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View Full Version : Spinoff: How many times have you/your trainer come off the horse you are starting?



mpsbarnmanager
Nov. 7, 2010, 09:55 PM
I have been approched a few times by individuals wanting to know if I started babies (well, age appropriately, 3 y/o's). I have never done it, but I feel that I could if I had the opportunity, as I have taken very very green horses on up. Since I have more respect for the ground the older I get, and I am still young, I am wondering exactly how much dirt I may be eating if I did decide to try it. :winkgrin: I realize that if you take it at the horses pace, do your appropriate groundwork, dont skip steps and dont rush it, you should be ok in most cases. But... sh*t happens. So, trainers or ammies that have started babies, do you have an average number of incidents, or do you find that with most induividuals, it really isnt a big deal to the horse (which is of course the goal). TIA!

shawneeAcres
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:05 PM
When we start horses, we do so in a way that we don't allow that to happen. Nothing is worse for the confidence of a young horse than to have a rider fall off! If started correctly, it is a "non-issue"

CHT
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:06 PM
*knock wood* but I have never come off a horse that i have started from the beginning (never ridden before). Came off one retraining horse this year though (came due to a bucking issue).

Most important thing is to know how to read the horse, and to not over-react if things go awry.

Of course now I will likely be piled into the ground tomorrow....

Flash44
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:10 PM
.01% or less? It's hard to count...at what point does a "started horse" stop being a "started horse?" There are a very few that are chronically tough, and there are a very few instances where the rider comes off due to whatever is going on at that point in time. But 99.99% of the time you mount and dismount at the appointed time, if you are experienced and working through the process in a logical manner.

CBoylen
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:16 PM
Pretty much all of my falls off of the babies have been a result of the entire horse falling down. Actual starting issues are rare if you do things properly, but don't underestimate the coordination difficulties of the 3 year old ;).

mpsbarnmanager
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:16 PM
*knock wood*

Of course now I will likely be piled into the ground tomorrow....

Oh No! I hope not!! :)

War Admiral
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:17 PM
Pretty much all of my falls off of the babies have been a result of the entire horse falling down. Actual starting issues are rare if you do things properly, but don't underestimate the coordination difficulties of the 3 year old ;).

WORD!!! :yes:

Laurierace
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:17 PM
That would be a zero.

mpsbarnmanager
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:17 PM
Cool. Thats what I wanted to hear! Thanks everyone! :winkgrin:

EqTrainer
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:42 PM
Pretty much all of my falls off of the babies have been a result of the entire horse falling down. Actual starting issues are rare if you do things properly, but don't underestimate the coordination difficulties of the 3 year old ;).

Glad someone said this!

wanderlust
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:45 PM
Another zero here.

horsepoor
Nov. 7, 2010, 11:06 PM
I've observed my trainer start many youngsters over the years and I can only think of one that he came off of in those early rides. And that one was his own fault for being cocky (even he might admit to that) and doing too much too soon -- and he paid for it. Didn't help that the owner was there as well -- hard to get that image of your trainer looking like a floppy ragdoll out of your head.

Fairview Horse Center
Nov. 7, 2010, 11:47 PM
None of our youngsters has bucked or done anything to get a rider off. Rider falls off the youngsters have been rare, have always been after a few months under saddle, and are usually related to when they begin jumping - jumping huge, a big spook, or once when the herd of 25 (field around the arena) took off running when the trainer was 2 strides out from a little jump. That wheel and buck on landing was WAY too much to stick.

Youngsters only do crazy things if they are scared, so it is important to gain their confidence, and keep them relaxed and trusting. For the first mount, work with a handler you can trust. Lay across a few times. Treats are your friend. Following a trusted, older horse is great at first.

Once the initial backing is done, they need to learn to go forward. The biggest issues come if a horse is not in front of the leg, and begins to be balky. They understand whip from the ground work, so use the whip to tap from the saddle, and gradually teach them leg from use of the whip.

Steering is the hardest, as reins mean halt to them. At first, try to have space to not need much steering. If they get stuck in a corner, just reposition to face the right way, then go forward again.

One point of advice. "Buck" is very much like the canter gait, so make sure you introduce the canter pretty soon in your rides - even a few strides in each direction. Once they get confident, they think they know it all, and can make an issue of canter if it is new. Better to get some departs when the baby still has to concentrate on balancing the rider, as they are MUCH less inclined to add "extras". We introduce the canter just by asking for faster trot on the long side, slower on the short ends. Pretty soon they just calmly (accidentally) step into it. They fall back out of it a few strides later. Then you can add strides to that.

I have never had a youngster fall down.

hntrjmprpro45
Nov. 7, 2010, 11:55 PM
Almost never. I say almost because we did have one horse that was a bit if a challenge but my coming off was very much planned and I very much landed on my feet (you could say it was more of a fast dismount).

You just have to remember that when dealing with the babies you are more likely to sustain an injury on the ground than undersaddle.

fourmares
Nov. 8, 2010, 03:03 AM
Almost never... they usually wait until they are 4yo to try being naughty.

Equilibrium
Nov. 8, 2010, 03:30 AM
Yeah, another zero here. Honestly, it's not about the getting on, it's the groundwork that has been done before you get on. If you have done everything at the correct pace, there should be no bucking or falling off.

If you are really serious about starting young horses, then spend time with someone who is respected for doing so. Spend time working with someone who does so. Learn about why you lunge and learn why you drive. Most people leaving the driving out nowadays, but it really is both a skill and of importance to the horse. I've always done starting with a partner. And by this I mean a very skilled ground person - I actually wouldn't count myself as a skilled ground person. Then when I get on I know horses are both ready and happy for me to do so and they are confident in what is happening. Then it is my job not to screw that confidence up.

Terri

Treasmare2
Nov. 8, 2010, 07:30 AM
Done right it does not happen. Once had an "incident" of someone driving into the yard and freeing three kids and two dogs. Spin was very fast and I landed standing beside the horse wanting to order the strangers out of my yard. Otherwise the babies are more interested in trying to figure things out and are busy learning alot....I love doing babies but think with advancing age I may have done my last one.

BelladonnaLily
Nov. 8, 2010, 08:20 AM
No one, trainer or daughter, has come off of our 3yo. I'm sure it's bound to happen eventually, but honestly, we've found that the 3yo's that have been handled properly and are started properly don't really start testing until they've been under saddle awhile. Ours bucked once when under saddle for a few months, it was actually comical because he is a such a clutz (growthy warmblood). I don't let anyone on ours that is likely to be unseated over something silly.

Anyway, we strive to avoid unintentional dismounts for as long as possible :lol:

x
Nov. 8, 2010, 08:56 AM
I find it depends on the horse...when I was breaking horses for the public, I had some that were not a problem. Then I got the bad ones...the ones other trainers tried with and didn't get very far...some of those I came off of. When training for the public, I didn't pick and chose what I was starting; I took whatever came along. And the falls is one reason I no longer start horses for the public. I may still do an odd one here or there that I own, but then I've picked it out and it is going to have a decent temperament, and therefore be much less likely to dump me.

mpsbarnmanager
Nov. 8, 2010, 10:41 AM
Thanks for the great advice everyone, that's great to know. I totally agree about doing proper groundwork and gaining the trust beforehand. Thanks again! Love me some COTHers!

DMK
Nov. 8, 2010, 11:11 AM
LOL, well it does happen, although I can say with some confidence it has been about 95% pilot error. Pilot gets on, pilot is on a really great youngster who takes everything in stride, pilot starts to forget there really is a 3 year old inside that old packer body. Oh yes, baby is a handy compact little number who can turn into about 3" of horse in front of and behind your leg.

The two times I came off, in both cases there was a little voice on my shoulder saying "you know, that's not the brightest move you ever made" ... So when you hear that little voice, do yourself a bigger favor than I did: heed it! ;)

NancyM
Nov. 8, 2010, 11:48 AM
It will happen on occasion. It "shouldn't" happen, but it does. Because no matter how much preparation and ground work you do, there comes a point at which you are going to ask that horse to do something he has never experienced before, and though he may have given you every sign that he is going to accept that new step, when it actually happens, he can suddenly change his mind about that, and feel fear after all. And you can't always know when that is going to happen in advance. Good luck.

Fairview Horse Center
Nov. 8, 2010, 12:09 PM
there was a little voice on my shoulder saying "you know, that's not the brightest move you ever made" ... So when you hear that little voice, do yourself a bigger favor than I did: heed it! ;)

Yes, when my trainer was dumped after the jump, she heard that little voice as soon as the herd took off running and bucking. She didn't want to slam on the brakes before a jump, so just went with it, knowing trouble was coming. :eek:

Yup!

tamarak_equestrian
Nov. 8, 2010, 04:26 PM
Zero. My guy was amazing to back/break. His baby side comes out on the ground sometimes but under saddle he's always been a little pro.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Nov. 8, 2010, 05:21 PM
Well I suck, I guess. I am working with an 8 year old retrain project (only God knows how he was started--his last owner had a tie-down + the longest shank ever combo going) and came off last week during a series of bucks. Which really sucks because he is a bit herd bound and we had worked through most of it (I thought) and we were going off for a ride away from his buddies by ourselves (outside). The BO coincidently let the other horses into eat as I rode by (I should have turned around and gone back to the arena at that point--dumb). Anyway, suffice to say that when we got to the scary bridge which is next to the wooded shelter belt and the farm equipment burial ground, the horse dumped me. I blame myself, however. I thought I could ride him through it--wrong!

Ironically, a couple weeks before I sat (pure luck and having a shorter rein) the NASTIEST buck of my life riding a friend's hony out in the field. I asked for a correct canter depart--he was lazy. I asked again (this time with crop reinforcing leg) and he gave me the big FU buck. This horse has tons of pro training, tons of groundwork, but is inherently lazy and can be naughty.

So are you guys riding these babies and having no issues in the indoor or are you riding them outside through the fields. I seem to encounter issues out in the great wilderness and really haven't come off in the indoor (except jumping/learning to jump). Just curious.

my_doran
Nov. 8, 2010, 06:30 PM
im with shawneeacres,

if started well without/less training gaps it should be fine.but as stated by OP s##t happens,i don't set an average number of falls either....i actually train horses to stop when you fall off,or in my mares case9trained to well for it) she would actually stop when you were unbalanced and about to fall,so you really actually had to make sure you were a balanced rider up there.
starting horses is quite rewarding when things are going great training wise and get a good finished product.

Silk
Nov. 8, 2010, 06:40 PM
LOL!!! I must suck also:) I came off my 2 12 yr old Friday. Something spooked hima nd he spun fast. I had worked so hard to get him down the long, scary driveway and we finally did it. However, something in the woods rustled (musta been that pesky T-rex he is scared of) and he spun so fast he tipped me sideways. I stuck, but his velocity caused some saddle slippage. As he was bolting down the driveway, i was hanging on to his side...thnking "I am not going off...." I finally realized I was doing more harm than good and had a good chance of pulling baby over on me, so I let go. OUCH!! hit the ground at a gallop. I am too old for this.

I wonder if I would have stayed on if the saddle had not slipped.

Pony has NO withers and I have trouble keeping the saddle in place anyway:)

Fairview Horse Center
Nov. 8, 2010, 06:45 PM
So are you guys riding these babies and having no issues in the indoor or are you riding them outside through the fields. I seem to encounter issues out in the great wilderness and really haven't come off in the indoor (except jumping/learning to jump). Just curious.

We start them in a large ourdoor arena (150'x250') After 10-15 rides, we ride some in the field. Actually, with most, the trainer gets lazy and rides them TO the arena.

LookmaNohands
Nov. 8, 2010, 08:48 PM
I've never had a problem with bucking when starting a young horse.

I know Linda Tellington-Jones has had a "Starting the Young Horse Clinic" in WY every year for the past 20 years starting usually about 6 arabians that have had very limited handling. In all that time, only one horse ever bucked. All the horses are ground driven first. No round penning at all.

You just have to go slow and be smart about it and really read what the horse is telling you. The one horse that bucked got over it and eventually became one of their best horses.

Listen to what the horse is telling you!

Jellybean83
Nov. 8, 2010, 09:03 PM
I have a 4 yr old and 3 yr old (both full sisters by Westporte that I bred). I'm an amateur and did not back them myself but did the majority of the riding until they were old enough to do real work.

4 yr old - No one has ever fallen off this one. She has never been one to buck under saddle. When she's fresh she's spooky and trots fast.

3 yr old - This one is only at the WTC around on a loose rein stage. The one time trainer has ridden this one after she was initially backed, trainer fell off because she tripped lol. I have never fallen off (knock on wood). She is usually lazy but I will stick her on the lunge line to buck if she hasn't been ridden in a few days.

Neither of these fillies have ever been particularly naughty though aside from the regular baby stuff. I owned their mother for 10 yrs (got her as a 4 yr old) and the only time I ever fell off her was when I forgot to do up my girth, and she was quite round and the saddle slipped off. Oops!!!!

Hampton Bay
Nov. 8, 2010, 10:13 PM
Twice, but he had been under saddle off and on for a year by the first fall. The second was about a year after the first. Both times, he got a bit excited and bucked. He just didn't quite realize that his absurdly-athletic bucking would result in losing me, and he was fairly horrified after the fact. He's since then quit the bucking except for the occasional bunny hop at being asked to canter when he would rather not, but it's very minor and easy to sit.

He's really been a very easy horse to start. I bought him as a long yearling, and I knew just how athletic he was at the time. We always figured he would eventually do it under saddle, and that there was no way anyone could sit that, but he has such a good brain that he really doesn't want to dump his rider.

LoveJubal
Nov. 9, 2010, 01:28 AM
Pretty much all of my falls off of the babies have been a result of the entire horse falling down. Actual starting issues are rare if you do things properly, but don't underestimate the coordination difficulties of the 3 year old ;).

My greenie actually fell over while the trainer was getting on because he was too busy looking at what she was doing to realize he was turned completely sideways. He had the most stunned look when he fell over :) Other than that, she has had no other issues, but I must say she was quite cautious to make sure he was paying attention all the time after that little incident.