Preview: Matt Gaines: Working the Flag and Mechanical Cow
Matt Gaines shows off a typical day in his arena as he trains a range of three and four year olds on the flag and focuses on different aspects according to where each horse is at. In the three-part series he uses the mechanical cow to slow down one horse, to get another horse to listen to his feet more, and to help a third focus on getting into position.
Matt uses the mechanical cow to slow down the horse. He talks about keeping the horse thinking. He also works a non-pro horse as he tunes him up for the Super Stakes where the horse will be competing in a week.
Matt is trying out a new horse. He obviously hasn't trained the horse so he focuses on helping the horse to get comfortable with what his feet are doing. Matt also flags a small futurity prospect. Here, he uses the flag to pull the horse through the turn and concentrates on the position of the horse.
Working a talented but hot-minded 3 year old on the flag, Matt reiterates the importance of letting the horse make mistakes and not criticizing them to help build confidence.