I start my Mustangs in a small pen about 20' X 20' using a long cane pole. With the size of the pen and the length of the pole, I can stay towards the center of the pen and touch my Mustang without risking injury. This is my Mustang's first touching. The pole servers two purposes; touching and the reward of scratching. The pole will basically rest on the withers until the horse stops, at which points he gets the reward of the pole scratching. I continue the process until I get to touch him all over with the pole. It has worked really well with all of the mustangs that I have trained.
TAZ is just one of my 4 Mustangs. TAZ was the champion of the 2008 Idols division at the Extreme Mustang Makeover. He is an amazing horse. The bond that has formed between TAZ and myself is a bond that will never be broken. He gets me and I get him. Mom says that when I ride him, it is like poetry in motion.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
So it has been almost 1 week with Patriot. At first glance I thought that it was going to be harder to train Patriot. He had the air about him that he was not going to give an inch. He would turn his head away from me at first as if to say, if I don't look at her, she's not there! It didn't take long for that proverbial light switch moment. Sunday morning, sometime between my waking up and checking on him and my eating breakfast, Patriot removed his halter. By Sunday evening, I had the halter back on him. It has been all down hill since then. This is the one time that going down hill is good!
Yesterday, I set the round pen back up so that I was no longer working in a small square pen. We are now in the big boy pen. I had been working small circles in the square pen, so lungeing for him was no big deal. He did really great for his first time. He is learning to turn in and face up when he comes to a stop and he is really catching on very quickly.
This was our second time of picking up the front hooves. He is still a little tenative about giving them to me, but is getting better each time.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Isn't he gorgeous. He is quite a bit taller than my mustang from last year. The round pen is 5ft tall so that gives you an idea of how tall he is. He is in really good condition. He comes from Wyoming and we figure him to be about 1.5 years old based on the vet records for him. He is an easy mover, has a fantastic trot and is very curious, but still very reserved. Not real sure what to think about me just yet. He turns his head away from as if to say, if I don't look at her, she's not there. But, it is very easy to get his attention and I am sure that a break through is just around the corner. I trained him 3 different times on his first day home and he has already made incredible progress from not letting me anywhere near him to letting me pet him. I am so excited to be doing this again. I can't wait to see what this horse develops into.
Patriot calmly walked out of the chute in Piney Woods, Mississippi and into our trailer. We remained calm the entire trip, eating and drinking every time we stopped.
After Patriot got a good night's rest, it was time to start the training process. He seemed calm enough that I didn't wait any longer. I started out in a round pen establishing lead horse with him. I do this by basically moving him around. I move him, if he stops I take his spot. This has worked with every mustang that I have ever worked with. Next, we move into a smaller square pen about 20 x 20 where I then introduce the cane pole. The smaller pen makes it easier to reach him and the cane pole is an extension of my arm, keeping me at a safe distance until he gets used to the feeling of something touching him. The corners provide a natural stop. When we left the facility in Piney Woods, Patriot had a halter on, but sometime between my waking up to check on him and my eating breakfast which was all of about 30 minutes, he managed to remove his halter. I wasn't overly concerned, he seemed calm enough I figured I would get it back on by the end of the week. Imagine my surprise when he let me slip off his neck rope/number and put the halter on that same evening.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I finally get to go pick up my yearling. I will be leaving for Piney Woods, Mississippi on Thursday. I will be back some time Saturday. I can promise that a ton of pictures will be taken and I will post as much as I can. I am really excited to start working with my yearling!!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
My name is Kirstin Koehler and I work with the Mustang Heritage Foundation as an American Mustang Rep. II. My job is to research the history, plight, and the current issues involving the American Mustang. While doing this I am going to be training a wild mustang yearling for the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Tennessee. I will be sharing everything I learn from my research to bring awareness to the American Mustang. I will also be dedicating my training and the performance of my yearling at the show to the soldiers and the Wounded Warriors. My mustang's name will be Patriot. I will be picking up my yearling in about two weeks in Piney Woods, Mississippi. I will be sure to have tons of pictures of my new yearling. If anybody has questions, please ask!! Happy 4Th of July and God Bless the U.S.A!!!!