He was stunning as he ran into the ring at the sale barn. A long lanky mustang. Legs for miles and as thick as tree trunks. A flashy sorrel and flaxen with bright white feathering. The freeze brand on his neck marked him as a mustang.
I bought him without thought or hesitation. Even though he was run through loose at a small horse sale of mostly un-ridable horses and some horse trader junk thrown in.
Once home I was determined to take every precaution getting him going. We spent lots of time in the round pen. Got him used to the saddle and every scary thing from the ground. I made sure he gave to pressure and to the bit. I took my time getting him going. Did every thing right.
I just could not get past that one thing.
It was easy to see why he had ended up run through loose at the sale barn. Every time anyone reached up towards their hat he would take off bucking. Man that horse could buck. I thought often of finding a rodeo company to try to sell him to. He’d look beautiful as a saddle bronc. Huge long leaps with his hind legs straight up in the air.
I could not fix him. I tried everything.
How often do we hear that? I’ve tried EVERYTHING this horse can’t be fixed.
In reality we’ve never tried everything. We’ve tried all the things that we currently know how to try.
I wish that I could go back ad have another try at that beautiful mustang knowing what I do now. It is so painfully obvious to me all the things I had no idea about. The end of the training road, as far as I could see at the time, was barely even the entrance to the on-ramp. On the broad highway my horses and I are traveling now the many options I could have used to help him are so may and varied. To think that I ever though I had ‘tried everything’ is sad.
Now when I hear someone say they’ve tried everything, I think back to the mustang I failed. I will always feel regret for him. That wasn’t the end though. Looking forward I see the horses I have been able to help because I didn’t stop my learning journey there. The next horse lead me to more and the next one after that. By continuing to learn and push past having tried everything the horizons that opened up are endless. I know now that there is no ‘everything’. There is always more training out there to learn about.
- At The Mounting block
- Cattle Whorls