In this session we didn’t seem to make any improvement in getting closer and touching with the carrot stick. In fact, it was worse. Timber just wanted to get away and seemed to be quite content running in circles.
Since he seemed to want to do circles I thought at least I could work on improving his change of directions. He got quite fluid at that by the end of the session.
I tried one last time to go back to standing still and working on touching. This time I didn’t use the stick but just used by hand. He gave it a brief sniff and I quit there.
I’m starting to get concerned that we might be getting stuck. If we can’t continue to make at least small improvements in most sessions, it could be that the horse has decided he has come far enough and it quite content to not go any further. If you keep working on the same things and getting the same results (i.e. no improvement) you run the risk of letting the horse think that this is the new “normal” for him and he settles in at this point. When this happens I have to figure out what I need to change in order to get moving forward again.
As I have mentioned, I’m not a professional trainer. I have had good success with quite a few horses, but have never attempted to train a wild Mustang. You know those commercials that warn you “Don’t try this at home”? Well, I’ve been known to ignore that advice. All in all I’ve learned a lot about a lot of different things because of that.
I wanted to take on this challenge of training a wild Mustang in order to grow further in my horsemanship skills. So, here I am trying to figure this out and to grow as a horseman and as a person. As time goes on, I hope you will indeed see me improve my horsemanship skills as Timber and I grow together.