Michelle, this is a good page.

Behind the Scenes

Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

TRUST  LOVE  LEARN 

The Most Powerful Time for the Human-Animal Bond

Video of Jagger playing with the screen in the car from Utube and Facebook somewhere on this page.

Michelle, Do you need saying about discipling a horse. I think you got it from Facebook before.

Behind the Scenes is usually thought of as the fun times, when we’re off duty.  In reality, it is really the most important part of the training we give to our horses to prepare them for the real world.  And it is here where WE learn what the horse's personality is, what we might expect from them. It is a true training ground for human and horse!

 

It is here when we offer different experiences to our horses, preparing them for what might unexpectedly happen to them when they are out of their safe home environment. 

It is here when we show them love, trust, friendship. Respect. Letting them feel safe with us. We play with them. We show them that when they communicate to us, we listen, that they’ll always be safe with us.

 

We never "make" them do anything. We use creative thinking to find ways to inspire them, to help them want to do what it is we want them to learn.

 

We are cognizant of clearly communicating to them what we are asking. And we quickly realize when we weren't so clear and they don't know what we want them to do. We always build their confidence by training in increments, and we always leave it on a good note.

 

Video of Shady Lady Escaping on Utube on this page.

Photos of learning to walk up steps.

Video of Charm and Shady Lady Jumping --Here they are able to just run and have their own private time. We do not direct them or try to train them in any way; however, we just put out a jump in the corral to see what they would do. You will notice how Charm cannot jump as high as Shady Lady; bails out time after time, but keeps trying, and she finally does it.  

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Desensitizing them to Possible Noises They May Encounter

There are so many learning opportunities through fun and play and through exposing the horses to the unexpected.

We skateboard next to them to introduce them to sounds out in the community, as if a skateboarder is racing down the street.

And we also know that around the curve there will be a very scary barking dog.

We are always preparing them for different experiences for what might unexpectedly happen to them when they are out of their safe home environment: quick, startling movements sudden loud noises, anything that might startle or frighten them.

We take them out for walks in the community to get them used to crossing blue lines in handicap areas. We do not know why they are skittish with blue lines, but those blue lines get them every time. You can see how Paul patiently waits and doesn't force them to cross the lines. He softly encourages them to let them know it's okay, but he lets them do it at their safe pace as he takes tiny steps too.

We take them to the beach to show them different environments for stimulation -- and fun! They love to swim

Socialization is very important for our minis.  We introduce our minis to other horses.  Many larger horses are actually afraid of minis and start to act anxious and move around unexpectedly.  Socialization also introduces the minis to adults and children who want to immediately touch their face or scratch their ears or hang all over them because of their size.

 

There are so many learning opportunities through fun and play and through exposing the horses to the unexpected: a soda can crunching next to their ears; the snap of a big plastic trash bag being opened nearby. We try to prepare the minis for what they may encounter throughout our community travels.

THOSE BLUE LINES GET THEM EVERY TIME!

 

We are always finding ways to desensitize them.

 

We put a big plastic black bag over their bale of hay and let them eat there while we're filling their hay balls or hay nets, and we rattle and flip the bag around to make noise so they think it's a normal sound. 

Also, exercise is a very important part of the mental health of the minis, and physically to keep their muscle mass healthy. When we go to the ranch, we let them run and play to their heart’s content.  

TRUST

 

When Sweetie first came to us she had not been groomed and had dreadlocks all over her. She had so many knots on her belly it was painful for her. She wouldn't let anyone near her. Little by little, Paul was able to shave all the dreadlocks and knots off Sweetie little by little, each time more and more. Horses groom each other. In this video, you can see as Sweetie started trusting Paul, she started grooming him as he was shaving her in this video. 

See Video
 

There are so many learning opportunities through fun and play and through exposing the horses to the unexpected: a skateboarder racing down the street; a dog barking and approaching them; a soda can crunching next to their ears; the snap of a big plastic trash bag being opened nearby. We try to prepare the minis for what they may encounter throughout our community travels.

There is so much more for us to learn to teach the minis! We love learning more, and so do the minis. Thank you to the wonderful trainers who taught us so much about raising a horse with good manners!  Paul nor I ever owned a horse before--or even rode horses before. We have learned so much since Charm came into our lives in 2019, and every step has filled our hearts with more and more love every single day! AND we know there is still so much more for us to learn.