Over coming a behavior problem with a pet that is 1200 lbs can be difficult to accomplish. When my family first purchased our horse Maddie, we were told she was a gentle, well-trained trail horse. One important thing to remember is that when you purchase a horse from someone else keep in mind they may need to sell that horse for many reasons, that being the case may cause them not to be completely forthcoming with any issues.
Our newly purchased horse was indeed gentle, kind and a little bit trained however, she had never been fed properly nor had she been kept in a stall at night. Horses are naturally prey animals so they feel claustrophobia if they feel trapped in a small area where they cannot escape. This can create a training and safety issue when stalling a horse who has never experienced the night in stall.
We turned to Pat Parelli’s natural approach to horse training to attempt to introduce ourselves to this method and a new method of training our newfound family pet. Not knowing the method used to train Maddie before we obtained her did not set Pat Parelli’s training out of the mix for training methods since his training methods begin with playing and getting to know your horse. To learn the 7 games to play with your horse visit Pat Parelli’s Natural Approach to Horse Training website here
We began taking Maddie out of her paddock and playing these great games of the Friendly Game, Porcupine Game, and the remaining 5 games in the arena. At paddock and stall pick up if Maddie began to throw her head and kick her stall and fence siding we would turn our backs and walk away. Standing about 10 feet from the stall door calmly saying, “quiet Maddie”. This would calm her down after a few moments and we would approach again.
Each time Maddie acts up when we approach the stall or paddock we do this same procedure. Once she is calm we remove her immediately from the stall/paddock and begin our grooming and game playing. Maddie has no issues with riding her, she is well trained with the saddle however, the bit is another story and we again will turn to Pat Parelli for our assistance. Maddie still has a ways to go with the stall and fear of being enclosed but she has come miles ahead in the short 3 months we have owned her and will one day be a perfect family horse for fun and enjoyment.
It is always important to assess the animal if it is a 1200-pound pet that can cause severe damage and even death when working with them. Keep these tips in mind and always turn to the professionals with questions and needs. Pat and his wife have worked with these huge, beautiful creatures for years and their love of these animals make their training methods kind, gentle and affective.