2.07.2008

What I'm working on...

Some of you may ask why did I want a stallion and the answer is I didn't, It just happened. As a trainer and student of Natural Horsemanship, I wanted to put my skills to the test with a young colt. I have handled stallions and seen stallions handled and it seemed to me that they lived a pretty feeble existence. They seemed to be punished for simply being a stallion. I'm not talking about genuinely bad behavior. I'm talking about normal stud behavior. Let's face it bad behavior is bad behavior gelding, mare or otherwise. I've seen it across the board regardless of gender and status.

So what I thought was, can I keep this horse in tact and merely provide him with the boundaries and structure he needed from an early age (one). I also picked a colt whose sire and dam were calm and gentle. I don't think it would have been as easy without good genes.

Mercury has been kept with other horses his whole life and has been allowed to socialize like a normal horse. He has never been denied turnout or company (although, he is hasn't always been welcome by the other horses being the pest that he is) and that is so important to any horses' socialization. Never underestimate the value of other horses ability to teach a horse rules and boundaries. Also "Horseplay" is so important for their stress management as well. It is truly ashame that we segregate many horses from each other (though some horses are truly aggressive and can need be put with an appropriate match if you have one). They are herd animals and thrive on the social structure.

Now "M" is under saddle and although he wasn't the easiest colt to start, I don't attribute it to studdiness. Knowing him the way I do, I attribute it to his nature and his horsenality and about 10% being a stud. Since I fostered his "try" from a young age and he was born with a lot of desire to please I can see him learning as he matures to handle himself (and his hormones) with my careful guidance. With each new day we welcome new situations which challenge him to stay composed around girls, his buddies and when distracting things are going on. He passes with flying colors after he is made aware of the "rules" of conduct. Because, I made sure he new the rules when worked together alone, reaffirming those rules in more challenging situations is only a reminder of stuff he already knows how to do. Not hard for him to grab on to. We look forward to each situation as an opportunity to "learn how to act". Stay tuned...
FDT
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