Hey, y’all! Sam here with the next Ember update! Don’t know who Ember is? Meet Ember.
This past week has been exceptionally productive. Ember is no longer in “the point.” In fact, she’s very submissive and obedient.
One of the biggest things we accomplished this week is liberty training. I mentioned in Ember Update 3 that she’s starting to understand how liberty training works. She follows me around, and I give her treats.
There was one evening of this week that I put her through a difficult test. Why test a horse? Well, if you don’t know what they’re good at and what they’re bad at, how will you help them improve?
This test was harder than what I usually do. Basically, I rallied all four of my younger siblings. The two youngest both sat on Ember bareback while the two oldest were having a very loud conversation in the background (they also made swift movements. Like jumping jacks and such). Ember had no tack on as we did this, after all, that would take away the whole point. So with two kids on her and two kids near her making noise, I did liberty work with her. I had her follow me around, back, whoa, turn, and walk circles around me all without ropes.
You might be wondering what the point is. Why go through so much trouble to get a horse to do what you want them to do when you can just make them? Well, think of it this way: You can’t have control over a thousand-pound beast. Or at least, not easily. I mean, will a halter and lead rope really control such strong and powerful animals? If not, why does your horse still follow you when there is a halter and lead rope? Because they want more of you. You are their alpha, and they’ll obey you when you give the right commands. So if they’re going to obey you anyway, what’s the point of all the ropes?
I tested Ember so I could see what it would take to pull her attention away from me, her alpha. Even after two little kids on her back and two more kids practically yelling and dancing around her, she still listened to me. No ropes attached. So now I know that if she’s not obeying me, it’s probably because she doesn’t know how to do something; not because she doesn’t want to listen.
Horsemanship is a delicate thing. Horse + man + relationship, after all. If you don’t have a relationship with your horse, why do you have your horse? Maybe you want to strengthen that relationship. But how do you do so? First, you need to test your horse. See if they’ll actually obey you without any ropes. If they do, then you can move on to more advanced training. If they don’t, then you can go back to the basics.
Okay. I got sidetracked. This post is an Ember Update, not a how-to post like I normally write.
But yeah. Ember’s making a ton of progress, she’s doing a grand job both riding-wise and ground work-wise. So that covers it. Comment below if you’ve ever tried to break a horse before, and whether it was successful! Sam out!