Monday, February 4, 2008

Day 3: First day in the saddle

The mustang (still not named) continues to impress us. He trusts and accepts most anything Ruben tries with him. He is intelligent has learned a lot in a few short days. Ruben takes it slow, but does not treat the mustang differesntly than other horses. Caution is exercised with all horses and Ruben's ability to read a horse is phenomenal. This mustang has yet to buck once. I believe it is because Ruben develops a raport with each horse he trains. The horses learn to perform because they can, not because they are forced.

Day Two: Adding a saddle

Ruben tried saddling the horse and the mustang had accepted and trusted Ruben. He had no rection to the saddle and so it was off to the round pen. Ruben is very careful not to exceed the horses psychological ability to learn. This makes the each training session a lerning experience and gets the lesson across to the horse. Using this method, Ruben starts each lesson/training session with a goal in mind. If that goal is reached in 10 minutes he is basically finished for that session. If it takes an hour for the horse to accomplish the goal of tht training session, then it takes an hour. The bottom line is the goal of the training session. I believe that is why he has such a good response from the horse. Work till you get it and then reward the learning experience. Day two was accepting the saddle and building on day one of leading, grooming, being tied in the cross ties, handling of feet and lunging. Day two also began lateral flexing and giving to pressure amnd moving the rear, front and side passing from the ground.
Below is a poor quality video of the horse saddled for the first time. There are better videos however, I am having problems uploading them. You can see a clip of Ruben and another horse on youtube under a search for Ruben and Shadow

Day 1: Learning to move on a lead line. Day 1: Adusting to the bosal for the first time.

Day 1: Adding a lead line to the bosal. Day 1: Learning to lunge and giving to pressure.

Day 1: More lunging. Day 1: Twenty minutes later, a willing partner.
Training sessions have not yet exceeded 20-30 minutes. Baby steps at first to build trust and learn the basics. Ruben trains in a bosal. The bosal teaches the horse to give to pressure without pain. A bit in a horse's mouth at this point would be a distraction and not a very affective tool.


Well, here is the wild mustang Ruben will be training for the Midwest Mustang Challenge (part of the Extreme Mustang Makeover sponsored by the Mustang Heritage Foundation ). He (as of yet still unamed) was rounded up from a herd in Nevada and made the trip Ewing, IL. From there he made the trip to Missoula, MT and then to Benton City, WA. Upon arrival Ruben looked him over from the trailer windows and decided to get in and halter him. That took a less than five minutes to get the halter on and he let him adjust to it. Ruben then attached a lead rope and lead him to his stall. It took little effort to get him into the stall. I think he just wanted a rest after all the traveling.

Sunday the mustang rested and had a visit from the veterinarian. All the traveling had been hard and he had some swelling in his legs. Otherwise, I think he was happy to be someplace that didn't move for a bit. Little did he know his training was about to start on Monday.