Different horses have different temperaments and attitudes, and some can be so vigorously proud that getting a handle on them is left to professional trainers, and even they have trouble domesticating the horse. Take the Mustang for instance.
The Mustang is probably the horse breed that can best embody American concepts of freedom and pride. When brought into an equestrian training pen, most trainers would admire the creature, but at the same time shy away from being obligated to train it. Mustangs are wild steeds, that’s for sure, but like how other breeds of horses can be trained for equestrian sport or other functions, so can they. But whoever’s training them should be aptly skilled and justly qualified. Herein lies the problem.
Owning any horse, even a Mustang, can cost as little as $130 plus a trailer home. Because of this, many would dare buy themselves a proud steed and try to train it themselves. Being all but complete beginners with little to no qualification to train horses, they’re lucky if they can actually train the steeds to do something that resembles horse riding. In fact, if they are able to do that, it only means that the horse would then need to be retrained in the proper manner for it to actually be suitable for equestrian sport. Making the poor animal un-learn almost everything it was ‘taught’ is a tedious and prolonged process in itself.
So if nothing else but to avoid the hassle, it’s only proper that an excellent equestrian trainer handle a breed such as a Mustang. But what qualities of a trainer would make her the best choice?
Expertise and experience matter, especially when handling Mustangs, but beyond that the trainer or breeder should really care for the horse. This means she has the patience to whittle down the Mustang’s pride and stubbornness until he becomes a cooperative partner. The willingness to spend a lot of time on the steed to consistently meet his aggressiveness with patience is most probably the foremost trait you would want in a trainer.
The Mustang is quite strong willed, and will not follow a hesitant or inexperienced hand that poses to lead it. But given enough time, patience, and the correct training regimes and practices, even Mustangs become reliable and safe mounts. All they need is a compatible home and a leader.
The first few barriers to break down are the toughest ones: replacing a Mustang’s fight or flight nature with proper responses to cues, removing the fear that makes the mighty steed bare his teeth or lash out, and basically domesticating what once was a wild animal.
A bit more on the technical side of training though: horses should be well versed in foundation training. When novices try their hand at training Mustangs, they tend to skip foundation training for many varied reasons, and this is never advisable nor acceptable.