We have a fun system in the morning with our horses. The four geldings are turned out overnight in the back paddock, lots of space, trees, nature, wallabies, and a big dam, plus a few obstacles, jumps and bridges if they get bored!
In the morning, they walk like seasoned dairy cows up to the stable area where their pens are. Their morning feed awaits, and they enter the appropriate pen.
Neil has a set up a system, that a while after their feeds and before they are played with, they are watered at liberty.
Firstly, our 6-year-old thoroughbred, who’s 17.1h and a gentle giant. He wanders to the water trough and then ambles back into his pen when he has had enough to drink. Mac our older and wiser thoroughbred, is 15 years and spent over 4 years racing, then follows suit.
Our young ASH, who is very appropriately named Dash is to follow, he is flighty and usually takes a quick drink or none at all. Finally, Trav our new kid on the block, a 10-year-old Morgan, heads down for a drink, he’s a big drinker and then puts himself back in his pen, he walks by the other three and seems to enjoy the opportunity. How did he learn this? Well, we took him to the trough a few times online and he quickly, just followed suit and copied the others!!
NOW to my point of how not to train your horse!
Today, I decided this process was working so well I could multi task… clean the pens whilst the boys enjoyed their watering at liberty! It worked okay with Dane, he’s a pretty cool dude and his pen wasn’t too messy. Then it came to Mac, our season opportunist.. he headed to the water trough, I headed into his pen with manure fork in hand. Of course as soon as he saw I was distracted he wandered off and headed out towards the arena and off to graze!
I smiled to myself, how direct line and predatory I had been, multi tasking to get the ‘job done’ and completely forgetting about my responsibility and relationship with Mac.
Another lesson, to stay present and be here now!
A good reminder that our horse is always present and ‘living ‘ in the moment.