Gentling Your Wild Mustang - Preparing for the First Ride by Dan Kursave

Gentling Your Wild Mustang - Preparing for the First Ride
Dan Kursave

The purpose of this set of DVDs is to assist the horse lover that has the desire to work with young wild mustangs. Trainer Dan Kursave has over thirty years experience working with wild horses. His techniques give the viewer the knowledge to work with young mustangs from weanlings in the first DVD to taking the first ride on a two-year-old mustang gelding in the second training DVD. His son, Billy Kursave, has worked with Dan for many years and is his able assistant.

Session 1 Reintroduction to Handling:

In this first DVD, a two-year-old wild mustang filly born on the open range of the Sanctuary is used for Dan's demonstration. This filly was gentled and taught to lead as a weanling and then not worked with again until today. Dan halters the filly and asks her to lead.

Desensitizing - Working with Head and Ears:

Dan uses a bamboo stick to touch the filly's ears and head. This touching of her head and ears helps to calm her and get her used to being touched again. The next process is called "sacking"... a blanket is used for touching the horse all over her body; head, ears, feet, legs and girth area.

Session II Safely Handling Feet and Legs
Dan uses a rope to rub each foot and leg and then gently picks up each leg and foot. The halter rope is kept close behind Dan's body in an effort to reassure her and keep control of her head in case of panic.

First Hoof Trimming - Before the farrier is called for the first trim appointment, the young horse's legs and feet should be worked with so that each hoof can be picked up safely and she gets used to the feel of being on three legs. Again, Dan uses a soft rope to desensitize the leg and foot area by rubbing and actually picking up the hoof with a loop in the robe. Working with her legs and feet ahead of time will assist in making the first hoof trim a pleasant experience.

Session 1 Preparing for the Saddle
Dan again uses a rope to desensitize the girth area of the horse for the pressure and feel of the saddle, blanket and girth. The rope is looped over the back of her and behind the front legs. Gentle pressure is exerted by the rope as it is rubbed over this area of the horse. The rope is pulled around her and is tightened loosely over the girth area.

Saddling. The saddle is first introduced to the horse visually. Then, giving the horse time to adjust to the reality that the saddle is not a predator, the pad and saddle are slowly eased up on her back. The pad and saddle is then put on and taken off several times to calm her and get her used to the feel.

Preparing for the First Ride. After the 2-year-old is used to the pressure and weight of the saddle, pad, and girth, the girth is tightened enough to keep the saddle in place. This is a good time to lunge the horse in the round pen to get the feel of the saddle on her back as she moves around the pen. When the horse relaxes and starts to chew, flex the stirrups against her side to give her the feel of the weight in the stirrup.

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