Hi, my name is Kahra and I live on a farm near Portland Oregon. We bought the farm 2 years ago and went from 2 animals to 13 pretty quickly. We have 3 horses, 3 cats, 5 alpacas, a ferret, and a dutch shepherd. I've grown up with large dogs, so when I got my first horse about 5 years ago, I started training Areyto (my horse) similarly to how I would a dog. He was nearly wild when I got him, but after we learned lots of tricks together we had a very close bond. I grew up riding horses with my grandmom, but had never taken lessons, so I did a lot of reading and watching videos to learn how to work with Aretyo. He is naturally a very hot paso fino, although he us usually pretty mellow now. I am working on riding him out of his stall w/o a bridle. I can get him out the the middle of the paddock and have him turn on the haunches, turn on the forehand, leg-yield, and back-up, but I can't ride him to where I would like to go (he just wants to go back to the barn or to other horses close-by). You can see an old video of Areyto and some of his tricks on youtube if you look up Areyto, paso fino tricks. It's an old video--don't critique me too hard, I already know!
I am working with my 9 yr old daughter in 4-H with her 2 yr old icelandic horse. He was a rescue but was healthy, just not wanted, and is a beautiful silver dapple. He couldn't be prettier or have a better temperament. He is naturally very calm and confident, but still remains responsive.
We also have a classic silver champagne rock mountain filly who is 2 as well. She is incredibly calm and sweet, but she is not naturally responsive at all--she likes to stand there and be petted. She does not like to move when asked. She looks at me like she is a boulder and it's bizarre that I would ask her to budge. She even walks in slow motion. I have seen her run around, kick and play, so I know she has it in her!
I have been opposed to bits since I was a child (though at that time, I didn't realize there were options). I'm sad that I haven't found any like-minded people yet to go riding with in Oregon. 4-H requires bits for the children to show at fair. I'm a bit disgusted and am trying to change that rule. No one seems to care.
One of my favorite trainers is Marijke de Jong with her 'straightness training.' I've watched a ton of her videos and am using some of her techniques on Areyto. I hope to find more training ideas on this forum!