Ok I am taking on a BIG project. I am going to be volunteering at a local horse rescue with retraining, and starting a whole lotta horses...We are talking a HUGE project but it is going to be so worthwhile to know that in the end horses that are unadoptable are going to go on to live out nice lives being cared for one on one by a human being who will appreciate the foundation we lay down over the upcoming weeks...soooooo...I thought it would be a good time to get organized because organization is going to be key in keeping track of progress in each horse AND looking at the big picture so we can plan out a time efficient strategy to get them done in the "right" way with out skipping over key spots in training just to get them adopted...we are in a way determining their future just as our teachers in school did for us.
So in my head I know what a horse needs to know to be well mannered and a pleasure to be around and easy to enjoy. That is the real key in a horse surviving and thriving in the human world. They need to be pleasant and enjoyable to be around. The better "get along" they have the more options they will have at surviving and not ending up on the dinner plate somewhere in Europe or being neglected because their owner fears them...so here goes the list of every skill each and every horse should have...and each skill should apply to both sides of the horse (saving myself some time by not having to type it saying right & left)
GROUND MANNERS & HANDLING
1. Should be pleasant to be around in general and display no aggression towards people entering it's areas..(ex.pasture,barn stall, it's own personal space)
2. Catches easily: If you have to run after a horse everyday it makes it hard to enjoy it at all.
3. Can be haltered with ease.
4. Can be lead easily. No one enjoys being jerked around or feeling like they are connected to a powderkeg about to explode.
5. Can be handled easily for daily tasks like grooming.
6. Can be tied without fidgeting around or pawing, jerking, or circling.
7. Can be bathed without fear.
8. Can be sprayed with flyspray or other necessary horse maintenance articles.
9. Can have all 4 feet picked up easily and worked on without threat of bodily injury or herking jerking fits.
10. Can stand quietly when asked to do so.
11. Halts smoothly and easily.
12. Respects your space and does not push itself into yours.
13. Can move backwards as easily as frontwards.
14. Can be lunged at a walk, trot, & canter.
15. Can be halted on the lunge without coming in.
16. Can reverse on the lunge easily.
17. Stands quiety while saddle & blankets are applied.
18. Lowers head for bridle.
19. Stands quietly for mounting. Displays no forward or backward movement.
20. Moves out on cue.Moves at a walk/trot/canter easily on cue.
21. Stops on cue.
22.Turns left/right with only gentle pressure.
That pretty much is the basics every horse should know when "finished" enough to be a pleasure to be around. There are of course a HUGE list of things that a horse can go onto to be finished to the fullest...neck reigning, dressage work, collection, all kinds of higher levels of training. But these are a good start to having a horse people can ride & enjoy. Of course this little list is no small task. And along the way I will get NONE of the things listed above without trust and respect...so those two things are the beginning to getting everything accomplished. Since I am going to be working with animals that have been exposed to the absolute worst examples of human beings in the world, my task becomes even harder. Tonight walking around the pasture there were so many scars and old wounds on these horses that stand as a reminder that these horses have had a pretty rough start on life and their experiences have been nothing less than horrific. So that's first priority gain their trust and earn their respect.
So lets see how this story goes....