Feb. 26, 2015

Her life as a Race Horse vs. Her life now

I was going to start talking about my training with Lake but then changed my mind as I feel that it is important to know how Lake lived as a race horse compared to her life after.  This will help to explain why she needs so much training now as well as myself.

When she was a race horse she would have spent 23 hours of her day in a stall with really no contact with other horses.  By nature horses are herd animals so you can already see the problem.  Her hour out would have been training.  So basically for a human this would be like spending 23 hours a day in isolation at a state prison with an hour out in the yard with no human contact.  Today she is in a pasture 24/7 with 9-10 other mares. (I swear those ladies all have raging hormones!)  As a race horse she was not expected to stand still while the jockey mounted her.  He is basically given a leg up onto her while she is in motion.  As a trail horse she needs to stand still while being mounted.  As a race horse grooming was most likely not a gentle process.  It would be hard to groom them since they are not expected to stand still.  She is still not a fan of grooming.  As a race horse the jockey would use hands and whips to cue her when riding.  As a trail horse most of her cues come from the legs.  Up until she started re-training just 1 year ago she never would have had feet around her lower side. Today she has to learn the different signals from feet around her lower side.  Finally as a race horse treats would be a super big NO NO!  As my horse, I am probably guilty of over treatingWild  She doesn’t like apples.  What horse doesn’t like apples??  My point is to show that her previous life as a race horse dictated how her training for the next few years will go.  It is why she is basically being re-trained from ground up.  What is exciting for me is that I get to train with her through the whole process which will really help me to understand her better and to be a better horse owner than if she had already been trained when I got her!