Birthday: September 1, 2016
Tiny was orphaned at 4 weeks old – he was probably separated from his mum during a round-up of horses going for meat. He was still in the meat trade when he was rescued by one of our frontline rescuers in Malaga. When she took him in, he was very small, hence the name ‘Tiny’. He was underweight and traumatised. His rescuer was fantastic and spent ten months hand-rearing Tiny and bringing him back to physical health.
This rescuer had also rescued Manuela from the meat trade and when we asked to take her on, she asked us to take Tiny too. She knew it was time for him to have specialist rehabilitation into a mixed herd. As with any hand-reared horse, Tiny also needed to learn clear boundaries of behaviour around humans too.
Firstly, we needed to leave him with the herd to learn how to properly interact with other horses. He had grown up without a mother and didn’t know how to read or respond properly to body language from other horses. He also had a very high play drive which could make it dangerous for him within the herd and for humans who were working with him.
When we did start working with him, we started training him using protective contact, which means from behind the fence. This way Tiny could choose when to interact with us and be able to have space to have any outbursts of juvenile behaviour without hurting anyone or himself. We would reward him for being calm and ignore any unwanted behaviour. Tiny was very keen to train and play games which helped him to improve his impulse control around humans and horses.
We then extended his protective contact training using Connection Training’s technique of ‘Around A Round Pen’. In this way we could teach him basic commands of walk on, halt, back-up, and polite leading while still being safe from his over-enthusiastic rears and strikes. Tiny is a resilient, sensitive and clever horse who is great at problem solving and he loves to connect with people. Teaching him in this way enabled him to learn to calm himself in order to get both the food rewards and the fun and companionship he loves. He is now a confident, safe young horse who is a joy to be around.
We have a potential adopter lined up for Tiny in Spring 2020. She is highly experienced in positive reinforcement horse training. She is offering him a fantastic new home with a small herd of geldings. We know he will love his new life, with lots of fun training and a herd of boys to play with.
In preparation for him going to his new home, we are working consistently on teaching him to load and travel happily. We will ensure we equip him with the skills he needs for stress-free travelling. More on this in the coming months….
Tiny made the journey to his forever home with Angelica Hesselius in June 2020.
We look forward to hearing updates from Angelica. We are so happy that Tiny found his special human and has a safe home for life.
Positive Horse Training Spain
Calle Cortijo del Amo, 3
Cacin, Spain 18129
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Photo Credits: Our photos come from a range of people but we would like to thank Ni Dhunn Imagery and Jacqueline Sheedy in particular for supplying so many of them.