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Ok I just had to share and its somewhat of a long story so sorry about that. (Cochise just turned 5 by the way) Last year I decided that I just couldnt train Cochise the basics, I work full time and he needed someone to work with him everyday. I had the problem that when I did get on him he just wouldnt go forward (he only wanted to back up)and I didnt know how to go about it since its just basically me working alone. I sent him to this trainer that was supposed to be fantastic and I have seen his results (he did mustang makeover etc and great referrels), but I should have realized that cochise would need more. I just wanted someone who I knew wouldnt abuse him and this guy doesnt do that. But whats always been cochises downfall has been he was raised in a pasture with not alot of human contact when he was born, and Im sorry but that to me is the worst thing. So he can be a bit of a nervous horse, especially with new people and men, because all hes had is women since I got him at 6 months. He really doesnt have a mean bone in his body, but if he feels threatened by something most times his reaction is to kick, which he learned from Mom. Now he wont do that with people he knows or if he knows your there, but if you startle him and he doesnt know you...He went to the trainers and sat for a couple months before he could start his 30 days...after his 30 days the trainer had to go away for a couple weeks and asked me if I wanted him back while he was gone and then I could bring him back. I said of course, and brought him home. well I didnt take him back, he was a nervous mess when I got him..he was so happy to see his half sister Breeze though. He wouldnt let me brush him like I used to (even though when I went to visit him at the trainers he was all for it, happy to see me)..so after some research I felt he had probably got some ulcer/stomach issues from being away/stress/training and put him on some supplements(smartpak). That started to help, but it took me 3 weeks to heal a sore on the side of his mouth where the bit had cut him (I was a little upset about that), so if I did try to ride him I rode him in a hackamore. He was jumpy/nervy etc when I got him back, and his sides were sensitive to leg pressure(also the reason for my guess of possible ulcer/stomach issues). AFter his mouth healed put the bit back in his mouth (smooth snaffle, trainer had used a twisted wire snaffle) and then it was fighting the bit(expecting pain I think). So Ive had to work on that, show him constantly no matter what he does the bit wont bite in to his mouth like the last one. Alot of flexing, constant positive attention when he did great..etc (treats help afterwards too). So last night got on him for a short ride since its been a couple weeks with our weather here, thinking I was going to have to re-work everything again...and SURPRISE he took out in the field like we did it everyday, no hesitation..left turn, Right turn(still some tensing, due to anticipating the bite of the bit on that side,but not sensitive on his sides anymore), back up (he has the best back up Ive ever seen in a horse, he could back across a field honestly), and back to the barn. the only time he fought the bit a little was the stop. I was so proud of him, and of course everyone in my house thinks Im a nut because I couldnt stop talking about it but I dont care. And he will probably be a butthead again, but I know he can do it now, and my work is paying off. To add, I have taken him on a couple short trailrides (2 hours) since hes been back but he always needed a strong lead horse, and still that insecure attitude but after last night I feel like I am getting my boy back:) Sorry so long...
 
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