Maestro at 2!
Amazingly, Maestro is 2 years old already! He is maturing into a fabulous horse and friend right before my eyes. Throughout our time together, Maestro has been seeking me out to interact as is how it should be in a good foundation relationship. We have spent countless hours together enjoying each others company, grooming, massaging, having feet handling and I have already been trimming his feet at liberty. I have been able to wait until he is ready and to introduce things and concepts that will be important to our future together.
Each horse is different and mature different so you really have to use your judgement on when to introduce certain things. I also observe how his herd mates are dealing with his cheekiness and his sometimes too rough play. It’s actually quiet fascinating to see how Mercury and Jordan create just the appropriate boundaries without going over the top. They get their point across, Maestro gets it, and it’s done. I follow suit by doing the same. I have been documenting his journey on my website in real time. It is definitely time for Maesty to start some more technical lessons which I will conduct in the paddock area first and start introducing more In Hand prep and on line with a simple halter and lead rope. He is quite an agile and athletic colt so I will carefully start channeling that towards new lessons for his more mature young mind. He is a quick learner and rarely needs to be reminded of something once he’s learned it. At this stage will introduce my Bitless bridle and preparation at Liberty for In Hand work and Liberty Fundamentals (the integrating of Liberty with Technical bio-mechanical exercises) All this can be done in the paddock. I can also teach him to focus even when the other horses are around which is a valuable lesson. Learning how to stand tied at a tree with a hay net in his environment has allowed me to start introducing that concept in a low stress way. He is learning manners and how to deal with not just me but different people coming into his space and caring for him.
My main concern with youngsters at this age is them trusting me and people in general, basic handling and manners so they are safe for not only me but vets, Trimmers and any other professionals to work around. I encounter so many horses that are difficult for basic care and handling, it is not necessary and can lead to your horse having rough handling by strangers and negative experiences around basic care. I can introduce trailer loading at this stage as well as handling his mouth for dental care. Many people do not think of these things when handling colts until they are big and it is dangerous.
I love to use Monkey see Monkey do for training which means showing Maestro what’s going to happen with his friends Mercury and Jordan so he can see there is no concern and learn what is going to be asked of him. It important when introducing more physically demanding exercises to adopt a less is more attitude. a 2 year old is not being prepped for riding but more for concepts so fitness is not as important just learning certain postures and positioning that will plant seeds for when it is time to ride. Enjoy the slideshow below and see how he’s grown!