If you haven’t heard, a young Lusitano colt named Maestro has come to Ohana Farm to join our family. Maestro came from a farm not too far away from our place that specializes in Lusitanos of quality.
I had visited this particular farm several times to look at young horses but Maestro really caught my eye. He was the type and character all in one I had been waiting for. It’s always difficult looking at horses because you really don’t know them until you are around them for some time. You have to go by your gut and know what you are looking for and looking at.
Maestro had only recently been weaned, didn’t know how to lead and most certainly had no trailering experience. I wanted his first trip to be as stress free as possible and had the good fortune to have an awesome older Schoolmaster named Jordan (Uncle Jordan). I found out that Jordan had a very nurturing side to him with young horses that had been at the farm. He took them under his wing and looked out for them in our herds. I have a very large trailer and the option to open it up into a large box. I decided to bring Uncle Jordan in the trailer to help Maestro be less stressed on his first trailer trip. I have learned to set myself up for success when I sometimes have to do things with horses in less then ideal circumstances such as having to ship a young colt with no prior experience. Even with his young pasture mate frantically calling for him, Maestro saw Uncle Jordan standing calmly in the trailer eating and after inspecting the situation walked right in. We opted to allow him to be free in the compartment with plenty of space. I drove carefully out the drive a short distance and stopped again to see how he was handling the big moving box experience. He was eating hay next to his experienced new friend and only called a few times but was quiet the rest of the trip. I was well impressed with his attitude but we still had a completely new environment to negotiate after our trailer trip.
After an uneventful trip back to his new home, I now had to negotiate getting Maestro off the trailer, down an icy driveway and into his temporary paddock. I got someone to help me with Uncle Jordan so I could guide Maestro. I used a lunge line to lead Maestro knowing he didn’t understand being lead and might be excited and anxious walking to his new paddock. I wanted to be able to give him space and keep myself safe as we walked together. As it turned out, My idea worked beautifully, On the trailer trip back, Uncle Jordan and Maestro had bonded well and as soon as we took Jordan down the driveway Maestro followed him enthusiastically to their temporary paddock. I could not have been more pleased and impressed with this young colt’s poise and calm with what could have been a very stressful experience.
With any new horse or being that comes into my life, I begin at the beginning. I begin with spending time with and observing closely how the horse handles themselves in their environment and just getting to know them and letting them get to know me and my energy. I want and need nothing from my horse. Just to become friends. This is also a gift you can give you and your horse you have had for a long time or your newly acquired adult horse. This is the most important time and exercise you can do with any horse or anyone else. It is so special for both beings to spend this time together regularly to build a deep and satisfying bond and partnership and it is the beginning.
Maestro and Uncle Jordan have uneventfully been integrated into to their new herd with Mercury and Roo. Another important part of Maestro’s growth is to be in herd of elders who will help me raise him into a balanced adult horse. It takes a village to raise a colt! Enjoy the video clip of Maestro’a first meeting with the boys.
I will be covering this Journey with Maestro on my membership site in an upcoming series showing the exercises I do from the beginning through non traumatic colt handling and starting. If you are not a member, you can join in on Maestro’s journey and many other great videos by clicking here Join in!