KBR Horse Net
Training Case Study:

"Lucky"

"No matter how bad things are, you can always make them better."

Lucky grew up in an area of Nevada where a number of wild horses have been harassed and killed for sport. He showed up on a Nevada state highway as a yearling without any band or parents and with a mortal fear of humans. When confined in a pen, he would panic and crash the sides when humans approached, even from outside the fences.

Most horses have a short flight distance. Horses that have been chased by ATVs will often run endlessly until they are out of sight and sound of humans. Lucky fit this latter description.

Note his guarded body language;
ears erect, high arched neck, tight
muscles in the neck and jaw
Lucky would self destruct in a chute. He would literally run non-stop in a round pen, even without being provoked. He did learn that if he got quiet he would hear a click and some hay would appear in the pen. Eventually he reached the point that he would carefully walk up for a click treat if the human didn't move.
Carefully reaching for a treat
In order to work with Lucky, we first had to get him to interact with us without triggering his flight instinct. The clicks and treats opened the door, but he had to deal with us being more active. Once he could reliably tolerate us being in the same pen with him, we started him in Gentling Wild Horses 101.

This process included touching him with a bamboo pole and working him in a sliding neck loop.

Checking out a bamboo pole
Eventually Lucky could tolerate visitors and would even come in to check people out, but he was still very guarded.

We needed to get into his space without using bait.
Trading scratches for goodies
Greeting Janet Tipton

Continue to Part Two


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