, but after they had learned to kick, to pull away, to shoulder charge and to bite when asked to do something.

The wild horses were not, prone to to wild fits of behaviour when being ridden, they did not hate there work so much they would do anything to get out of it. They were not pressure cooked, by to many expectations to young, and they were not cocky from not enough work to late. they were not sour, and they were not arrogant. they didn't attack other horses in the same paddock with them, and they did not endlessly pace fences until they were skin and bone.

the wild horses just behave like horses. In the last few weeks i have had to deal with every range of man made problems relating to equines. i have as you know been kicked, but also barged, bolted on, nipped at, ears pinned back at me. I have spent hours teaching them that i am in fact boss horse, and they do need some ground manners, and that work doesn't mean punishment, that tthere are other speeds beside flat tack, that they don't need to lean on bit and can in fact carry there own heads. but none of this i have ever had to teach to the wild horses.

Fern got ridden today, you know hard that was...not hard at all. Do you know why it wasn't hard, because she just behaved as she should.I put the saddle on, did some groundwork , got her happily walk, trot and cantering, and then had my assistant climb into the saddle. We lunged her in circles, the assistant could lean over rub her on the rump, on the neck, wave her legs around and the wild grey mare just kept happily doing her job as she should. She handles all these things because she never learnt that she shouldn't. Shes always been happy to work, because work has never been bad. There are rules to our relationship, no pushing, shoving, or misbehaving she knows the rules and happily follows, and the rules having been in place since they very first day of her arrival.

Horses just behave like horses, until we teach them otherwise. I cant stress this enough, like every other creature that is capable of learning, horses only learn what we teach them. By never setting boundaries, by creating bad experiences, or good ones, by asking to much or to little, by thinking something is cute until when its a wee little foal, but not so cute when its a fully grown 500kg animal. These are the things that determine the good horses from the bad ones, the crazy from the sane and the horses that live to a ripe old age and those that end up on a meat works truck.

I got wild horses because wild horses are easiest of all! I wish i had never forgotten. I wish other people would realise that training horses is not rocket science and not whispering and unconditional. I wish that people would realise all horses can be good horses until you teach them otherwise. Wild horses are just horses without other issues, its the domestic ones that are the wildest of all.