Training the Whole Horse®

Changing the HOW of Horse Training for the BETTER!

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Missy Wryn, the Gentle Horse Trainer


Question #9:  Kathy from Oregon asks I have a gelding and a mare. When I take one of them off to work with, they both act up and go a little crazy. They seem to think they will never see each other again or something. What can I do? 

Q: I had a bad accident with my horse that included the breaking of my back, pelvis, ribs and a collapsed lung.  I'm all healed and started riding and training new horses again, but I noticed fear keeps creeping in especially riding horses I'm unfamiliar with and are in training.  How do I get over my fear?

A: First I want to say how sorry I am for your accident.  I know the long road of healing the body and the frustration that the mind has not kept up with the time frame of your physical healing.  This question comes up several times a month so know that you are not alone in your experience.  My response to you is uncommon and probably unlike anything you've been told so please read carefully with an open heart and listen to your body.  Your body's response is normal since it has a cellular memories imprinted from an animal that you keep subjecting your body to. My best advice is to take time off from riding other horses and only ride a horse that you trust just spending time being not doing.  Stop training and working with other horses and just spend time nurturing yourself which includes your body.  Talk to your body and apologize for putting it in the position of getting hurt.  Talk to your now healed, broken bones and tell them how much you love them and that you are not going to endanger them again, but want them to feel safe and you will do everything in your power to keep them safe.  Every cell in your body is a little brain with feelings and emotions so treat your body as you would a dear friend.  Once your body can trust your motives the fear will dissipate and you can start asking your body if it’s ready to ride a different horse or if it’s ready for a new challenge.  It will tell you when it’s ready, but don’t force it.  It’s not like you are giving into your fear, but recognizing it, acknowledging it and embracing it, then loving it for loving you and only wanting to protect you, and soon your fear will be transmuted into courage.  I hope this makes sense

Q: Ann from NE asks: how do I train my horse to ground tie?

 A: To answer your question on ground tying this is what I do: drop the rope on the ground and say in a gut voice "STAND" plus my hand is up palm to the horses face "STAND". As I walk away I watch in my peripheral vision for any movement, if the horse starts to walk away or follow me I immediately walk up, jiggle the lead rope to back the horse up a couple steps, praise and stroke the neck, drop the lead rope and say with my hand up "STAND", and add "good boy" or "good girl" and start to walk away. Make sure you praise the horse as you walk away if they are standing and not moving. Repeat the backing up, "STAND" process as many times as it takes (usually 3 is all it takes) and praise praise praise for the right thing. Let me know how it goes. Missy

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Question #4:  Teresa from Washington asks, "What can promote the re-growth of a shriveled frog, along with healthy new sole"?

Question #3:  Joanna from Utah writes, "I adopted a mustang, he is very spooky. How would you get him used to having his feet handled for a trim"? 

Question #6:  Estella from Oregon asks How would I get my gelding to back up? He just plants his feet and no amount of urging will get him to move. 

Question #11:  Ned from Oregon asks I have a 7 year old mustang who seems to favor his right front hoof/leg and occasionally trips when only walking. This seems to be more often in this cold weather. If I run him in the round pen for exercise, he seems OK. Should I cover his legs of joints in this cold weather when I stall him at night? Is there any supplement that you recommend that may address a joint problem?

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Question #2:   Diane from Iowa writes, "I heard your explanation about taking care of a biting horse; however he nips at me during our flexing. I do not want to confuse him by disciplining him when he is doing something I ask". 



Question #5:  Christine from Oregon writes, I have a green horse I am working with on my own. I am trying to get him to hook onto me so he'll follow my lead around the arena with just a rope around his neck and no physical connection to me. When he’s on my right I can get him to go forward, backward, stop and push to the right, but I can't pull him to the left and keep him hooked on to me. Any suggestions? 

Question #12: Kristine from Minnesota writes, I have an unbroken 3 year old that I bought about six months ago. She (and I) are coming along nicely but I cannot get her to give me her back feet. She does good with her fronts and gets praised a LOT for it. Trimming the front is no problem, but she is very stubborn with her back feet. I’ve been working with my hand running down her leg, the request, and the pressure, but to no avail. I’ve tried a rope to help her make the connection between by request and lifting her back feet, but we’ve been doing this for four months now. Any suggestions?

Question #7:  This is a continuation from question #6 as submitted by Estella in Oregon. She writes How would I get my gelding to side pass?

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Question #14:  Becky of Oregon writes, Hi Missy, I thought this might be a good question for the new website.  As you know sometimes my angel Gabe grows horns.  Our main issue is leaving the property to trail ride.  I can always get him under control from turning around spinning etc. with a one rein stop and am no longer intimidated by this.  The issue is continuing on under saddle.  I will get off and walk sometimes to the end of the trail if necessary to keep him from not continuing forward.  I have used a stick on the ground to get the forward part.  As always we ride bitless and treeless.  Under saddle he overreacts to the stick or darts off the trail in shrubs that lead home etc.  He has been checked for pain and is very sound.  I can get on and ride home at a beautiful flat trail walk and no issues going home.  What to do with Mr. I won’t go another step under saddle.  As always thank you, thank you, thank you.

Question #10:  Cindy from Minnesota writes I’ve all but given up on a 5 year old QH mare. She was mishandled by a trainer. She is now an ear pinning, tail wringing $%^&& to be around. She used to be sweet. Can she change back to her old sweet self?  

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Question #8:  Dori from Texas writes I own and train my own minis. I also because it is so hard to find a farrier that will do my minis, I have had to learn to trim hooves myself. I also did a friends mini just yesterday and think it is a possibility he has foundered. Could you describe to me what that would look like visually.

Question #15:  How do I catch my horse?  Every time I walk up with the halter she runs off.  I try carrots and treats, but that doesn't work sometimes either.  

Question #1: Cindy from Oregon writes "I have a 3 y/o filly who displays a nasty attitude when I approach her, but calms down and relaxes after she has been haltered. I have tried brushing and bonding with her, but she still acts badly when she is approached. What do you suggest? 

Question #13:  Candace from Wisconsin asks, I have a 13 year old Mustang gelding and his canter is very fast. I want him to lope like western pleasure horses. How would I do that?