Ohana farm is in full swing and as I expected there are a fascinating cross section of horses in residence here. The farm has been fertile ground for even further and deeper exploration of horses, herd social behavior, Training and people and their horse relationships.
The farm is at full capacity and we are just finishing renovations up in the main barn. The worst winter ever is finally loosening it’s icy grip on us.
I have a new site that has been in the works for some time. It has several new features that I am excited about. And some unique ones I will be unveiling soon. One is my New Case study blog. I am charting the training and progress of several horses on this blog. Each one is more different then the next. Everything from Babies to Physical and Emotional rehabs. We have it all! If you are interested in how I problem solve complicated cases, Start young horses, fix faulty training and biomechanics, how I rehab TB’s, Older horses, and even Mercury’s and my journey, Then you wont want to miss this opportunity!
I have had many unique training opportunities that very few trainers get. I currently have 3 horse from one owner living in a herd at the farm. There is a Spotted Draft Gelding and two young mares. The Gelding is mainly a physical rehab but had some anxiety around schooling. The two young mares are nurse mare foal rescues. They are here to be started. I particularly find this mini herd interesting and fun because of the dynamics of the herd and playing with it. I also find it fun to train all three horses at liberty at once. I get to bounce from one to the other, sometimes two at a time and sometimes all three.
The character of these particular horses was fascinating to watch unfold because the owner’s perception of what each horse was like was quite different then what I experienced. I spent time with them observing them in the paddock and the Arab mare was always at the front on the group right in your face at first. My experience with these horses was that this mare had a propensity for kicking and so did the other one. They were also very difficult to move away from your space initially which in light of the kicking made them unsafe to be close to due to their unpredictable nature. Part of my problem solving for this case, was first to find out the reason they kicked and then to re-pattern it so they were safer to be around.
Another dynamic I noticed was, that the other young mare, a gaited horse, was always standing behind the Arab like her shadow but never came up to you like the Arab. The Gelding appears to be the Lead horse. I noticed he really hangs in the background a lot, happy to let the girls be up front and chatty. The first few sessions I just sat and observed. I eventually decided I would like to see what happened if I asked the Arab mare to move away and stand back from being out front all the time. She was not easily convinced of this idea. She wanted to control the interactions. I did succeed in asking her to make space for her friend to at least show me who she was out of the shadow of the Arab.
Something really interesting happened when I made space for this other horse to show me who she was, The gaited mare was described to me as the “wild one”. What I actually found out was that she was the Honor student when I gave her the space to show me her character. She was very friendly, stepping forward to be selected for “school” first each day and eventually the dynamics were reversed. She was the one in front all the time. I will be sharing more about these three horses in the next blog as I unravel their history and behaviors preparing them to be ridden for the first time and rehabbing the spotted draft Gelding. In my Case Study Blog, I will go in depth with each horse in this herd individually. Each horse I work with has there own progress blog.
If you haven’t heard, I will be headed back to the UK in June for my annual clinic. Spots are filling up so don’t delay in signing up with your horse. Click the link to register here http://fdhorsemanship.com/event-registration/?ee=25 Also come by and see me at Crop and Carrot in Spencer, MA on March 29th at 4:30-6:00 for my unmounted Seat awareness and Communication free class. Auditing spots only are available in limited amounts. I will also be offering a follow up Mounted Seat Awareness and Communication class at Ohana farm April 19th Click the link to register for the clinic that offer keys to better communication with your horse http://fdhorsemanship.com/event-registration/?ee=26 Click here to visit the new website with my Case Study Blog See you at the next clinic!