In this episode (recorded in July 2020) editor, Kate McLaughlin chats with Guy Robertson about horsemanship, mustang training, cow clinics and much more!
[00:00:00] Kate: Guy Robertson of Robertson horsemanship. He's here with us this evening to chat about the Mustang, make over his clinics and lessons and what he's been up to really, and what the future holds. Guy really lovely to see you and speak to you this evening. How are you?
[00:00:15] Guy: Yeah, I'm good. Yeah. Speak to you guys too.
It's it's nice to speak to anyone outside the sort of family really
been good. Yeah. I mean, if you take out the sort of, you know, the people dying in the financial toll on everyone, I think that's been quite a lot. That's been Positive, you know like we've spent more time together as a family. I've not been travelling as much. I've been able to ride and just concentrate on doing that.
For us, it's been just an opportunity to really spend some time at home, you know, doing some projects at home that we've put our new indoor arena and things in, and we're just upgrading our facilities just so that, you know, when we are ready to open up for our clinics. And so [00:01:00] on that you know, we were ready and the, you know, to be able to welcome people back.
[00:01:07] Kate: Obviously it's giving you a chance to go and collect your new Mustang Mustang maker for this year.
[00:01:14] Guy: Yeah, yeah. That's that was exciting going across there. They flew him into Belgium in the end. They were supposed to arrive a month earlier, but with the, obviously the restrictions on travel and freight travel and things, they, they were a month late getting.
So we went, drove over to Belgium, collected him and brought him back. And he's been fantastic actually. I mean, I did it last year and the horse I got last year was very tricky. She's, you know, really hardheaded about stuff and it took a while to sort of get, get to grips with her. Really. She taught me a lot.
You know, horsemanship and you know, how I was presenting myself and things, and it was
[00:01:51] Kate: feral instinct for one of the best descriptions. And also, do you think it's the difference between that because obviously you still have the Mustang lit [00:02:00] you had last year Do you think it's a mare and gelding thing as well?
[00:02:05] Guy: Yeah, I do definitely agree with that. I mean, I can't remember exactly how it figured out what the placings were, but I know that at least three or four of the top five last year were geldings. I think the is definitely are a little tougher. Gelding tends to be a little bit more biddable, generally speaking across the board with horses, you know like they tend to be just a little bit easier.
They're not entire animals, which I think, you know, takes away that hormonal influence on their behaviour. And she was just, she was just tough. I mean, I've got now and she's pretty good, but even still she's, she doesn't really like anyone else touching her you know like if I'm riding her, she won't tolerate anyone coming up to me whilst I'm riding her adult.
She'll sort of back away from them. But with me, you know, I can do pretty much anything with her. So she is just a strange one, right. Whereas this gelding, everyone touched her, my daughter, she's just six years old and, he'll stand there all day and stroke his [00:03:00] face and things. And you know, that's just after a relatively short period of time.
And they're all different, you know? They're all different. Every horse is different.
[00:03:08] Kate: So where, how far along were they in your the program being started or where's he at
[00:03:15] Guy: Four weeks and we've got pretty whole broke now. And I've sat on him a couple of times and ridden him a little bit in our indoor round pen.
And so far so good, you know, like he's a little touchy about certain things, but he's, he's really accepting of it. He's, he's trying his best to sort of getting along. And I haven't had any setbacks or anything like that. I think I learned a lot from last year about you know, how much pressure to put on them when to back off, when to keep going.
You know, and I learned, I learned from that I had a bit more of a game plan going in this year. Cause it's different obviously, you know, like if you're keeping the horse, you, you might use a different situation than if you've got a set period of time and you've got to get that horse so far along in that set period of time.
So is a real skill, I think, to sort of. [00:04:00] Make sure you, you know, you can't just work, work them for that length of time. You've got to know when to load up with some work when to back off when to sort of try and peak them. If you see what I mean. And that's last years’ experience has given me some something for them.
You know, something to help me this time rather. So yeah, we're doing all right. As I said, I've ridden him and I'm, I'm happy. We've got that done now. And there's nothing that I've shown him that he couldn't do. So Pretty positive about how we'll get on
[00:04:27] Kate: briefly mentioned last time, Magic was quite a unique experience for you.
You know, as you said, it's not, it's not an often an opportunity to work with such an untouched horse it's obviously you law, how is that translating in being a teacher of humans, you know, Do you feel the experiences kind of giving you another level as a whole, you then translate onto your students?
[00:04:48] Guy: To a degree maybe? I think I think being able to apply some of those techniques, some of the experiences are hard in terms of things [00:05:00] like. You know how much work to do, how much to push, you know, when to take, take the pressure off you know, how to break things down a lot further. That's one thing I sort of got with magic.
He was a 2019 Mustang. She, she needed things breaking down for her a lot more and then bridging those things together. And I think when you're teaching, that is one of, is a real skill is to be able to break the skill down and, you know, into his, into his small details, find out what, which part of that the person has a problem with and then put it all back together again.
You know, just like a golf swing coach or something, looking at that swing, seeing where the issues are. Correcting it in its different parts and then putting it back together again and, and certainly You know, I, I, that's one thing I learned from her and it's something I'll try, I try and take into my teaching.
And the other thing I think I learned from her as well as it's not to try and push things to force things, you know, either, [00:06:00] so have an idea of where I wanted to be or what I wanted to be doing. And I was trying to get her to that point rather than necessarily working from where she was at taking what she was offering and then just trying to improve that and not something that I think I've.
Encourage people to do is, is almost to keep like a training diary. So every time you ride your horse or do some training, write down what you did, and then it helps you to see the progress because sometimes the thing. You know, when you're trying to get somewhere you can't really see the progress, cause your goal is maybe to ride the horse.
And because you're not riding it, you feel like you're failing, except that there are probably loads of things that improve. And every time you're around that horse, that's leading you to that ultimate goal. And I think when I'm teaching people, I try and stress that you know, like if you can just improve a little bit each day if you can just be 5% better than you were yesterday, that you will eventually get to where you're trying to go.
But if you, if you [00:07:00] try and to all in one day or you try and force it, then. It's not going to happen. And that's another thing that I rarely lucky something I knew, but it was something that was really sort of driven home to me. You know, throughout last years competition is something that I'm certainly holding in the forefront of my mind this year, in terms of just thinking, right.
I'm just going to try and be a bit better than I was yesterday and tomorrow be a bit better again. And then we'll, we'll get where we want to go, rather than trying to force the situation.