Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Training a Teenage Haflinger

Training a teenage Haflinger who has been given the privilege of living life as she pleases has now brought on new adventures for her NEW life here at True North Ranch.

MAY 1, 2021

Our daughter Mac and I headed east to pick up a rescue named Rainie and another named Kaley who were renamed, Tilly. It was a fun get-a-way as mother and daughter shared many memories of our horse training, learning do’s and don’ts as we were so green back in the day, and recounting the rewards from many hours of groundwork.


When we got to Tilly’s place we witnessed instantly she had a spark of energy in her and was not at all comfortable with us. She was separated from her brother and dad and would not settle down. I knew then we had some serious work ahead of us! We left early in the morning which surprisingly she loaded well. Rainy is such a laid-back go-with-the-flow kind of girl we didn’t worry about her at all but it sure was a good thing we had her as Tilly needed a mate for the 10-hour journey home. We made one overnight stop at a similar ministry to our Hope Rides, which was awesome as the girls could stretch their legs and rest, and Mac and I could get a good night’s sleep! Morning came quickly and again no trouble loading the girls! Praise the LORD!

We arrived at the ranch right on time with many greetings from friends. Ministry sessions were also happening during this time of transition which became an amazing observation for them. We put our boys, Bo and Nugget in the round pen and as we unloaded the girls we let them loose into thier new home. full of trees and breathing Min

Our First Time in the Round pen

MAY 7, 2021

After an hour playing the catching game…in a sweat…Mackinzey and I got Ms. Tilly to the round pen. Of course, very nervous so we decided to bring Rainie in as well for support. It’s so important to have a “pit crew” in times of distress. Not only for humans but horse’s too.

A good first day!

True Colors

This next training session was much different. Two things different. One, she was on her own. Two, I took the halter off. Three…bad idea…with both those elements we had a fussy session that was suppose to only be an hour or two turned into…5 and 1/2 hour session! She was in a sweat and so was I! Never would I recommend this combo…but you don’t know until your in it and you can’t quit unless it’s on a happy note…it took her THAT long to get herself unwound!

Here’s a glimpse…

Ground work, ground work, ground work!

Amazing how we will see a change in her. She was ridable on the last one with one leading on the ground…and rider confident. Tilly did great! But when Abbie came again a month later, she could only ride her with her head pulled in. As Abbie said, if she gave her her head she would bolt and become unconfident. One of Tilly’s biggest hang up as she wants to see you. SO this helped…

Tilly Camp! October 16, 2021

Thinking Tilly needed an extended time with Abbie we decided to have Tilly spend some time at Abbie’s farm. This way she can take her out more frequently and understand some real issues away from our ranch. WOW! Listen to this first adventure…

And there we gooooo…

Camp Day 2

I decided to pay a visit and see first hand how Ms. Tilly was doing. She is definitely missing the ranch and familiar world at our ranch. I spent an hour there and took a short video. Again…it’s about her not having a visual on the handler which is a MUST for a horse to trust because no horse will see their rider on their back. She has to get to the trust without the sight.

Ground Driving

This technique is huge in understanding and working with getting a horse under saddle. Yes ground work, round-penning and playing on all yields is all a part of the training which Tilly has had all summer, but THIS is one that proves her lack of trust and need for this kind of ground work will need to be in her training plan. Abbie tried for several more days and it was decided she needs to be at the ranch to do this. SO…going into colder temps here in Minnesota, I begin where Abbie left off. I will have Abbie come show me as I haven’t done ground driving in years and will use Bokoda who knows this well from driving days and learn from him. Then we will go to Tilly and help her along. Tilly is back with her herd and content!

Keep Posted…

The sogga of training continues…keep posted as one day she will be used for riding God willing. The biggest thing I think about is every horse has a purpose. Riding, driving, racing, bronc riding, cattle work…What IS TILLY’S…it may not be riding…we’ll see!