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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Honestly, we are not horse trainers. We are learning in conjunction with our blind horse, “The Big Man Dakota”. Our volunteer helper, J. Gates, has experience with horses that have issues. She has helped immensely by trying out different methods to discover the best responses from him.

We have been taking a common sense approach. That direction has been geared towards gaining trust, since fear is really the only thing challenging this horse’s progress.

With every session, Big Man improves by leaps and bounds. He enjoys petting and treats and assuring voices. Getting Dakota used to the feel and smell of different objects also assists in his training.

When he is having an energetic day, walking is a common activity. He is quickly learning that he is being led, carefully, into safe territory only.

Sometimes he takes advantage and plays around, so he cannot be babied too much. He has learned to respond to a firm vocal “Stand”, which means that he needs to stand still immediately. As long as you can get a horse to stop (whatever they are doing), your experience with them will be much safer. Sometimes we even stop for a nap.


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