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Mirror KB Appaloosa Horse Ranch

Horse Training Philosophy

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Mirror KB Appaloosa Horse Ranch - natural horse training Training a young mare in a bosal.

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For over 30 years we've been training our own young stock using the gentle way, what is now considered the "natural horsemanhsip" method, it has always been our way. We're glad that the "natural horseman" training method is catching on all over the country. While we don't follow any individual trainer's methods, we feel that each one has something important to offer.

Kim working with "MKB Lakota Vision"---------------------------->Mirror KB Appaloosa Horse Ranch - natural horsemanship training

Mirror KB Appaloosa horse ranch - horse training<------------------------Kari training "MKB Solo Request"

All of our foals are handled from birth, though we don't "imprint" by the book. In fact we prefer to use the term "naturalizing" or "conditioning", which is simply the act of familiarizing the foal to new objects and situations. We believe that "imprinting" should be left to the mare and foal at the time of birth. It's nature's way, during a brief receptive period following birth, for mother and baby to bond. "Naturalizing" can be accomplished during all stages of life. Many first time foal owners feel that they have missed their window of opportunity to "imprint" the foal if they are unable to handle the foal at birth and others believe that if they "imprint" the foal soon after birth all of their future training problems will be solved. Both notions are inaccurate. First, we believe the owner must stop thinking of it as "imprinting" and begin to view it as "naturalizing" or "conditioning". Once they accept this idea, they are less likely to expect their foal to behave perfectly at all times, under all conditions, just because they messed with the foal right after birth. Those that believe they have missed the ideal window of opportunity to "imprint" mustn't feel that they have bypassed their chance to have a foal that is friendly and generally trusting to new experiences in its life.

The art of "naturalizing" or "conditioning" the foal, is merely taking the time, (say 15 minutes at a time - every day, and preferably twice a day) to play with your foal. By play, we mean to first get to know one another, gain the foals trust by not soliciting lessons too early or zealously. Instead of hardcore halter lessons, we begin with offering our foals full body massages - rubbing, stroking, scratching and touching them all over. We only introduce the halter once the foal is completely at ease with our hands handling all parts of his body. That he will allow us to pick up his feet (still using no halter or any form restraint). When the foal routinely, and readily comes to greet us when we approach, and follows us freely around the corral or pasture, then we introduce the foal to a halter. When we do finally introduce the halter, the foals are allowed time to get used to the silly contraption on their heads. Once we put the halter on the foal's head we will give the foal a good rub down (which they really do enjoy). Then, we remove the halter we walk away. Each time we put the halter on, the foal gets a good rub down, and a short halter lesson. For foals, we always keep our lessons short and non-stressful. We terminate each lesson before the foal becomes tired of our attention .....leave them wanting more.

Mirror KB Appaloosa Horse Ranch - foal imprinting

"Native Lingo" and Kari taking a break

The most important thing an owner can do is make the effort to really connect with their horse. Gain your horse's trust and respect, and you will be well rewarded.

Below we have compiled a list of professional horse trainers that provide "Natural Horsemanship" clinics.

GaWaNi "Pony" Boy
Buck Brannaman
Leslie Desmond
Monte Forman
Tom Dorrance
Karen Hayes DVM
Ray Hunt
John Lyons
Dennis Reis
Monty Roberts
Pat Parelli
Clinton Anderson - Downunder Horsemanship
Rob Reich
Jessica Jahiel
Sally Swift
Linda Tellington-Jones

Mirror KB Photography & Gifts

1132 Arabian Lane

Libby, MT 59923-7982

Phone: (406)293-6586


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