Monday, September 22, 2008

It's A Matter Of Trust...........



Building trust with one's horse or horses takes time. And it's an important step. I can only share what I have learned over the years and maybe it doesn't work for everyone, but it has for me. I believe my mares trust me, but it didn't happen overnight. It took years. I know in my heart of hearts that the redheaded Misty mare would do anything for me. She trust's me to keep her safe and the feeling is mutual. Kola, I'm still working on, but then again Kola has only been with for just two years now, but we are getting there. Just this morning, the deal was no pasture until haltered. Misty complied easily and Kola wasn't too bad, but then I needed to lead her around the fence to get to the pasture gate. Silly thing confused herself and I probably did a "no,no" by simply leading her by the halter rather than using a lead and as we rounded the corner by the arena gate, she spooked and jumped slightly towards me. The beauty bit was that I was able to stop her and let her collect her thoughts and she trusted me to do so. She did not tear down the paddock dragging me along with her. She easily could have. She did not rear or buck, just a little jump and a hard look at the scary post and a trust to listen to my stop and carry on without running me over or stepping on me. A nice slow continued walk toward the pasture gate with the distance of my arm.
I speak soft and gentle to my girls. Firm, when necessary. I still need to be alpha and expect respect for my space. Low tones for capturing attention. There is no need to shout. I can pick up feet in the middle of the pasture without a lead and they will allow me. Kola is actually better at that than the Misty mare. Misty will carry my unbalanced self pretty much anywhere.
I am in no way a trainer. Can't even imagine the knowledge that takes. Nor am I an advice giver, however, I'll listen to any one's advice. I may not follow it always, but I will mull it over. I just listen to my girls and what they are saying to the best of my ability. I try and listen to their moods. I believe that they trust me to keep them from danger, trust me to care for them. I know I have Misty's trust and I have 75% more trust from Kola than I did two years ago, but we are getting there and I trust that we will.
I really believe before you get what you want from your horse, you must build trust and that does take time.

10 comments:

Victoria Cummings said...

We're obviously on the same wavelength since I just wrote about picking out my girls hooves "at liberty". I aspire to have my horses want to do what I ask them to do, not feeling like I am making them do things with any resentment. Sounds like Kola and Misty know that you're the leader of their herd.

Callie said...

Funny enough, Victoria, There are a lot of times that I think we are on the same wave length in many things reguarding our mares. :)

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

I completely agree with you. I love Lester's ground manners, because I know he generally respects me, I can pick up his feet halterless in a pasture too, he would never think of dragging me, I can usually ground tie him anywhere :-) sometimes he runs off, but that's just the TB in him, lol.

Saddle Mountain Rider said...

I watched my Dad use his quiet manner around horses and mules while i was growing up and i could see the sense of it as they responded to him in like fashion. But he never let them walk all over him, either. There was a firm, fair consistency in his method.

Midlife Mom said...

Very well put! Trust is such a big issue. Our rescue pony is learning how to trust us but it has taken a long time and we still have a way to go. It takes forever to get over abuse.

So sorry about your dear Jynx! I'm so glad she had so many wonderful years with you being well cared for and loved. Wish all cats could have the same.

Callie said...

I agree gals,It's been a learning curve, but I really think trust takes time and building it requires calm quiet voices and touch but firmness.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Once trust between our horses and ourselves is earned there is no better feeling. I love being able to walk out to whoever I want in the field and be able to groom them or just play with them whenever I want to. One of my favorite things is to call a horse by name and have it come to meet me. I'm not going to say it happens all the time but sometimes they will actually mosey over, probably to see if I've got goodies in my pocket.
I especially like the feeling I get after we have had an abused horse who trusted no one, who now puts their trust in us and gives hugs and kisses. It's just a good feeling.
So sorry to hear about Jynx, I'm sure that cat had a great life with you. Love the toe biting story, that's unusual.

Le Cheval Endiablé said...

Yes everyone needs trust.
At the club I must ride various horses for I must become a rider on each horse to succeed the riding exams, but I dream one day I have my own horse and we'll trust in each other.

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Pony Girl said...

I agree. I have only been with my horse for a little over a year. We have come a long way, thanks to some of the natural horsemanship ground work which has really forced him to view me as a leader, but we still have a long way to go. I do think he is more nervous and quirky around me than his previous owner (a trainer)- probably because I am more anxious and quirky! Truly, I believe they feed off of our energy! ;)