Article by: Tracey Hamilton and a Youth Dynamics Student
Milo joined Stonewater Mustangs from a Nevada BLM Herd Management Area called the Pine Nut Mountains herd. He is athletic, pony-sized, curious, never-met-a-stranger, busy-all-the-time, and four years old. He arrived with solid ground training, and a trick… he lies down when signaled. Cute! (Not so cute.)
He’s been working under saddle since May and a few months ago he decided to opt out of work by lying down. He’ll lie down in hand and under saddle. He gets right back up when asked and acts as though nothing happened. He is sound, healthy and happy!
We recently paired Milo with a student who has already experienced improvement during arena work. She wrote the following about her experience with him.
Milo is a calm and methodical mustang who responds well to praise. He wants to please but gets overwhelmed by what’s asked of him and then lies down. I want to teach him that arena time is fun; I want to incorporate things that will keep his mind engaged as well as his body—rhythm, repetition, and consistency. Returning to training basics and rewarding him when correct helps him learn without getting frustrated and giving up.
Working with mustangs is about approach and the way we utilize body language. They don’t understand English so we can’t tell them with words. It’s all about breaking down what we’re asking into manageable chunks and going from there.
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