Foal Education - Maserati Kindergarten Time - Exploring New Things [Slideshow]
So many first times for Maserati today! First time exploring water, first time trailer loading, jumping a big log and walking in the forest. This first walk is all about creating good first impressions of potentially scary things.
After all, it’s the first impression that counts most!
I want him to explore unknown things, meet them with curiosity and make the experience that even things which look scary at first, are harmless in the end.
My Keys to make his First Walk a Success
Mathilde is helping me by leading Maserati’s mother Mazirah. I asked her to look back often so that she can adapt speed or stop when needed. Maserati can choose where he wants to walk, behind or next to Mazirah.
I will keep the rope relaxed but short enough that I can easily and safely control him if needed. I will allow and encourage his curiosity and when he feels too afraid he is allowed to stop or retreat to a distance that feels safe to him.
Follow Maserati on his first walk!
Off we go to big adventures! If I didn’t have Mazirah, I would take an older well socialized horse friend with us.
The two sisters Mayana and Tara are jealous. Why you are leaving without us?
Everything looks peaceful. Ears are pointed forward with interest….. I hold the rope relaxed but short enough in case I need to control something, because things can change quickly…
Gangster Attack! For whatever reason Maserati had to jump in the air - maybe a duck on the pond nearby….
But that`s not ok to do that so close to people! I give him a clear verbal no and a tap on the shoulder to make myself understood and to stay safe in the future. Things like this need to be clear right away. But I am nice again right away and rub him.
We reach the pond. Mazirah likes water, but he had never seen it. I just let him watch and observe. I will not actively ask him to sniff it, simply encourage his curiosity.
When Mazirah started to splash and play, he got a bit afraid! I allowed him to retreat to a distance that felt safe to him, but encouraged him to keep looking at it. Allowing to retreat is really important for the confidence in a horse, it makes them feel less trapped.
Soon curiosity won and he came back. Marzirah seems to say: My dear son, its strange at first but not scary at all! Maserati doesn’t believe it yet. But for a first experience it is good enough. Next time he will be braver
Oh look at that huge thing! Our little scientist is investigating the mushrooms on it.
What´s that big blue scary thing? If your mare or the buddy is well socialized and trusts you, it helps a big deal.
As Mazirah doesn’t show any concern about it, curiosity wins again and Maserati is exploring.
Mum wait, what are you doing?
I can jump it too! He didn’t even think of trying to go around or stop to watch it, he seems to have an innate idea to jump over things. Copy what mum is doing is strong and helpful program - if your mare knows how to act helpful.
After that much action Maserati needs a little comforting drink. He always goes for a drink after having learnt something new.
I had the idea to show him the horse truck. His first opinion is, that he has to hide under mum’s tail.
What is she doing in there? How can I follow?
1 minute and he was already in. Again I didn’t ask or influence him in any way, just be with him and encourage whatever positive things he is up to.
Little test of his exploring nature. Will he follow me inside even without mum?
Yes he does! Now this doesn’t mean that he loads well and we can close the gate and go. It is a very first experience and it just happened by accident. But for a first impression for him this is just great.
He didn’t even feel in a hurry to come back out. Cool game!
We continue for a little stretch into the forest. Maserati proofs once more to be a real Mazirah - son - no slow relaxed walking possible! Power walking is in the blood. If however he tries to get ahead of me or turn in front of me I use my opposite arm to block his nose.
We are back home. So many new discoveries and adventures for the little man. Mazirah receives some good bye carrots to thank her for being such a great and helpful mum. Maserati gets a few extra scratches, I want to install a habit of patience when returning to his friends.
Back to the friends in the style of a real maserati ! He has so many stories to tell now! Such an interesting world out there.
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