Training is a central part of the rehabilitation of these rescued horses

A
lmost every horse at Horse Protection Association of Florida requires training or retraining. Training is a central part of the rehabilitation for horses as many of the horses have been mishandled or physically abused. Some have never been handled at all and are feral, never having been haltered, lead or taught to accept routine and necessary care.

Lauren Barwick Horse Protection

Lauren Barwick Horse Development Director

Horse Protection’s Horse Development Director is Lauren Barwick, 4 Star Parelli Professional, Gold and Silver Medalist in Dressage at the Paralympics, and World Para Reining Champion. She and her husband Fabian Brandt work with Horse Protection horses at their farm in Reddick Florida, as well as at the Horse Protection facility in Micanopy.

Lauren observes that the horses at Horse Protection are waiting for their “purpose”. They have now been fed well, and are well taken care of, and loved on. But for them to have a “purpose” they have to have some training.

Through a training centric discipline based on Natural Horsemanship Lauren tailors each horse’s program. She bases this on their horsenality, their temperament, their body type, even on what is known of their past history. All to help the horses get a jump start on being able to thrive in their new forever homes by filling in the holes that the horses have in their training and interaction with people.

Lauren Barwick Olympics

Lauren Barwick Olympics

Lauren and her students help the horses learn to trust in people so that they can be adoptable. Some of the horses have suffered from poor handling and are fearful or dominant because of it. The untrusting ones have never had someone who cared for them, so they don’t think of people in terms of “that’s my person”. Others come in at a young age and are just waiting for someone to give them a purpose.

The unstarted and untouched horses have all this inherent potential, and when given training Lauren sees them all of a sudden blossom, “It’s kind of like a flower waiting to bloom.”

Lauren Barwick Para-Reining Champion

Lauren Barwick Para-Reining Champion

By giving each horse a purpose and tailoring their training to their specific aptitude, they are given a chance at not just being adopted, but of giving them a successful adoption that ends in a forever home. Taking into account nutritional factors, their history, previous riding experience the horses at Horse Protection are prepared by Lauren for English, Western, Trail, Dressage, Horsemanship, Obstacles activities. The Natural Horsemanship Program is the perfect foundation for helping each and every horse.

Additionally Lauren ensures that the horses are prepared for what comes when they are no longer at Horse Protection. They are ridden out on trails, up the road, trailered to indoor arenas. They encounter numerous obstacles at Lauren’s property including bridges, ramps, teeter-totters, hanging flapping noodles, pedestals, tires, water and more. And they are prepared to stand quietly for the farrier, and for the vet.

These horses have been hurt. My focus is to get them the right home and never let the horse get hurt again.
– Lauren Barwick