Scott has been working hard to help Star become a better citizen and better for people to handle. This old gelding has a lot of pushy behavior that is steadily becoming manageable. Due to his age, we have retired Star and have made him available as a companion. The horsemanship training is helping Star have better ground manners and be a better horse for his future home. Here is what Scott has to say about working with Star in the last Joel Conner clinic:

I had another great clinic experience with Star and felt like he made some great improvements between clinics. Star has become very responsive when tied and has learned how to yield his hindquarters easily so that he can be brushed on each side and have his feet picked. When he is alone, he is easier and I noticed that with all the horses around, he got a little excited so didn’t focus completely on me when cleaning his feet. When the clinic started each morning, Star was a bit unfocused but quickly focused on me and became calm and peaceful each day.

Areas of Strength:

  • Yielding hindquarters
  • Walking from a distance
  • Changing direction on a unified circle
  • Backing up from a distance
  • Backing up from under his chin
  • Backing up in a circle
  • Transition from a walk to a trot on a circle

Area of opportunity:

  • Yielding front quarters
  • Half circle exercise without being reactive
  • Wall squeeze exercise without being reactive
  • Walking in a unified circle
  • Round pen work — Still very reactive and does not respond to my feel

Joel worked with me on knowing when to firm up and how much. I need to offer my good deal and then firm up sooner with Star so that I get a change from him quicker. Then offering a good deal and seeing him respond to what I am asking. I felt Saturday was the best day Star and I have ever had. I really felt a connection with him and that he was really willing to do whatever I asked. He tried hard and I could see a really good change in him. Star needs someone who can spend time with him and be a strong leader to him. He will follow, but he will also walk all over people if allowed. He is learning to be respectful but must be reminded all the time. When working with him one must never lose focus. I know if feels me and feels my presence and pressure. Sometimes he doesn’t always like being asked to do something, but he always does it. He is learning that he is not in charge all the time anymore.