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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    14,157

    Talking Thank you for your enthusiasm for your work, but please enjoy your day off!

    So, I have a fun little dilemma with our 4 year old. Any ideas on how to convince him that he IS only 4 and doesn't NEED to work every day, as he would prefer??

    This guy has been SO much fun to bring along. He is so smart and so athletic and just loves to work and figure things out. He's cocky and thinks he's hot stuff (that may be partly our fault for telling him he's hot stuff all the time). Amazingly, when he overrides my authority, he doesn't necessarily make a mess of it, and when he does, he either gets us out of the trouble he caused or comes back and doesn't screw up the next time (definitely going to be a killer event horse).

    That's also the hard part about him. Unlike most of the babies in the past that have been perfectly fine with a few days a week, this guy gets PISSED if he gets a day off. He had Sunday off, which was ok, as we weren't around so he couldn't throw a temper tantrum about it. We also gave him yesterday off, looking ahead to the weekend and Difficult Run. He was NOT happy with us and spent the day throwing his halter and flysheet on the ground, trying to rip his bucket off the wall, and every time we'd come and give him a rub, he'd nip at us. He's a goofy guy with big personality (kinda a barn favorite), but this was a definite "I'M BOOOOOORRRRRRED!!!!!" reaction. I seriously believe he'd be more than happy to do something 7 days a week. BUT, I obviously don't want to spoil his enthusiasm by burning him out and/or making him sore.

    So, how to we keep him from tearing the barn down on his days off??



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2004
    Location
    Lexington KY
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    1,374

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    Ahh, poor thing! Maybe teach him something obnoxious, like 'bowing' for a carrot. He's so smart, you might have a circus horse in no time...



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2008
    Posts
    6,431

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    If you really think he has caliber, I would would ride him six days a week. But, since he is only four, I would make every other day a walking out on the trails day. Working walk, walk on a loose rein, walking up hills, walking downs hills, shoulder-in at the walk, shoulder-in going down the road to the left, shulder-in going down the road to the right, more walk on the loose rein and a light contact ... then trotting on a loose rein, hacking ....

    I would start trail work with him at one hour and then progress up to three hours or more.

    If you want a really good stamina foundation for your later work.
    Last edited by BaroquePony; Aug. 19, 2008 at 11:43 AM.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 2006
    Location
    North Central Florida
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    1,382



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2001
    Location
    Middleburg, FL
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    1,126

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    I agree... turn him out!!!!! if he is bored, make him live outside 24/7. Honestly, I am of the Ilk and have been for several years now that a happy horse is one that lives outside. They also get hurt less, are more focused, calm, and happy.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    14,157

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    Quote Originally Posted by BaroquePony View Post
    If you really think he has caliber, I would would ride him six days a week. But, since he is only four, I would make every other day a walking out on the trails day. Working walk, walk on a loose rein, walking up hills, walking downs hills, shoulder-in at the walk, shoulder-in going down the road to the left, shulder-in going down the road to the right, more walk on the loose rein ... then trotting on a loose rein, hacking ....

    I would start trail work with him at one hour and then progress up to three hours or more.

    If you want a really good stamina foundation for your later work.
    This is a very good idea, and doable. In fact, I nearly did this yesterday, just so he'd settle. And, because of our new location, we CAN go out and hack at length with lots of varied terrain, logs, creeks, etc. Might just do that.

    In an ideal world, he would go out more, however, our land owners do not want horses out all the time. They're right. The fields are good for 12ish hours, but not much more. So, he goes out with his pony pal in the evening and comes in in the morning. He's happy on his days he works.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2008
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    Turn-out will work and it will make him much safer and healthier if you don't want to actually ride him.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2005
    Location
    PA
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    14,468

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    I can't give my 4 year old much time off either....or he finds ways to hurt himself! I pony him on a walking trail ride off another horse one or two days a week. Still not much physical work for him...but it keeps him mentally stimulated.

    My guy only gets worked in the ring 3 maybe 4 days a week...and gets hacked out the other 3 days and often gets a short hack on the same day as he gets ring work. He's fine going out alone but happiest if he at least has a dog along for company.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2008
    Location
    Caifornia
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    182

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    Yeah I live on the West Coast and while it would be great if our horses could live out, you are lucky if you find a place that has decent turn-out let alone grass. So that being said, I would suggest something simple on his "days off" like ground work, for my boy that means walking down the barn isle, getting groomed, maybe have his main and tail pulled a little, and then he goes home, for him he feels like he has accomplished something that day, even though I know he really just sat around while he was groomed.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2008
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    Originally posted by yelowbritches:

    And, because of our new location, we CAN go out and hack at length with lots of varied terrain, logs, creeks, etc.
    Oh yeah, if you have this access at your new barn, I would take full advantage of it. Especially if you plan to event him.

    Walk, walk walk, working walk, and some trot over long distances until you are both pleasantly tired and very relaxed. Just hummin' right along.

    It'll give you the best foundation you can possibly get.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Location
    Nokesville, VA
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    35,829

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    Slightly OT, but your mention of DRHT made me go and check the entries, and I see that "the boss" is taking Mr. Brain.
    I won't be there- I am doing a TD apprenticeship on the other side of the continent- but I would love a "blow by blow" report.
    Thanks
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
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    Middleburg, VA
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    Janet, you'll be the first to know how it goes! He's been going BRILLIANTLY for the boss. I rode him the other day while the boss was away, and called him and said "He is DEFINITELY YOUR horse." He made me work my ass off! His owner finally rode him over the weekend...he's been home with us since APRIL! Oh well. Nice horse for the boss.

    bornfree- Vernon (the baby) is the one we like to pony FROM! When Paco was coming back in to work after his bizzarro lameness, it was Vernon who escorted him on his walks.

    I totally agree about lots of turn out, but we are on a compact little farm. The fact that we HAVE decent turn out AND access to 25 miles of trails is amazing, considering how close in we are. We knew coming into this place that we'd have to fiercely protective of our pastures if we wanted to keep them in the quality grazing we have. Vernon will have to "settle" for more hacks rather than more turn out.



  13. #13
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    Jan. 13, 2008
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    access to 25 miles of trails
    People would kill for this



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2006
    Posts
    350

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    I think some trail rides are a great idea. I also have an eager beaver...and she got a lot out of clicker-training. She would have loved to work 7 days a week (although heaven forbid that we spend more than 2 consectutive days in the dressage ring!!). she loved to just mess around and learn stupid little tricks. I taught her to bow, to ground tie, to fetch a jolly ball--when she blew her tendon and HAD to take time off-head down (a life-saver at shows!), and any number of other things, some silly, and some really useful. It was a good way to use up her brain, without using up her body (or taking 2 hours out of my day!)



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    8,999

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    Trail rides are great, but how about a stall toy for the long, boring days? We hung a plastic milk jug for my TB when we kept him in, and he would play with it for hours.



  16. #16

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    Flower was actually just like that.... she would 'plant' herself and refuse to be lead if I tried to put her out without doing some sort of work with her! Yeah, she was totally in control!!

    I ended up doing little bits of 'interesting', make you think kind of work on a lunge line on her days 'off'. Usually didn't have to spend much time, but had to something... I put her on a circle and had her trot over poles, or on a Parelli/Lyon's type rope and taught her to back up over poles. She accepted being taught to pick up her foot when I said "foot" (without touching her) as work, as long as we did it in the ring!

    She was just like that under saddle too - forget doing the same thing two days in a row!!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    Greenville, MI,
    Posts
    13,111

    Thumbs up TRail ride him

    and throw his but out for the day.
    I assume you are not competing him yet?
    But I would think if you are you have him out hacking alot in your work sessions?? IF you have the land that will be great for the both of you!
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." Caffeinated.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2004
    Location
    Laytonsville, MD
    Posts
    2,135

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    I just deal with it. When Harry was a baby, he was also a helion on his days off. At the barn where he was at we would keep them out weather permitting. On the first day of summer when we kept them in (under their fans) we came back that afternoon to find anything and everything the two babies could get their mouths on in the middle of the aisle! It was like a hurricane came through (only it was Hurricane Harry and Grantley! ).

    After a successful spring season for Harry I decided to give him 2 weeks off. 1 week completely off and 1 week of light hacking. My first ride back consisted of 20-meter bucking circles (not exactly light hacking!).

    But seriously, I just deal with it. I put a jolly ball in his stall, and that's about it. Part of growing up is learning to deal with days off. He was a baby and even if his mind objected to the days off, his body needed them.

    But that's just my opinion on the matter.
    Take Your Equestrian Business to the Next Level: http://www.mythiclanding.com/
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2001
    Location
    Middleburg, FL
    Posts
    1,126

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sightunseen View Post
    Yeah I live on the West Coast and while it would be great if our horses could live out, you are lucky if you find a place that has decent turn-out let alone grass. So that being said, I would suggest something simple on his "days off" like ground work, for my boy that means walking down the barn isle, getting groomed, maybe have his main and tail pulled a little, and then he goes home, for him he feels like he has accomplished something that day, even though I know he really just sat around while he was groomed.


    Who said you needed grass? my horses don't live on grass. While in a perfect world they would, I have two fields.. a sacrifice paddock (or "their stall") complete with run in and unlimted access to hay, and a grassed field I "turn them out in" each day (when it isn't raining and mucky).

    Here is the thing I think.. people say "oh, a field needs grass" thats BS. Does a horse have grass when stuck in a stall? nope.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2003
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    2,987

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    Yellowbritches, I'm not experienced with young horses, but I've heard a lot of people suggest riding for only 15-20 minutes once or twice a day every day on greenies like that. Just enough to keep them interested, without overloading their attention span or bodies.

    Wannabegifted, I think you're focusing too much on the grass part of her post. At a lot of barns in California, "turnout" is putting the horse in the round pen (or an area around that size) for no more than 1/2 hour, with the owner or designated person right there watching.
    Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.



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