Training In Real Life

I haven’t hardly had time to look at the new ponies these last couple of days. Rusty and I are going down to a clinic Saturday and  I want to make sure he’s on his best behavior and remembers what we are going to talk about. That maybe half an hour spent there seems to take up the whole amount of time I have to work with a horse in a day.

I got to thinking and noticing something today though, as I fed chickens and gave the horses some husks from our sweet corn the night before. I stood at the fence and watched the horses and the goats hanging out, eating their treat, and asking if I had more. I had the plastic bag they had been carried in in my hand. It rustled and crinkled, Amarillo took a step back. Then he came right back to me sniffing and curious. The goats wandered underfoot, fighting for more of the husks.

I realized then that they are being trained by everything they encounter in life. I get so worried about “training sessions”. Some people get so focused on round penning. It is such a tiny part of their lives, such a specialized environment. Why concentrate our efforts on that when we have their whole lives to train?

These horses will have four wheelers, tractors, combines, and semis driving past all the time, chickens, cattle and goats underfoot, the big noisy payloader delivering their feed. They learn to come running and stand under it expectantly instead of running away. They learn that four wheelers are part of their herd  not scary. Baa and baby baa, or Snow White depending on who you are talking to 😉 walk around under their feet and bounce about their heads. Coyote and Rusty come running when they see people, setting a good example. Once they are all in together it will be even better. They’ll learn to come to so they don’t get left behind.

I need to stop worrying about the days I don’t get out play with them with a set training goal. All of life is learning and of we use it effectively amazing things can be accomplished by not working with the horses.


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