The photo shows Montana at the City Slickers Trail Ride sponsored by the Bad Girls Trail Riding Club. Shawn rode Montana at the annual ride to see how she would do and give her some additional training. Although this young filly is coming along really well, she still has her moments. This trail ride in a new environment was good for her and allowed us to see a few areas that still need some work.
We put our horses through two years of training to develop them into the quiet, calm horses that can be loaded in the trailer and taken almost anywhere for an enjoyable time. The great thing about being able to take her on a ride with a lot of other horses is that it let us test the training. We found one deficiency as we got ready to leave, Montana just said no, she wasn’t going to load back in the trailer. Just like a kid in a restaurant, she forgot her manners and stood at the back of the trailer pouting and refusing to load.
When we got back to the ranch, we took some additional time and practiced loading and unloading for about 30 minutes. Once she finally decided there wasn’t any choice in the matter, she loaded and unloaded without a problem.We will conduct some more practice sessions and tests over the next two weeks to reinforce the lessons.
Training horses the right way takes a lot of time, patience, and work. During the schooling, you have to anticipate the horse will try you from time to time, just like a child will check to see if the parent will really make them brush their teeth and do their homework. The City Slickers ride provided the perfect occasion to quiz Montana and convince her it is better to cooperate than argue.
If you haven’t tried this ride, keep it in mind for next year. It was fun!