I am writing today to rave about the positive effect Horse Boy horsemanship has had on my horses. In the past few years, I have studied HB training methods (lunging, in-hand work and riding) and begun to apply them to my small herd of Wyoming cow ponies. As working ranch horses, they were already quite competent, handy saddle horses.
Also, I take pride in giving my horses a solid foundation of Natural Horsemanship groundwork with a bit of classical work on the lunge. Therefore, I expected the HB work (especially the in-hand which was completely new) to improve them some, but little did I know how quickly it would greatly strengthen them in body and mind!
As a stay at home mom with two small children, my training time is very limited these days. In fact, due to the pre-term birth of my daughter last spring, I have had almost no time with my horses. However, in the handful of weeks I have managed to train with a bit of consistency, my horses have improved by leaps and bounds. Perhaps the greatest improvement I have seen is with my firey, little mare, Genii. She is an incredibly talented horse with a big motor and a checkered past. Although I have had many fabulous rides on her, I have also struggled to keep her relaxed and focused, especially in the show ring. When I first introduced her to the in-hand work, she was a trembling, eye-rolling bundle of nerves. However, I continued with it, asking only for the tiniest of steps in the beginning. Six weeks later, we were quietly getting a bit of shoulder-in, haunches-in and walk/trot transitions in-hand. And then my daughter was born early, putting everything else in my life on hold.
Fast-forward 5 months... I finally have enough time to pull Genii in from the pasture, work with her four times and jump her in the trailer to go to the local county fair open horse show with a friend. Expecting her to be her hot-blooded old self, I went to the show with very low expectations, mainly to accompany my friend who was showing for the first time. Imagine my surprise when I was able to show her one-handed (usually a recipe for disaster) and win or place in everything we entered!
A week later, we rode a fabulous Western Dressage test at a local schooling show. Everything she offered was soft, powerful and beautiful. The judge even came up to compliment her after the show.
Now, Genii and I have had our share of successes in the past, but she has always been an incredibly difficult horse to show. Something very remarkable has happened, a new steadiness arisen. I attribute this the HB horsemanship techniques- nothing else has changed! I cannot recommend them highly enough, no matter what your horse goals might be.
Thank you for everything, and I look forward to working with you again!