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Maximiliano - Training the trained horse

<p>Since his relocation I have not ridden Maximiliano. However, that’s not really a bad thing. I did some research into his previous life (would be great, if a horse could speak) and I believe it is really true that he was just started some 5 or 6 months ago. Everything else must have been pure handling and not really any kind of training.</p>

So I decided to treat him accordingly and have been working a lot on desensitizing and confidence building with lots of rubbing. He now follows me around a path next to a larger body of water, steps into puddles and mud and keeps walking calmly. Yesterday we were even practicing 'do not move when I mount' with a helicopter in the air.

Instead of mounting for real I have been spending time to touch, rub and tap every part of his body. Initially he had given me a stronger reaction when my boot touched him behind the saddle. I have not repeated the exact same thing yet but I have been tapping there with my hands intensively and he does not move. So that seems cured.

I also made an interesting discovery. He was always moving away from me when I approached him to mount. It was because he wanted to move his hindquarters away from me. So we 'discussed' the matter and 'agreed' that approaching with my arms raised means "I want to mount" while with the arms lowered it means "move your butt". It did not take long ;-)

To put in a good foundation I was repeating the exercise of just getting into the stirrups and bend over the saddle from both sides over the last few days. We did it indoors and outdoors.

Next will be to actually mount and practice actual riding. When he was not worried and fearful he was reacting very well to light cues such as moving my body weight in the saddle. It is really great to be able to slight move my weight to the left and the horse turns left.