A super group representing horse lovers from about 10 countries came to Flag Is Up Farms for an educational experience spanning 5 days. On this first day of the clinic, I worked with Liger, a beautiful Arabian gelding destined for high achievements in endurance. The 3-year-old starter is owned by Heather and Jeremy Reynolds. He bucked like a kangaroo with the saddle but settled to a beautiful ride. Later I worked with a fine Arabian mare who did not want to be caught in the field. We also had a classic Join-Up with Trigger and much more fun and fascination on Flag Is Up Farms. Here is Liger on the long lines:
We used a dummy rider before we introduced a live rider to our starter horse. In today’s session, Certified Instructors Denise Heinlein and Courtney Dunn demonstrated my concepts with Liger. Shopping bags, dummy rider and flapping legs helped this young horse become accustomed to a rider. Many older and more experienced horses would be challenged by plastic bags and floppy legs, but working in a low-adrenaline and safe environment supported Liger in his training. This horse has a wonderful mind and the demonstration was highly educational.
Liger on Day 2, outfitted with a dummy rider, is ready to go to work with Certified Instructor Courtney Dunn
We began the horse work at the Untouched Horse Gentling Facility at Flag Is Up Farms. The broodmare in the video below was an older rescue with little prior handling. Certified Instructor Denise Heinlein excelled at timing and patience to bring this mare to a more peaceful place to end the session on. More on handling tomorrow.
Today was a day made in heaven if you love horses and appreciate the ability to offer them a better life. We started with mounting block lessons – one of the most vulnerable times in a rider’s moments with a horse. After that, a rescued Paint took many skeptical moments before we were able to achieve a Join-Up and Follow-Up with this wonderful horse, literally on its way to the feedlot. It was emotional. Then, another session with the endurance Arabian, Liger, this time with a buddy horse in preparation for his first trip outside the Round Pen tomorrow. Lastly Ada Gates demonstrated some life-saving trims for your horse’s feet.
Our last day was the culmination of so many wonderful training sessions. I was overwhelmed by the acceptance of the horses and the appreciation the students had for how far the horses had come. Starters, remedials and even babies taught us many things and gave us great moments to remember for a lifetime. Thank you to the MRILC Team of Instructors and all our staff for the super job creating an environment in which the student can learn. We hope to see you at Flag Is Up Farms next year!
Here is young Liger on his 5th day as a riding horse, right on track!