Last weekend we hosted the Mustang Matt Clinic for the Back Country Horsemen, Sierra Free Packers.  Mustang Matt is a horse trainer from Montana who trains a lot of wild mustangs but will work with any breed.  His philosophy for training is “Trust and Respect.”

We had a wonderful turn out for the clinic — in addition to nine horse owners who signed up for the clinic, we had 30 auditors.
I had the privilege of being able to participate with my horse.  The change I saw in my young mare was incredible.  I love to ride but doing ground work with my horse was never something I really learned to do.  My older horse who will be 18 this year came with some great ground manners and I have had her almost 15 years, so whatever I learned before that had become a bit rusty.  
Matt’s focus wasn’t just ground manners, he also taught on how to safely stop if you get in a bad situation and need your horse to stop immediately.  Another great tool he taught was how to calm a horse down and to keep their focus on what their rider is asking.  Everyone who was able to participate and watch is now a better horse person, if they apply the tools he provided.