From Fearful to Trusting

The Journey of Two Troubled Horses

Horses are my most important teachers – a good horseman is always learning from the horse. Malik and Shadow have been some of the best teachers I’ve been privileged to learn from.  To understand why, here’s a testimony from Desiree Bender, who rescued them from a tragic situation.

Shadow's rescue description

Shadow’s rescue description

In December 2010 I led an investigation into a cruelty case involving more than 116 horses. The horses were seized on December 9, 2010. Over the following four months a huge and amazing crew of people helped care for the large herd of horses. At the end of March 2011 96 of the horses were moved to a large pasture where I oversaw their care until August.

 Malik and Shadow were not able to be handled safely and we did much of everything by running them into enclosures rather than leading them or handling them. I was able to spend a great amount of time with these horses during their time at the pasture and fell in love with both of them. Shadow and Malik were terrified

Malik’s rescue description

and had zero faith in human beings. Whatever they had been put through in their previous life left them scared to death of human beings and if cornered they would fight for their life to get away. They would come within a foot of me but if I made the slightest move they were quickly gone. It broke my heart to think of what they might have gone through prior to their rescue.

I offer a special thanks to Sandy Grambort for calling on her friend, Dale Moulton for help with Malik. A couple of months later Dale and David took Malik’s brother, Shadow.

 These two men do not use bits, spurs or fear/pain based training. They are gentle with each and every horse and it shows in the trusting relationships they have with horses. I want to be just like them when I grow up.

The journey continues

Desiree Bender with Malik and Shadow at Gray Performance Horses

Malik and Shadow are continuing their journey of overcoming fears and learning to trust the human. They continue to be one of the best rewards in my horsemanship journey.






 If you have a problem horse or desire to have a trusting relationship with your horse, contact me to find out more about my no-pain training program.