Undignified or Impressive? Training a young walking horse here at GenesisTWH / CarMil Mares is a little different I would say than the average person's training program. Our's is about trusting the handler without stressing out the horse unduly. The photo here says it all with coming 2 year old Delilah by Owls Simply Irresistable and Hard Texas Cash who was born at the farm. We began training her early to stand and listen to her handler so this photo although interesting was NOT stressfull for her when we started. This is actually the first day she had a blanket on her back and a bit in her mouth. We started with feeding her tied in the barn and always touching and talking with her. Young horses are beautiful and energetic but need to be taught from the start that certain behavior is unacceptable as they grow quickly and don't understand the difference in their sizes. Meaning a nudge or tap from them could cause broken bones. With that mindset and my kneecaps being the what I deem handicapped I have always been strict and firm but loving to my horses.
They understand that my space belongs to me and that they are to respect it. If you watch mares and foals in the field you will note the same thing with them. The foals respect them and ask by working their mouth for acceptance and follow their lead. It is the same with the handler or trainer. You want them to listen and to follow your lead so that when they are in an unusual situation under saddle or in the barn, your voice and coimmands will override their instinctive response to flee. They need to know that they can trust you. One of the ways we accomplish that is with the feed bagf which is a plastic Nutrena bag as you can see.
I start with feeding them and having the bag there without making excessive noise. I let them smell it and feed them by hand with it at the doorway to their stall so that if they feel the need to back up they can. Also I feel that their stall is a safe zone for them as they receive care and food there. It takes a bit of time to begin with and there will be firm commands while doing this. The next step is to leave food in the bag and place it in their stall with them. I guarantee within a short amount of time, the noise of the bag will be a minimal concern for them as getting to the food inside and their natural curious nature will win. Then the bag is used to make noises and from there you can tie it to the end of a long pole, whip, or stick and use that as an extension of your hand. Be firm and talk to the young horse. This process will take longer if the horse is not familiar with you and if you are tentative in your approach.
The first thing I do when getting a new horse in is to cross tie them, get to know them, groom them, bathe them, and give them the all important Genesis TWH Farm signature haircut. I simply hate to have my beautiful Tennessee Walking Horses looking badly with long whiskers and I feel better after a day at the salon so my thoughts are that they will as well as soon as they see that I can make them stand still and it is pleasant and nothing hurts them. Animals love attention and horses I feel enjoy it more than most as they have an instinctive need for being in a herd and having an alpha leader. I simply establish myself as just that so that whether I am in the field, the barn, or in the saddle riding trails they know to follow my lead and feel safe to do so.
Delilah is a delightful coming 4 year old mare with sense and enjoys children being around her which makes her training more than worthwhile. Her owner is my partner in CarMil Mares and one of the reasons we have foals as she was the first foal I had in several years and marked the beginning of Charlene's Walking Horse program.
Written August 7 2011, Marion M Miller, GenesisTWH Farm / CarMil Mares in Slaughters Kentucky. Take a look at our mares and riding program and you will see that we enjoy what we do immensely.
Genesis Tennessee Walking Horse Farm in Slaughters Kentucky specializes in mares by world champion sires with common sense, wonderful temperaments, and athletic ability who are a true pleasure to work with. We have horses in 26 states now and 2 overseas with a reputation for excellence. We guarantee our horses to be sound and as described. I'd love the opportunity to talk to you about our ladies. - Marion Miller (270) 339-4176 | Marion@genesistwh.com | Contact Us
We do not trade horses as our mares nor do we accept more than the asking price for the horse and pay the buyers costs for transportation costs for them. We run a fair and reputable business and I invite you to look at our Sold Horses - Testimonials.