Posts Tagged ‘train’

Torn

March 12, 2011
You scratch my back …

By Judy Oldmeadow, Owner & Master Horsewoman, Samaria Creek Morgan Horses

They stood frozen at opposite ends of a lead rope: a dangerous mix of fear, inexperience and doubt.

Betsy, a six-year-old, barely handled Morgan mare and Jane, an early-40s career woman finally living her dream of owning a horse.

Both parties were stiff with indecision, connected by a thread and waiting for a leader.

I leaned against the roundyard fence with Anya (the other participant in my Horse Communication and Confidence class) and noticed how the three loose horses also stood quietly and watched.

I softly advised Jane to:

  • Step as far away as the rope allowed without pulling.
  • Stand  with her shoulder facing Betsy’s.
  • Focus on breathing from her core.

Betsy had arrived two weeks ago in an open cattle truck with two other mares and a foal. She was wild-eyed and jumpy, only touched by humans when in a cattle race.

Her three experiences were freeze branding as a youngster, a recent pregnancy test and herding into the truck for delivery.

These human interactions, though not cruel, gave her little choice or reason to trust. Over several sessions, however, Betsy had let me approach and halter her. But she was still wary.

Three horses and two humans watched expectantly. Jane steadied her breathing. Betsy sighed and licked her lips (a horse’s sign of relaxation) and turned towards her.

Jane walked in a circle with Betsy quietly following. Both looked elegant and confident; a team where learning flowed both ways.

Later that day, Jane also handled her recently purchased fifteen-month-old Morgan gelding with greater confidence and willingness to experiment.

Anya, an experienced horsewoman still reeling from the recent loss of her teenage daughter through cystic fibrosis, had started the session saying she didn’t want to handle the horses and only wanted to watch.

She said her head was so full she was afraid of how the horses would respond. But in the afterglow of Jane’s success I handed her Betsy’s lead rope.

After a moment’s hesitation, Anya took it and tentatively walked towards Betsy. Betsy’s ears flicked back, forward and sideways (signs of confusion in a horse).

Anya paused, took a deep breath and started rubbing Betsy’s shoulder.

Again the three young horses watched quietly as Anya worked her way around Betsy, quietly sobbing and seeming to sense where Betsy wanted to be rubbed.

After putting the horses away, we sat in the paddock and chatted about what we’d learnt.

Anya said she’d approached Betsy carefully because she was afraid her bubbling emotions would frighten her.

She said she was so relieved at Betsy’s non-judgemental acceptance that she didn’t want to lead her or boss her around; she just wanted to reward her for being there.

We unanimously decided to:

  1. Spend more time with those we trust.
  2. Let someone else carry the load occasionally.
  3. Have more massages!

Breeding and raising Morgan horses and spending hours in their company has changed my life.

My herd has almost 40 individuals, from foals at foot to grand matriarchs.

I started my Life Horses teaching program to use their empathetic nature and share the comfort and insights I receive from them daily.

Life Horses.

Life Forces

A philosophy of learning from the herd. 🙂

Bo’s Story

March 3, 2010

Bo, Nimrod and Jude: Three Happy Campers! Photo by Judy McEachern.

By Bo Lou Nolten, Casual Trainee, Samaria Creek Morgan Horses 

The day I met Judy I will never forget. It was one of the most thrilling things ever, because  I’d heard a lot about her, mostly: ‘She’s a crazy horse lady!’ which made me want to meet her ASAP. 

Anyway, the day I got there I totally understood what Simone meant; the way she worked with the horses could move you to tears.

Looking at how she understood the feel of the horses was just amazing. 

I sat there taking picture after picture. After all that, Judy drove us to the foals. I thought we were just looking, not touching, but I was mistaken.

These little foals came galloping, so we sat down and they came up to us wanting scratches and they eventually lay down with us. 

The next morning, I disappeared for almost four hours. Yep, I had fallen asleep in the foal paddock with three foals lying on me! I felt so at home.

Seeing all this was so different to the traditional English training I’d experienced and I loved it. 

Who would’ve thought a horse could pick you? I ended up buying Beamer (a foal) because of it.

From the moment I saw him, I fell in love with him. He has these four amazing white stockings, along with a chocolate chestnut coat and a very proportioned white blaze on his head.

His breeding is Morgan and Arab: a perfect combination! 

Later in the day, I headed to the round yard where Simone was watching Judy and Nimrod showing off. I quickly sat down in front of the crowd and continued snapping photos.

After Judy was done, she rode to the corner of the round yard to where I was sitting and said, ‘You jealous?’ 

I glanced at Judy and tried to stay very calm whilst I blurted out ‘Yes! VERY!!!’ So she sent me to go get my helmet. I was so nervous; I was going to ride a handsome stallion! Judy quickly announced that I was going to ride him. 

I had the worst butterflies ever! I started off with a walk, then a trot, then a canter. I almost started crying, because his movement is so smooth and it feels like you’re floating. 

Some jumps were set up and they got higher and higher each time we went over. Nimrod had a jump I wouldn’t forget.

That night I dreamt about him all night! 

My experience at Samaria Creek Morgan Farm was one I will always remember. I took away what I had learnt so far and used it in my riding disciplines. 

I want to learn everything there is to learn from Judy, because one day I’d like to achieve the same things as her and keep her way of working with horses going, and combine it with my disciplines as well. 

I’d like to end this by saying if you haven’t stayed at Judy’s farm, you are missing out big time. 

Horses help you a lot more than you think! 

Pets Blogs

Horse Birthdays: Amanda’s Response

December 3, 2009

For good manners and even tempers, you just can’t beat the herd!

I just read the post on horse birthdays and I can’t agree more.

I’m going through exactly what Paul describes with my thoroughbred, who’s only seven years old.

I’ve had him since he was three and a half. I go on his actual birth date, which I researched through Racing NSW’s website.

Though he’d only been in three races, the damage was already done.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realise this at the time.

It has been absolutely heartbreaking. And very costly.

What I’ve gone through (and what many others experience when they buy a thoroughbred off the track) wouldn’t happen if these beautiful animals were given a more natural start to life.

I see such huge differences in health and behaviour between my thoroughbred and my two-year-old (actual age) part-Morgans who’ve grown up in a much more natural environment in a herd.

Amazingly, my filly has taught my thoroughbred how to keep all his manure in one spot!

He never did this before we put him in the paddock with her. He’d just go all over the place, making grazing more difficult (as horses, like humans, don’t eat where they poo).

Now he goes in specific places, which frees up the rest of the paddock for grazing.

I never thought a horse could learn that at an older age, as it’s something foals learn when they’re young – and only then if given enough time to learn it from the mares!

I’ve been enjoying the Good Morgans blog and visit it daily to see what’s been published. I love reading all the different articles.

Keep up the great work!

Amanda Gallen.

Experience & Passion

November 13, 2009
Kristy And Jude

Kristy, our keen apprentice, learns from Judy, our master trainer.

What’s the use of knowing Morgans inside and out if you can’t pass on your wisdom?

We firmly believe in training young people for our future and that of the horse breeding industry.

To this end, we’ve taken on Kristy for a year. She’ll learn every facet of our business and become a valuable member of our team.

Kristy is a very fast learner and a lovely person. The horses absolutely love her and we’re very proud to have her in our farm family.

Pets Blogs