Horsemanship Tips & Tricks

How to handle unwanted behavior on the ground - Dakota bullying to get his way

After watching Christina work with Dakota, establish their relationship in the paddock before ever venturing out in the "bigger world," we began taking Dakota out. 

 

We went further and further on each trip to build a foundation and to get more experience.  Finally, we left the familiar area to cross most of the property in one trip.  The way out was uneventful, and he spent some time in an open round pen with completely different views, near new horses, and around different activities.

 

It was on the return that "the event" happened!  As we headed back toward his paddock area of the property, he was becoming more and more excited.  Finally, he half-reared and at the same time his handler tripped in the tall grass and fell, losing the lead rope. 

 

To our great surprise, Dakota did not take off as he has done in the past when he got loose - he remained next to his handler and waited for her to get up.  She took the lead rope, and they continued on their journey back to his paddock.  This was an immense indication that Dakota had made a commitment to the relationship, and even though his old M.O. kicked in, he stepped up on this journey. 

 

The result is that the feelings of trust and understanding between him and his handler are much deeper than ever before, and he will get out much more often than before, so everyone wins!