Working with a wild colt for about a month now, making everything as consistent as possible for him due to his personality and needs, I’m starting to see the Independence of a wild horse transitioning into a great partner so I can’t imagine a better day to post about it.
The project Nokota we took home from the Nokota Conservancy named Marmalade, has been a very skeptical horse, which is normal and GOOD if you are a wild horse…it keeps you alive if you are more alert. So working with him and understanding that he needs more consistency than horses that do not have the same level of skepticism is a slower process but I’m starting to see huge changes in this horse and how much it pays off.
Being a wild horse, the last thing you want on your face is something that can control your head…like a halter. So it’s pretty natural to want to run away or avoid it, but because we are asking politely and being as dynamic as we can yet consistent as we can, Marmalade has decided that it’s really not that big of a deal now being haltered. It’s certainly not to the point where he shoves his head in the halter but now it’s really more like a lilting argument where he knows he will let us catch him but just has to show that he’s not super fond of it yet.
So we “catch” him and get the halter on and start the process. He’s totally left eye dominant, so we make sure to work both eyes especially the right. Things are getting much better because of the focus and repetitiveness. He’s trying to use both eyes and trusts more easily now in both.
He’s a total gentleman when being ridden, he knows you are there and takes care of you, he is 100% cognizant that you are on his back.
He’s transforming, not only with the training but also feeling safe enough to show us his personality and getting braver around humans…This is his independence! He’s starting to want to greet people as they walk thru the gate, he’s interested in sniffing us, making contact and watching what we are doing.
After his lesson the other day he released all his energy by blowing and yawning right infront of us instead of running off to the far side of the arena. He rolled very close to us and even started to investigate us and what we had in our hands like water bottles and ropes. He came up to me while I was on Kiko and chewed on my riding crop, smelled both my boots and then turned his attention to Kelly on Blue to do the same.
He was totally in the mix, he wasn’t skiddish about us coming up to touch him, he is learning from the other horses we aren’t a threat and he’s learning from us that people mean good things like entertainment and butt scratches!
This is a huge leap in Marmalade’s independence, being able to TRUST no one is out to hurt him and I think it will catapult him into his training. He’s non spooky, non reactive and very willing to have his trust too….Well, I think this guy is going to be a superstar. I’m so excited to see how far we can take him and I’m really excited for his future owner whomever that may be because they are getting a horse that will be a rockstar because he decided for himself that humans are great and allowed himself that independence to trust us and show us the playful happy go lucky side that will take him so far in life.