Feral Horse Training

Whitney, our natural barefoot trimmer, was out today. I always feel like a pioneer of old hosting a wayfarer on farrier days–what news do they bring from the far-reaching corners of the horse world that they frequent? Today’s news centered around feral horses and natural horse training methods.

Whitney had just given away her Appaloosa mare. This mare had been bred, born and raised in a pasture with no human attention. The stallion was just left to run with the mares. Nothing was done with the resulting foals. For whatever reason, this owner just liked the idea of breeding, even on this haphazard and neglectful level. Whitney took on this Appy when the mare was a three year old.

We chatted about her experience. “I learned SO MUCH about feral horses from this mare,” Whitney marveled.

“What was most powerful thing you learned?” I asked.

“Feral horses are so different from domestic horses. Domestic horses depend on you. They want to be with you. Feral horses don’t need you for ANYTHING. It’s completely different.”

“If someone was getting into a similar horse training situation and you could give them one piece of advice would you give?” I pushed.


Pressure comes in so many forms. Pressure and release is a fundamental horse training principle. Response to pressure can be almost imperceptible, yet speaks volumes about the relationship we have with out horses and their level of understanding.

I challenge you to pay extra attention over the next few days to the forms pressure, release and response take. Send us your comments and your findings in the comments box! If you work with feral horses, whether they are BLM mustangs, neglect cases, etc, what one piece of advice would YOU offer a first-timer?

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