Tahi is a 4yo stallion (now a gelding) and is approximately 14.3hh.
He was mustered in with a bachelor band from Zone 20, where the horses are apparently wilder, never having had human contact, which showed up in him being very timid and defensive during the first days and weeks of his journey towards domestication.
His first reactions when Rachel first started working with him were, firstly, to try jumping out of the yard if anyone came too close, then he progressed to always hiding in a corner or hiding behind the other horse who was with him for company.
After several days he relaxed enough to comfortably allow Rachel in the yard with him but threatened to bite or attack if she came too close or pushed the boundaries further than he was comfortable with, so she just had to take it slowly and allow him to settle and become more confident in his own time.
He quickly learned to love his food, especially hard feed, which helped work towards him being more accepting of Rachel being around him and eventually allowing her to touch him if he was in a good space, although never far away from wanting to bite if he felt unsure or threatened by any sudden movement or noise etc.
Now, over a month after the muster, his gentle nature is starting to show through a lot more, and he has been making steady progress to the point where he can now be caught and haltered out in an open paddock, leads well, picks up all four feet on request, has happily worn a cover, willingly walks in and out of the float, and was gelded on the 25th May, exactly one month since the day he arrived.
Once he has recovered from the operation, Rachel is planning to start working towards breaking him in, and is excited to see how he goes with that, she has been on him bareback already which he didn’t seem worried about, but she will be introducing the saddle and teaching him to accept that as the first step towards breaking him in.
Regular updates on his progress can be found on Rachel’s website – Mana Horsemanship Ltd
Rachel is a horse trainer based in Wanganui.
Along with three of her siblings, she learnt to ride in 2013, and they then bought their first two horses, whom they sold in 2015 in order to buy several unbroken horses to start under saddle as a project. From then on they started buying young green horses, breaking them in and selling them, which eventually built up to breaking in and training outside horses as well.
Rachel now runs her own business under the name of Mana Horsemanship, and has been much in demand for breaking in and training horses of all ages, always having a waiting list of horses to break in, and no shortage of work at any time of the year.
She has worked with many horses of all breeds and all ages, including Kaimanawas, both domesticated and completely unhandled, with the focus being on getting each horse to progress in their training while staying calm and relaxed with what they are being asked to do.
As far as is possible for each individual horse, with their very different temperaments and abilities, the ultimate goal is always to turn them into a safe, reliable all-round horse that anyone can ride or handle.
While they do take a lot more time and patience than the average horse, her favourite ones to work with have always been untouched and unspoiled horses, because she finds it very rewarding watching them progress in their interactions with humans, and in most cases, transition to being safe, quiet, all-round horses, which is the goal she is now working towards with Tahi.