I met Macie a little while ago when her owner came to me concerned if they were a good match or not. I went to visit Macie for the first few times and quickly assessed her character and what her owner was struggling with.

The first thing I noticed about Macie was, she was extremely smart. One of the smartest horses I’ve ever met. There’s smart and then there’s Macie. She was also dominant with her smarts. I saw how she was brave, intelligent and VERY pushy. She also hadn’t had an approach that respected her brains and beauty. She is a very sensitive mare and the challenge with her was to be worthy of her listening to a request. Also to come up with requests that kept her engaged and interested in the conversation.

Macie’s training involves problem solving several things.

  1. She was bolting
  2. She was very strong on lead and in the bridle
  3. She was energy dominant
  4. She was heavy on the forehand
  5. She was very stiff in her body
  6. She didn’t want to focus on requests
  7. She had an erratic rhythm

Using the Liberty-Line-Mounted approach, she has and continues to become really fun. She is still a work in progress as you will see in her video clip, but she has come so far in so little time. It is awesome to see it unfolding.

Exercises I used to help her and her person were:

  • Waterhole Rituals (most helpful leading from behind and eye contact)
  • Work with food
  • Liberty Fundamentals (Liberty suppling and Circling)
  • Line work (precursor to In Hand)
  • In Hand work for symmetry and suppleness
  • Mounted work which reaffirmed Liberty, Line and In Hand exercises

A horse like Macie could easily be branded “Naughty” dangerous and disrespectful. She has strong opinions about things and requires a interesting and varied approach that suits her character. It is up us to make her training interesting enough for her not to be bored and keep inventing new exercises that challenge her in good ways. Enjoy a video of her here http://fdhvirtualclinic.vidmeup.com/view?q=516795180b9d0.flv



  • Michelle

    Wow…I see a LOT of Dodger in Macie. Please tell the owner she’s not alone dealing with the bargy, evasive, opinionated tactics. I had to laugh at the spontaneous Spanish Walk effort…Dodger is much more likely to offer that when *he* thinks it’s time for a carrot than when I actually ask for Spanish Walk. Fun to watch a horse so much like him!

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