Tom worked with 10 different horses and ponies in various stages of training. One of the 10 was a three year old Morgan gelding owned by Ann Taylor who had no training except for halter and lead. Tom gave an hour long round pen session that was a great illustration of how easy a horse can learn the basics. These are the same basics that one needs at the high levels of any horse discipline. Tom's work with Rampart involved "herding up", gaining leadership and respect from the horse using a lunge line with a chain to prepare him for what would come next. Auditors were able to watch the horse being prepared to willingly accept wearing a bridle with a simple snaffle bit, a surcingle complete with crupper, side rein use to teach the horse to follow his head to the left and right. Tom then progressed to long lining and in hardly any time, Rampart showed the fundamentals of traveling on the correct bend and opening up his circle while on that bend. Tom taught Rampart to discern the difference between a halt and backing. This horse has a wonderful disposition and took to each step with no resistance and an openness to learn what was expected. Tom showed us that it is much easier to teach a horse that has had no incorrect handling than to have to undo previous bad habits. If anyone is looking for a nice minded Morgan gelding, with good body, to make their next driving horse, Rampart is for sale.
Tom stressed that horses do not want a "buddy" in our handling of them, they want a leader who will direct them and give the horse a sense of security and confidence.