Timber next to the fence that he jumped. It’s about 4′ high (looks shorter in this pic due to the perspective)

Today I repeated what we did yesterday. I mean, the same exact conditions. I put Timber in the paddock with Brego and hay in 2 separate feeders. For a minute, Brego started out like yesterday just eating hay and ignoring Timber. However, that quickly changed. Brego ran Timber around and just wouldn’t let it go! It was constant harassment. I watched Timber get more and more worked up. When Brego did stop for a second Timber continued to trot around like he just couldn’t stand still. I figured things would would eventually calm down, I just had to let it play out. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

Timber finally decided he had enough harassment and jumped over the paddock fence and left Brego alone in the paddock! I knew the paddock fences were not very high. The wood rail he jumped over is about 4 feet high. I’ve never had any of my other horses jump the fence. However, once again, I failed to realize how different a wild horse can be. Once they determine they are at risk they will do anything to find safety (like break away from being tied and jumping fences). I just didn’t think he would get to feeling that way around Brego. Another lesson learned the hard way. Once he got out and calmed down it wasn’t a big deal to catch him. It took about 30 minutes or so to get him rounded up and back into his pen. Unfortunately we were not capturing this session on video.

So what now?

Well, first and foremost I’m going to stop feeling sorry for him thinking that he would really like being out with my other horses (that’s what I get for trying to be too nice). He and I are going to be a herd of two for the foreseeable future. I’ll keep working with him as usual and continue to make progress. It may be weeks or even months before he gets out with the other horses. I’m going to have to really be convinced that his “wildness” is pretty much under control. I’ll just have to play that by ear and hope that I develop the discernment it takes to determine that.

I’ve done a ton of research to help me grow in my horsemanship with training a wild mustang. But, ya know what? I’m convinced the professional trainers aren’t telling you about the kinds of things that can go wrong! Why not? I think there are two reasons:

  1. They don’t want to show you videos when things happen that don’t go so smoothly
  2. They’re trying to make a living, so they don’t to pass along all their learnings to us amateurs.

So, I’ll keep learning and growing by doing the best I can and, sometimes, by trial and error. I really hope there are other amateurs out there who are following what I’m doing here with Timber. If so, I hope you can learn from my successes as well as my mistakes. I’m hanging in there until I get it figured out, for Timber’s sake as well as for my own.