I downloaded your bonder a couple of weeks ago in the hopes of using it on my thoroughbred mare, a ‘rescue’ 14 y.o broody who had been neglected, abused and abandoned. I have had her for just over two months, and although she is polite and well mannered, and I have had some success using natural horsemanship techniques (groundwork only) with her, I still could not gain her trust, and she continued to be very easily spooked and constantly crowded me when I took her out of her paddock. I was very nervous with her as she is a tall 16.2hh, and I haven’t been around horses (other than trail rides) since I was a teenager – of course that didn’t help!
Last week I took her down to the round yard and we went through the first part of the bonder. She successfully walked and trotted around, changing direction when I indicated, but I couldn’t get her to ‘bond’. Alright, I thought, we got ¾ of the way there, she did good, and we can do the rest later. Yesterday, I tried again. It took about 10 minutes before we got there, and she followed me around, off-line, for a further 10 minutes. I left her in the round yard, came back a few minutes later, and she came directly up to me and followed me around again!! Yay!!! Then I took her back to her paddock and left her alone for a few hours – when I went back to feed and rug her, she came straight up to me, let me pat her before I put the feed in her trough, and stood perfectly while I rugged her. Prior to that, if at liberty she was stand-offish and would turn her back on me and walk away – although if I put a halter on her, she was fine.
Thank you so much for your advice, I’m so pleased with the result!
I’m just wondering now whether I continue with the groundwork I was doing previously, or whether you have any further advice for continuing her re-education? I don’t want to suddenly go back to what I was doing before and have her confused about what I’m doing! ( I am in Australia so can’t come to your clinics).
I haven’t ridden her yet as she has been too thin, but she is nearly in condition to try some riding – any hints about the first time I saddle her up? She was ridden by the previous owners but reports are that they treated her very roughly, she is still arena sour from bad memories of that time (I might try the bonder in the arena – off line with nobody else there – to see if I can overcome those fears, what do you think?). Should I start her in the round yard with the saddle on until I think she is confident enough to mount?
Love your website, love the advice! Thanks again J
Well I definitely think you ought to buy all of my videos and watch them while she is bulking up enough to ride. It will give you, and her, something to do until then and it will help you get to know each other much better. It certainly will lessen some of your fears.
Barring that, I'd recommend the Mentally Connecting With The Adult Horse and the Despooking video followed by Longeing 1 & 2.
There is nothing like ground work. You want to get the horse to the point you can get her to do whatever you would want to do from the saddle on the ground first. I wouldn't even get on her until you have lessened the uncertainties.
I'm trying to put together a series of video covering all of the ground stuff (and eventually, riding stuff) that should be taught before you climb aboard.
You can find my DVD inventory on my site index page
I'm glad you're pleased with your successes. I'm sure you will have many more.
Click here to check out my very reasonably priced DVD inventory covering many of the subjects featured on my site's pages in greater depth.
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