“Because, as a rule, the horse must take pleasure in his work. Otherwise, he and his rider will not be able to accomplish anything graceful.” Antoine de Pluvinel
Weto is a great horse for liberty training. He pays attention, reacts to my body language, and has a very high motivation to do something together. He always gives his best. The less equipment I use, the more eager he gets. To work with a horse like him is such a pleasure!
Unfortunately, my own horse, Nazir, had most of his spirit broken during the years as a riding school horse. I remember one of the old masters saying that the spirit of a young horse is like a blossom: once ruined, it will never return. Something along these lines. There are days when nothing seems to motivate Nazir except food. Then we quite often end up not doing anything, because I’ve decided not to push him anymore. He wants to stand around for half an hour? Then that’s what we do.
The first week of doing liberty training with Nazir looked like this: He stood in the middle of the arena and ignored me. The most I could get out of him was an ear flick from time to time. I didn’t give up and hoped that, eventually, he might take an interest. I was so happy that after some days he started following me! But we’re baking small bread rolls, as we say in German. What I achieved with Weto in one session could take me years with Nazir.
I’m just glad that on these kinds of days I have Weto to put the smile back on my face.
My project horse is similar to Nazir (who has such a lovely expression on his face). He hasn’t been broken, he just isn’t a very motivated horse. I see others running to the human, begging for attention and scratches, but mine is rather detached and cool. Though I am frustrated because of this lack of motivation, in other situations I truly appreciate his calmness. He can stand still without a fuzz, he’s bombproof on a trail ride and he is always listening. The friesian I work with from time to time is so over the moon he sometimes forgets there is a human present. So I guess, we just take them as what they are. 🙂
We do 🙂 The only problem is that Nazir is very calm when you handle him, but he’s very nervous on the trail and jumps into the bushed because a bird chirped…sometimes I really don’t know what to do with this guy anymore. Too nervous to go trails, completely unmotivated in the arena. I think I’m going to try circus tricks…seriously. Today I filled a blue Ikea bag with treats and ran around the arena. Nazir ran with me, for the first time ever. He had so much fun with it. But it’s like I said, he can’t eat it, it doesn’t interest him. He is lucky I love him so much anyway 🙂
My friebd had a horse like yours who was terrible to ride out. She used to take her ipod and some treats and when he spooked, she’d find a place he was comfortable to stand and sit amusing herself whilst waiting for him to take a step. Once he did, she’d praise, give him a treat and wait for the next step.
If he’d only be 150kg less 🙂 Then I’d just walk him around until he’s used to it. But he escapes…and there is a busy road between the forest and the stable…
If he won’t do it under saddle, long reining might be the way forward. There’s loads you can try 🙂
Yeah, once the weather conditions are not so nasty anymore I think I will have to come up with something 🙂 Thanks for the input!
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