When I ride Zum on the trail, he still gets nervous and lets his surroundings bother him. Rocks, dead logs, gates, signs and running horses in corrals all make him feel highly anxious. I have Zum in courage school with every ride.
Everyone has a different idea of personal success. Success to me is getting my horses easily and effortlessly into the horse trailer and heading out for a trail ride!
Zum always gets a treat when he is good!
Zum has zero fear getting into a trailer now. My goal is to continue to focus beyond each problem that Zum has, conquering each problem in time.
I am so happy that Zum jumps willingly into the 2 horse trailer! His trailer training has become automatic. I hope someday all the other good behavior and patterns that I am training Zum to do are equally automatic!
I taught Zum to get in and out of the 2 horse trailer a year ago. It was a long and arduous training process. Zum wasn’t in a 2 horse trailer in Santa Fe the five months I was there. His mind has filed and stored the good memories of horse trailer training as he has no fear walking up to the trailer.
Rather than engage in a battle with Zum, I am engaging in a conversation with him. We are both learning how much fun we can have on the trails together.
I think my job with Zum now is to prove to him that a human is not as bad as he thinks. To a horse, a human is a predator. Once Zum accepts that I am not a dangerous predator, he can be gentle with me. Zum wants to be with Huszar and his herd of horse friends. I have to use his natural herd instinct and turn it into bonding with me.
I decided to see if Zum would join up with me without voice commands. I was amazed when he followed me around without a prompting word from me. Even more astonishing was when Zum backed up when I backed up!
Zum doesn’t care how much I know. He only wants to know how much I care. Natural horsemen believe that the secret to handling a horse is to show the horse how much you care before and after you show him how much you know.