The Natural Horseman – Spring Came Early

By Steve Stevens

Wow, for the most part, the weather has been amazing lately. It was weird having spring-like weather in early March, but we are grateful for it. Other than the five days of straight rain a couple of weeks ago, it has been pretty nice and when you are a horse trainer by trade without an indoor arena, nice weather is always appreciated. We have been trying to get caught up this week.

Amanda has pretty much recovered from her first reconstruction surgery. We were excited about her doing the surgery because it is the final step after beating breast cancer, but the surgery was a little tougher than we thought. She also got a severe blood clot about a week after her surgery, which really set us back. So I was training horses, taking care of the kids and doing my best to take care of my wife.

What we do for a living—working primarily with colts and problem horses can be hard enough when everything is perfect, but when you throw in all of the above it can be quite trying. That is why, when working with the horses when I am tired, stressed, and my mind is on everything else, it is so important for me to focus. I need to make sure I am as connected as I can get with the horses. It is often just that one movement that can be the difference between a broken foot or having a horse jump out from underneath you.

When I am distracted I really try to go back to the basics and work on simpler things. I have been working a really nice Hancock bred red roan colt named Ty. He is really smart, but you have to earn everything with him. He doesn’t give you anything for free and with a horse like this, it is a necessity to really stay ahead of him, meaning seeing things before they happen and helping him through the training process. He has been a great teacher for me going through all this adversity because when I am fully with him mentally we get a lot accomplished and when I am not, he can be a handful.

Steve and Ty. (Photo by Amanda Stevens)
Steve and Ty. (Photo by Amanda Stevens)

Now that Amanda is feeling better, it will be easier to focus on the task at hand which is teaching and building relationships with the horses.

Steve riding Ty. (Photo by Amanda Stevens)
Steve riding Ty. (Photo by Amanda Stevens)