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Wild Horse Gentling Method#1: JUST SPEND TIME...




"Just Spending Time" is the most common method actually in use by most adopters.

It's not necessarily the quickest route to "first touch" or whatever benchmark you strive for. But anyone can do it. Given time, nearly any wild horse will become less afraid and more comfortable with people in his new surroundings. Many new adopters report setting themselves up next to the horse pen with a folding chair and a good book, and just hanging out with their horse for an extended period every day. At some point, the horse's curiosity about you will over-rule his fear, and he will start coming close to sniff you.


Even if you also use a more structured training program (as described on other pages - Pressure and Release, Clicker Training, Bamboo Pole, etc), some horses need a lot of time to digest their new experiences. Not every horse is amenable to becoming a "90 Day Wonder." Time makes a difference! Regardless of external measures such as a horse being halter-trained, saddle-trained, etc., I have noticed a big change in most mustangs at about the one year mark from when they first came to my place. The eyes look softer, less worried. In a horse who has been making good progress, we don't always notice that they still are a bit worried, a bit uncomfortable - until they lose that worried look. And then you realize that yes, it does take a year - or sometimes more, but seldom less. There is no substitute for time!

But perhaps even more important, through spending time with your horse, you will get to know your horse on a deep level - how he reacts, how he thinks, how he lives his life and how he is likely to react to a variety of situations. You will learn to trust him, and to trust yourself with him!

Going about daily chores - cleaning pens, delivering feed, etc., and just leisurely "hanging out" helps the horse feel safe and comfortable around people. Spending leisure time reading a book in a lawn chair next to the horse pen, just hanging out and talking to the horse - all this will help the horse learn to recognize you as someone who is not a threat.


Be careful, though! Just because the horse is not afraid of you does not mean that he is fully gentled or safe to be near!

Eventually, the horse DOES need real training!

Horse Psychology 101     Just Spend Time     Pressure & Release     Bamboo Pole/Fiddler's Technique   Positive Reinforcement

Gentling & Training Burros (Wild Donkeys)   Teaching Basic Skills (Halter Training)   Ready to Ride?  

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