Words and photos by Jenny Barnes with quotes from Mark Langley
The first ride out for John’s mare. Mark introduced her to Pauline & her horse, Wills, in the round yard.
Mark then took John’s mare out on our 500 acre property. First, he headed for the forest, then out through tea tree, grassy areas, and back through our garden with all its strange and scary objects.
“I spent the ride guiding her, taking her away from Wills and towards Wills, keeping fairly busy on her. She was quite attentive to me, but not too confident with moving forward. A lot of this is due to the amount of concentration that she keeps on me.
After trotting her ahead a little bit, I thought I would let her follow Wills. But it wasn’t very good for her – she got more confidence in him and got in a mind frame that made her think she needed to run away from me. So within about 5 metres of trotting behind Wills, she quickly put her head up and tried to run. She actually ran into Wills’ rump. I shut her down and relaxed her, then rode off. (I rarely shut horses down, I only do it when it is an absolute necessity for safety. Most times it is better to just guide their energy until they relax and then just stand with them.) I made sure I kept her in the lead after this and did a reasonable amount of trotting with her. I think that this will be a one off instance.
Other than that, she did really well, she just needs time to build confidence. I am very happy with her. Now when she gets pressured or stressed she is happy to take my guidance and relax quickly. Most of the time, pressure doesn’t make her worry or look for an escape. These are some of the guiding factors that I use to determine whether a horse is ready to be ridden out.”
I am happy to answer questions on any of the blog I have done on John’s mare today – about my training techniques or something you want to know more about. Post your questions to my face book page I’ll have a look at them after I come back in from mustering the sheep and do my best to answer them. www.facebook.com/equineability