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The Project:

One Mustang directly off the range

One trainer

No tools

Just body language


The Goal:

To discover how far Equestrian Art can be developed solely using body language.





What Kind Of Hurry Are We In?


Two weeks from now is the one year anniversary for Myrnah and me. The one year anniversary for a one year project is a monumental moment. As we bring this year to a close I find myself in consideration: Did I accomplish more or less than I thought I would? The answer is both I think. The project took on a life of its own and led me along a path I couldn’t have guessed at. On the one hand, I have been pushing all year long to prove how much could actually get done without any tools to force cooperation in the training process. On the other hand, every day the question arises between Myrnah and me: What kind of hurry are we in? Do we really need to progress any faster than we are? If we are always hurrying on to the next thing, what lesson did we miss out on in the moment we just left behind?


I think if I have learned any one thing from this year with Myrnah it has been: given the choice to hurry and push for progress, or wait for change to evolve in its own time while I attend the moments and smell the roses along the way… the latter choice is always the more satisfying.

The beauty of the mustang project with Myrnah has been the requirement to always show up. Rain, shine, cold, or heat, day in and day out, I have a commitment to a project. I have a blog to write each week, photographs to organize, video to capture and edit, and the ceaseless question: How much can I do in one year, training a wild mustang off the range, with no tools to pressure her into working with me?


The beauty of the mustang project has also been its limitations. Without any tools, I can only push so hard. I have been forced by the design of the project to wait for change to evolve in its own time while I attend the moments and smell the roses along the way.


I have pushed and hurried Myrnah as hard and fast as I could to learn and progress. Given the limitations of the project, that wasn’t very hard or very fast. Overall I would say I am thrilled with the balance that has been struck between rushing ahead and enjoying the slow unfolding of the moments.

At the start of the project I wasn’t sure if Myrnah would ever let me ride her. She did let me ride her, and so much more.


I dreamed that perhaps at the end of a year we might be able to ride a dressage test, or jump a jump course, or take a trail ride, or ride with other people, or trailer to a strange location and work together in unfamiliar territory. Each one of those things Myrnah has done a little of, for and with me. Perhaps not to the completeness I envisioned, but really, what kind of hurry are we in?


Within a year this wild mustang mare has learned to follow me and carry me. She has offered to walk, trot, and canter with me on her back. She has started offering the precision of dressage with turns and changes of speed on a mark. She has learned to jump a small jump with enthusiasm. She has walked out on long trails with me, and carried me on short trails. She has carried me in group ride situations. She has even traveled in the trailer to work with me in a strange location. All of those things have been successful, and while I will always want more… what kind of hurry are we in?


Everyone asks: What next?


My answer is: More of the same, with less of the hurry.

Myrnah and I will continue to work without tools to train. I will continue to blog about it each week. Only now that our first year has proven what it set out to prove, we will push less, hurry less, and settle back to enjoy the evolution of the process.


In the coming year I will add the use of a halter for safety situations. Anywhere cars create a hazard, Myrnah and I will add a halter to our connection- a safety net allowing me to know without a doubt I can keep her out of harm’s way.


We will also add a saddle to the equation. As we add time and distance to our riding practice, a saddle will keep it comfortable for both of us, distributing my weight across Myrnah’s back on a broader surface than my two seat bones.


Other than that, all will continue along the same lines.


Myrnah has taught me so much in the last year, I can’t wait to see what she brings to my attention in the year to come.


I can’t wait, and yet, really…. What kind of hurry are we in? The more I sit back and enjoy the evolution of each moment, the more satisfied I am on the whole.


Elsa Sinclair


  1. lovely elsa…just very thoughtful and lovely! shelle

  2. congratulations. it has been nice following your journey. I look forward to seeing what happens next.

  3. Amazing and beautiful , I love reading this each week . Thank you for the journey.

  4. It’s been such a pleasure sharing your journey with you. Thank you so much. I’m glad there is more to look forward to.

  5. lovely… I’ve learned so much just from reading this blog. great You and Myrnah are enjoying this journey.

  6. I’m glad you will keep on blogging weekly about your progress with Myrnah, Elsa! The halter and saddle won’t really change what you are doing, they will just make it safer and more comfortable. Sounds like a good choice to me :-).

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