The Empowered Mustang: Herd Integration Part 3

I know I made y’all wait a hella long time for this next installment! But hopefully the fascinating equine body language conversations, demo’s of animal communication, and front row seat to exactly HOW I listen to these horses and follow their plan, is well worth the wait 🙂

This video is an hour and a quarter – and it’s not even the end of the story! I encourage you to watch it at Theatre or Full-Screen size.

If you enjoyed that and found it as fascinating as we did, then you’ll be happy to know there’s Part 4 & 5 still to come…

I’d also love to hear your feedback on whether the video was too long, are there parts where it got boring, and any other thoughts or opinions you have…? Thanks!

p.s. For those of you wanting to read the study about 98% of foals forcibly weaned developing ulcers, here’s the original study, and here’s an easy-to-read article about the study.

Part 1 of this video series is HERE in case you missed it

And Part 2 is HERE

The Empowered Mustang: Herd Integration Part 3

10 thoughts on “The Empowered Mustang: Herd Integration Part 3

  • February 17, 2019 at 7:42 am

    Wo-hoo!!!! Part 3!!! Haven’t watched yet, but just to say, it’s just so gorgeous to receive these super presents on Sundays from Listen to your Horse. Thank you as always. Looking forward to unwrapping…and will follow up with any comment. Lots of love xxxxx : )))))

    • February 17, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      Awww that’s awesome Rachel! I LOVE that they feel like presents for you. That is so great! And so pleased I made the deadline then!! It took forever to upload so published the post around 2:45 am – just in time for it to go out in Sunday’s newsletter 🙂

  • February 17, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Loved it!❤️
    So many observations and a few questions! Almost needed to make notes so I could remember the points I wanted to touch on!
    Ok first …I so appreciated your observations about the trailer. We do subject horses to so much stress and outside craziness when we subject them to traffic and the zooming by world. I am very profoundly keen to this and it penetrates my energy vibration deeply. My question is …do you have an opinion on the trailer having the open slats? I will be purchasing a new trailer very soon as my current one is not big enough…well not for my comfort…so then not for the horses! I want one as tall and wide as yours but I so wonder about all the slats…do they cause more stress as the horse can see all the stimuli so clearly! I know trailers can be very hot and dark so that part I like about the slats I just worry about the stimulation! I know horses usually prefer wide open spaces and not caves but just curious on your opinion? I do travel with my big windows open ..(with screens) so I have always wondered about this? I also love the idea of leaving it open with the alphalpha bags to try and clear the trauma. As you might remember our new herd member Buck had a pull back in the trailer.. so we have been having food trailer sessions trying to clear that trauma. But he is so big and even though our trailer is a big 3 horse slant it’s just to small for him…even by himself. He has also indicated he would like to ride backwards so I need to make sure our new trailer has that capability!
    Back to the integration! Juno wow…I have said before he is so his fathers son. Such wisdom and strong peace. From observing through video … He seemed to just keep getting it spot on. Movement then rest. Splitting the moms apart. Then letting them be. And Aude…such presence and strength mostly supporting him from a distance. Like son you are doing an amazing job! But mums always right here if you need me! I am curious who is doing all the nickering in the background through out the first part of the integration? Montaro? Or?
    Is there a reason Posa is so sore? I know Makah was injured but was curious why Posa was having issue? As humans it is hard to watch them limp…but at the same time movement is key to healing. Even in hospitals they want you up and moving…to help with recovery! I feel your strength really shines in this demonstration…we need to trust they know when enough is…and rest is needed…which I think is shown over and over again!
    In my situation Buck really moves Bullet …a lot…but Most days (depending on weather…been crazy this year) I do give them about a 2 hour brake after dinner mash and Bullet Banner and Dreamer almost always use it to lie down and rest! Buck seems to interfere with this when he is involved! I have even seen him rush and paw at them when they are asleep! The interesting thing is I told him that is what I wanted/needed from him if he were to come live with us. Movement of the other 3…I mostly meant …Dreamer…. as he was very over weight and had foundered…all my fault! Buck has taken this very seriously…and has done a super good job of creating movement. He is 3rd in the pecking order so I think his way of moving Dreamer and Banner is to move Bullet ..then the other two are stimulated to move with them…especially when they get out of sight!
    But now I think I need to let him know that I trust his judgement to keep them moving….but that he can let them rest when needed! They do all rest together sometimes so I know it’s not constant.

    A quirking question…what is the cord running the length of that paddock? Do you worry about them with it? Obviously not…but do they ever tangle in it or tear it up? Just curios!

    The other most magnificent statement you said….PRIVILEGED LEARNING…man that is powerful. So perfect of an observation when it comes to watching interactions with horses. I am so grateful for these videos…as even though I love watching and observing our four geldings…watching your more diverse group with a more natural dynamic is like you and Guliz said …FASCINATING!
    Through watching the video you seem to be hearing the messages…and getting it right! I do however love that you said it’s not always easy and there can be conflicting info…so just keep tuning in and looking for signs. You ladies and the herd just Yum/Love!

    • February 17, 2019 at 7:07 pm

      The cord is a rubber hose – there is only water up at the house, so we needed a way to get it back to the paddock area. Nothing like 350-feet of hose!!

      For your trailer question, I have seen WAY less trauma from using/playing with this big open stock trailer, than from using more enclosed trailers. Aude will not even set foot in a ‘normal’ trailer, but she has been eating alfalfa out of this one. They all love the fact that they can look out. I don’t think closing them in “hides” the fact they’re travelling fast. Of course they can feel, hear and smell that, and everything else. But I do the same thing with my cats. I don’t put them in a cat carrier. I start by having one of the kids hold them on their lap, wrapped in a towel (in case they get scared, so they don’t scratch them), and hold them so the cat can see out the window. They LOVE looking out the window – just like the dogs do. Why would horses be any different?

      And by the way, the gal who sold me the trailer – who has worked on Warmblood breeding farms for 30 years – told me that ALL horses (if given the choice) will face backwards and to the outside (ditch-side). I tested this by placing hay nets on all sides, front and back, and sure enough, every wildie has faced backwards and to the passenger side of the vehicle. They like to tuck their bum into the inside (driver’s side) back corner and then their body goes cross-ways, facing backwards, to the other (passenger) side. I also NEVER tie my horses in a trailer. Why would I?? Anyone who thinks that’s a good idea, should go back there and try balancing with their head tied up at 60 mph. I’m actually going to have someone else drive while I ride in the back of the trailer so I can see/feel what it’s like – I’ll video it when I do 🙂

      I think it was Montaro nickering, but I can’t be certain. And Posa was that sore just from all the unaccustomed movement. I didn’t even think about how fit the original herd was until we put Siyone and Posa in with them. Cobra was fine because he had been loose on the range and then confined for only a week before he came. But the rest of them were in Rescues for 4 months, with very little movement and solid, even ground only. The foals had a double challenge with all the uneven terrain, broken up from the horses’ hooves in the wet months.

      I love that Buck is moving the boys around. Every herd needs a horse or two like that! But yes, pawing at them when they’re sleeping/resting is outside the ‘normal’ behaviour range. So definitely tune into him and see what’s up.

      I think the other reason it’s so fascinating watching/learning from this herd is because not only are there a lot of them, but they’re FAMILY herds – and that brings a whole other element into the mix. I have to admit, I was very surprised they chose to integrate into 1 herd – I was not expecting that since each herd was SO bonded and tight. The learning never stops! xox

      • February 18, 2019 at 8:03 am

        Will look forward to your trailer ride video. I have rode in the back of an old horse trailer I had when I first got horses over 10 years ago….and it was not fun! The one I have now I have not rode in🤔. I don’t blame Aude one bit…she is one big beautiful gal…and I wouldn’t want to load in something not big enough either! Hoping the new we buy will provide a much smoother ride! Glad to read your observations about the open slats. I plan on getting a large trailer so Buck and Dreamer can have plenty of space to ride as they wish & also fit all four horses in case of fire emergency. Here in California it really is our new normal …fires are just a way of of life…very scary and sad…but a definite reality! So myself and the horses need to be prepared if that day ever comes! I had read several accounts of horses choosing to ride the way you describe…and Buck expressed his desire to ride this way…(I found out Bullet also prefers this) So I will make sure the new trailer gives them this choice! I don’t ever want to tie a horse in the trailer again…if possible! I have not tied Dreamer in the trailer and he does great! I just wasn’t sure about Buck…especially in regards to Dreamers safety. As I mentioned before sometimes Dreamer has to use a lot of energy to control Buck..and he can’t do that safely in the trailer! So I decided to tie him and use the divider to separate them the first couple of trips and the last time is when he pulled back and then slipped on his poop😢
        Like I said Buck and I are working and communicating about the trailer so that in the future we all can be safe and secure and have as much confidence and peace as possible when we travel! Thanks for all your input✌🏼❤️🐴

        • February 18, 2019 at 8:09 pm

          I wouldn’t feel confident having a bunch of them loose in there UNLESS it was an emergency. I think the horses are well capable of understanding the difference, especially fire. If you have the budget to custom-order you can have one slant divider put in that you can just close off Buck (so don’t have to tie him) and the others can be loose. But yeah, if I lived in CA I would for sure have a trailer big enough for all of them – either that or keep a big, deep waterhole that they could all go in and wait it out. I saw a few pictures of horses that jumped in the swimming pool to wait out the fires. If you’ve only got one road out that might be the best idea anyway.

  • February 17, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Love what you said about animal communication and conflicting viewpoints, and then continuing to listen and look for confirmation one way or the other. Not holding fast to an idea as right or wrong, but rather letting all the ideas unfold, and the one that unfolds the furthest becomes the one to implement, even then it is subject to change as new info becomes available.

    Also like what you said about horses loosing fitness when confined to a paddock. Confinement to stalls expedites loss of fitness, but so can any kind of confinement to varying degrees. It will be interesting to see what happens with Kaliah as she regains fitness.

    When you had Juno and Aude in with the river herd, I was curious to see a larger view of the whole property to be able to see Montaro’s body language. I don’t doubt that he probably had his own conversation going on with Kaliah on another level that did not have all the theatrics. Did he ever copy her body language by having his body parallel to hers at any time even from a great distance away?

    Loved watching. Thank you!

    • February 17, 2019 at 6:39 pm

      Good eye Mary! And yes, he did eat parallel to her many times – just over the fence. You’re right, even though he was not IN the arena, he was very much involved with all parties. Part 4 is when he comes in, on his own, and it is equally fascinating! I’m working on it now. So glad you enjoyed this – you can see why it took me so long to edit 🙂


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