Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Just a reflection on Ruben's Training

I think it is appropriate to make comment about Ruben's training of the mustang. Some have asked Ruben if he can do the same for their horse in four weeks as he has with the mustang. The answer is most probably no. The next question is often, "Why not?" Well there are many reasons. It depends on the horse's ability to learn. Some simply learn faster than others. Some are more willing than others. We have been blessed with a mustang that is very willing to trust and to respond to Ruben's training. Some horses have been spoiled in many different ways. Some are treat trained and will do things for a treat. When there is no treat they get stubborn or lose interest in training. Others have been spoiled with excessive stimulation (petting and being loved on) and they are used to getting the reward without ever having to have earned it.

Ruben hws been fortunate to have a willing horse and the horse had no preconceived or learned habits taught to them be well intentioned people. He does not train to a schedule of 30 or 90 days. He trains on the premise of the horse's ability and what you want the horse to know when he is finished. A very important quality of Ruben's is that he is very careful NOT to exceed the horses psychological ability to learn. Their ability is based on many factors that include, but are not limited to their age, physical conditioning, previous training exposure, their ability to learn, their level of exposure to other people and many other factors. To illustrate this point, Ruben trained a very expensive Andalusian horse that was a basket case when it arrived. At an early age (6 months), a trainer had used a cattle pro on the horse and it had learned not to trust anyone and fought even Ruben's gentle techniques. Eventually, Ruben won the horse over and it became a very highly trained and willing partner. He was used in many demonstrations and rode by other family members in parades, exhibitions, etc., before returning to the owner. Was that horse trained in a month or two? Absolutely not.
Ruben is a last chance trainer for many horses. These are horses that had a very uncertain future. He has never lost one of these horses because of his training. Have they been "90 day wonders"? Not a one of them. However, they all are now willing partners and have a secure future as a safe and ridable horse. I personally know of an Appaloosa gelding that was gelded because of his vicious and aggressive nature brought about by aggressive, forceful and over all poor training. Ruben was his third and last hope. After Ruben's training this Grandson of Goer, a Hall of Fame Appaloosa, is a great horse. He stood in a field for two and a half years and I was able to saddle him, put a bosal on him and ride him. He remembered his training and even others were able to get on him and ride him in the round pen.
Ruben trains the mustang on his own time. Ruben usually works the mustang twice a day, first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening for 20-30 minutes. Some days there is not enough light left to video tape the session. This is not his normal routine with a horse in training. The horse usually let's Ruben know when to proceed with training to the result the owner desires from Ruben and their horse.

1 comment:

Tracey said...

"I am beginning to believe there is nothing a mustang cannot do with the proper training and trust to follow the cues of the rider."

So true! They truly are special horses.