April 6, 2016 / 0 1615
This year I have been working my mare Fergie with a Natural Horsemanship Trainer. I got Fergie back from a free lease to a rider who was struggling with managing her. Their solution was to have her put to sleep as they had her tested for EPM. The tests did reveal that she had the EPM titers but she did not have any clinical signs other then that she had a difficult personality. This personality quirk was known to me and the rider who leased her, Fergie has a big personality and she can be difficult. When the lease situation did not pan out I brought her home and had two different veterinarians evaluate her and neither one could see any clinical signs of EPM but I treated her with a round of Marquis to be sure.
I gave her about 3 months off to recover from the trauma from her lease situation. When I went to pick her up she was very stressed our and very thin. They had her locked in a 12X12 stall with no windows and they where feeding her 2 pounds of concentrates so she was crawling out of her skin. This was a mistake which I had advised again prior to her departure, I recommend only feeding grass hay especially if your horse lives in a confined area. You can add concentrates if you are working your horse so hard that he/she is losing weight but unless this is the case less is more. So she came home did a series of Marquis and relaxed in her 3 acre pasture.
When I started riding her again she had some issues with transitions and basically a bad attitude. That is when I found a Natural Horsemanship Trainer to help me out. So now about 8 month after we started I want to share what I have learned from Eric Bravo (EricBravo.Horse) We started on the ground and I wish I had video taped her from the beginning as her transformation has been fascinating. Eric started me with working her on the ground and I was flexing, flexing, flexing her, from there we did games on the ground that taught her to move her feet and yield her hip, her shoulders, her body and her head and neck.
In this video I am getting ready to take her out on the trail and I am working her on the Digital Horse campus before I take her out. What I want to share is how nice an rhythmic she is moving. Once you have a quite rhythmic horse you can add other challenges, like lowering your horses neck, or shoulder-in, or a leg yield. But everything needs to start with a quite, forward, rhythmic horse. Remember just one year ago her rider and trainer wanted to have her euthanized because she was so difficult and they felt she was beyond helping.
Thanks and keep watching for more of her progress.