Bentley’s Training

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Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2021
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Fort Worth, Texas
The Making of an Endurance Driving Trail Horse

I have had Bentley (2yo, 34.25 inches tall) for 2 weeks now. I got him on March 14, 2023. When I first got him he hadn’t been handled much, lived with goats, walked circles around and constantly bit his previous owner. This thread will be about how I train Bentley. Any tips, help and ideas are ALWAYS welcomed!!

I plan to break Bentley to cart in December 2023. I will be posting weekly training pics/videos. Everything I am doing now will be getting him ready for his future career as an endurance driving trail horse.

Here is what we have been working on over the past 2 weeks:
short sessions, twice a day, most days)
*He no longer bites humans!! Well… he now asks if he can bit and of course my answer is NO! 🤣
*He walks and trots pretty nice, a work in progress
*Back and whoa, a work in progress
*He can stand still while I walk around him on each side
*Intro to lunging. Just a couple of circles each way, i don’t do too many circles since he is so young, just a couple to get him to move out
*We have been out in public, we visited Atwoods which gets him familiar with people and desensitizes him to all kinds of things
*He has been gelded
*I can load him in my van by myself!
*Yesterday began teaching turn on the forehand, a work in progress🤣.140542/
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I adore training journals. It's so rewarding to see how far you've come and a great reminder for when you're stuck and frustrated that training isn't progressing at a rate you feel it should. (Not you personally, just the general *you* term.) He's going to have a fantastic life with you. Congratulations again!
Bentley is a fast learner isn’t he? 🤩 His progress is a good indicator of how well your program is working!

I really like the variety of skills and the short sessions, they seem to meet the need to engage attention yet not exhaust him mentally - like us - short bursts of info and simple statements can go far! 😂

Your goal of endurance driving trail horse sounds amazing! 😍
I am impressed that you can walk around Bentley on the Stand. I cannot seem to get Billy to Stand while I walk around him. He will Stand if I am in front or to the side, but if I begin to walk around behind, he always circles to face me. Maybe I need someone to hold him while I walk around? Does he think Dapper Dan is behind him ready to nip?
Great training day today at Oakmont Park.
*saw his first biker today on trail, stayed calm
*really loud water fall - desensitize training for loud sound
*did not do that nervous trot that some horses do when they get anxious
*if he shyed away from something, we just took our time and became real familiar with that something, never bolted
*did good walking over bridges and metal things on the ground
*walked at a nice pace, not a nervous fast pace or a scared slow pace either
Overall a great day for his first time out on trail!

Additional things we have been working on:
*I can sweep around his feet and legs purposely having the broom touch him with no issues
*he currently FREAKS out when touched with fly spray, I should make a video of that 🤣🤣 such a chicken 🤣🤣… a work in progress
*went for a walk in the neighborhood for the first time yesterday, stayed calm when 3 Great Danes charged the fence we were walking next to
*he comes when called, he has a really sweet personality

This first video is of him standing next to the really loud water falls.

The second video is of me loading him into my van to go to the park.


Soon I will make a video of him standing while I walk around each side of him so stay tuned! 😍
Bentley must be in 7th heaven exploring and having adventures in your beautiful area! He is just taking things as they come isn’t he?

One question….aren’t you guys cold without a parka, hat, and gloves? 😂 I’m not sure my shorts will ever see daylight at this point!
Bentley’s previous family came for a visit and were so impressed that he no longer bites! I did tell the kiddos to NOT stick their fingers in his mouth though 🤣🤣

We meet up with my friend Julie and her horse Hollee at a TipTop riding club event where others competed in the obstacle course. We didn’t compete, we were just there for the experience of being out and around other horses. Bentley was so excited to be there, he kept screaming at everyone! 🤣🤣


A lovely family photo. I bet the kids especially were happy to see Bentley and know it is all good!

Love his pricked ears watching. You mentioned he was screaming? Maybe he was just sharing helpful tips from the sidelines. You know, like some people do at sporting events….RUN! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! GO LEFT, NOT RIGHT! ARRGH!!!!!!!!! 😂
Yay! Congratulations on the reunion. That's lovely and you must have felt very accomplished. He'll come around with the screaming, I'm sure, once he's more confident and focused. It seems that's very much a stallion thing to do so I'd expect him to settle more as the stallion behaviors stop. You're doing so much for him, he's going to be assured of good care and home for the rest of his life because of the experience and training you're providing him with. I applaud you!
Omg! It’s funny you say that @Marsha Cassada because at the end of the visit he had this worried look on his face and started walking towards me. I felt like he was saying, “I want to stay here, Please don’t make me go with them!” It was the strangest thing, but i felt like that was what he was trying to communicate to me at the time (I even told dear hubby that after they left).

And he isn’t going anywhere! I just LOVE him ♥️♥️
I took Bentley to Liz’s Play Day yesterday. He did fantastic! So brave doing the obstacles. He was the littlest horse there and everyone loved him. I made a video of all the horses and riders doing obstacles. This wasn’t a competition, the obstacles were just for practice. Great experience for Bentley, he is calming down nicely. He didn’t scream nor cheer for anyone this time 💕 What a fun day!



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