Natural Gait Workshop, Day 3

Natural Gait Workshop, Day 3

9:40 Relaxed start this morning as Doc discusses the progress he’s seen with horses and with everyone’s line handling. He’s going to spend the morning session addressing questions and discussing bits. Steve would like to learn how to teach a horse to hobble. He says east of the Mississippi we dont hobble horses, but in the west horses are routinely hobbled.

Doc also discussed bits and bitting, providing some advice he learned from Tom (Triplett) and Addie (Funk), two of his mentors.

10:35 (pm!) Had some connectivity issues today. I promise to update on Monday. Stay tuned . . .

(Monday) Yes, it’s the day after, but I want to keep Sunday’s blog post on one day. And what a great day we had. Lots of fun. First of all, here is a photo of Sunday’s class. A few people had to take off Saturday night, so this isn’t everyone. If we missed you, next year remind us to take the class photo on Saturday!
Lisa’s mare has some bad leading habits — she tries to walk ahead of Lisa instead of behind her. Doc said that when your horse walks with its shoulder next to your shoulder, they are doing the leading. Instead, the horse should be behind you. As you can see, she is a big girl, so lead manners are important.
Look how much better she leads now.

And, as promised, here is a shot of Barb and Mo.
Mo has one annoying issue: He paws. And paws. And paws. Steve and Doc discussed this and Doc mentioned that he will hobble horses with this annoying habit. (Hence the hobbling discussion at breakfast.)

Doc and Mo demonstrated how to teach a horse to accept hobbles. There’s a process to it so that the horse doesn’t panic and hurt himself. I’m going to show the photos, but not go into the process lest I leave out a critical point. Like driving and other tasks we require of our horses, it’s essential they be taught properly.

Kal, Doc’s brother, mentioned that the old timers would teach the horses to have any of their legs hobbled so that if they became caught in a fence they would patiently wait for help instead of panicking.

Mo was a fast study and it took about half an hour for him to accept having his front feet hobbled. Here he is learning to “walk” with the hobbles on. You can see he is doing a little jump.