Current Topic: Some high talking Australian horse trainer dude blew through town and we decided to play the game. And we were not disappointed.
Training Is The Aspect Of Our Business We Have Not Quite Worked Out Yet...
An Australian horse trainer came through town one day. His claim was that he could take 'any' horse and with only a couple days of intensive conditioning, using his exclusive techniques, he could ride the horse through town on even a busy highway. Some of our neighbors had also seen the advertisements and were to skeptical to give it a try. Well... We are a little short of technique and we have a yearling who has a biting problem and is quickly becoming a nuisance. After talking with our neighbors, to get their opinions, we decided to give the Aussie a try.
So we hired the Aussie seminar which was a three day treatment program for a very reasonable price. Not only were we able to enroll the two young horses bit since the Aussie didn't mind we were also able to invite our neighbors to watch. And they (neighbors) also had the opportunity to ask questions as we did. Making it an all around learning experience for our neighborhood which we were happy to share. Seeing as how they all chickened out. In the end... the Aussie got what he wanted and we all learned. Money well spent.
The Aussies' methods incorporate a balance of fear and 'in-your-face', the horses face, gestures. Initially it looked kind of brutal but as we began to understand what was going on the benefits became clear. Basically... The horse is forced to face fearful things (unusual). In the meantime, through the intimidating gestures on behalf of the trainer, the horse is distracted from the fear by the trainer. Eventually (relatively quickly actually) the horse is paying complete attention to the trainer and is unconcerned with the distractions going on in the 'background'. Which included waving flags, various moving objects around the feet and head as well as irritating objects on the back of the horse. The trainer had the horses complete attention.
After three days of this the yearling colt was clearly desensitized and much easier to handle. The three year old mare we enrolled did equally as well and gladly went on to higher level training.
Unfortunately... The colt still had the problem of communicating mostly though 'biting'. Very mouthy. Eventually Shauna solved this by putting the colt with the three year old mare. Who is older, bigger and classier. She, the mare, was big enough to boss the colt around and enforce better manners and social behavior. Horses are after all social animals and one will learn to conform rather then becoming an outcast.