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Starting the connemara

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  • Starting the connemara

    Any stories on starting the connemara versus starting the TB or the warmblood? Any trainer in N.Va that is particularly good with them? I have a coming 4 y.o, 1/2 connemara, 1/4 hanoverian, 1/4 TB that everyone tells me has a classic connemara mare personality in a 16H package.
    "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

    "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

  • #2
    Carol Kozlowski comes to mind as she rode Erin Go Bragh if I am remembering correctly and I believe I have seen her on other Connemaras. You could also ask the folks at http://www.cadyodalyfarm.net/ if they have someone they like.
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

    Comment


    • #3
      welcome to the world of connemaras.

      the best words of wisdom i can offer you are: it's not so much a game of training, but rather outsmarting them. these ponies are wicked intelligent!

      Can't wait to see your pony out and about (i'm in MD, so not too far away!).
      Courtney Sendak
      www.defyinggravityeventing.com

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by WakeRider View Post
        welcome to the world of connemaras.

        the best words of wisdom i can offer you are: it's not so much a game of training, but rather outsmarting them. these ponies are wicked intelligent!

        Can't wait to see your pony out and about (i'm in MD, so not too far away!).
        I looked at your website. Love the pics.
        "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

        "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Stacie View Post
          I looked at your website. Love the pics.
          thanks! Have you registered with ACPS (american connemara pony society)? It's a great way to share Connemara stories and gain some insight on the breed.
          Courtney Sendak
          www.defyinggravityeventing.com

          Comment


          • #6
            I've started several connemara crosses. Love the breed! Smart guys that try really hard. The ones I've worked with have all been great jumpers, very catty! I didn't find them any different to start than the warmbloods or TB's
            www.topnotcheventing.com

            Comment


            • #7
              I second the outsmarting. Sometimes it also comes down to negotiating! The ponies I've been riding know that they will get their gallops/fun stuff if they show me good work first. Then we get the crazy gallops all over the fields!

              Very, very smart ponies though. Good lord!
              Forward momentum!

              Comment


              • #8
                I've only started one Connemara (a 3 yo purebred gelding of Balmullo breeding), but found him to be very similar to the Irish Draughts I've started.

                The following seems to apply to Irish horses and ponies almost more than other youngsters:

                1) Don't forget you are always training them even if you aren't intentionally training them. It is easy to teach something accidentally that becomes a problem in another context.

                2) Compliance is not training. My Connie gelding was so laid back and if I didn't have experience with IDs already it might have been easy to get lulled into the belief that he was further along in his training than he was just because he was so darn compliant. Occasionally this will catch you out because like #1 above, you will find yourself in a different context (asking them to do something when they are feeling less compliant) and find out that maybe they don't understand the task afterall. By the same token, it is easy to rush them when they are this easy - so you have to be careful not to overface them.

                Overall, be very intentional and mindful when you are handling them. Same as any other young horse really but I do think Irish horses and ponies tend to be natural leaders and so if you fail to step into that role they have no inhibitions about taking on the leadership role themselves - and maybe not in a way that you expect or want them to.

                All that said, Connemaras are cheeky, athletic, smart, hardy, and a world of fun! I love them and if I had more space I'd have a field full of them.

                Good luck!
                Liz
                Ainninn House Stud
                Irish Draughts and Connemaras
                Co. Westmeath, Ireland

                Comment


                • #9
                  With connemaras and halfbreds, I agree that because they usually agree to go along, you can think they are farther along than they are and end up over-facing them......it can be easy to push them up the ranks faster than needed. They are a lot of fun though!
                  Beth Davidson
                  Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
                  http://blackdogconnemara.com
                  visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You might want to get in touch with Eliza Farren. She's in Massachusetts; she specializes in training Connemaras and Connemara crosses primarily as eventers, and may have some useful information for you. Her website is www.elizafarren.com. My daughter rode one of her crosses for her first years of eventing - he was a great teacher, and last year at 20+ was one of the top BN horses in the country.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Easy, easy, easy,

                      I've started several pure and part breds and the only thing (in my experience) they will do the first time you back them is walk backward looking for you and your voice! They are quick learners and the thing to be most careful of is that you can teach them the wrong thing as easily as the right thing.

                      Good luck and most of all, HAVE FUN doing it!
                      HiddenCreekHorses
                      http://www.hiddencreekhorses.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Having only re-started my Conn/TB mare, I will echo what other posters said about being smart- REALLY smart. This seems like a great thing, unless they have a bad experience or learn something you don't want them to. It can be hard for them to forget. They don't like being TOLD what to do, but ask nicely and make sure they understand and they will do anything you want. My mare came to me extremely spoiled/shut down. She had gotten her previous owner's number and would throw a temper tantrum whenever she didn't feel like doing something. When they got mad at her and treated her roughly, she would shut down mentally. It took years to undo the damage but she is a FANTASTIC horse now. You are getting a clean slate- good luck!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've started a few and may have one coming in if the snow ever melts. Ditto what has been said about their intelligence and laid-backness.

                          They also seem to have an acute sense of justice! One of the youngsters I started who lived several states away shut down on his next "trainer." I went to the farm to troubleshoot- the "trainer" was mister macho man and had decided he was going to MAKE the pony more respectful. All he achieved was obstinence and misery. They don't seem to mind if you have to get strong to make a point as long as it's logical and fair.

                          I found that by being consistent and progressive (moving forward by logical baby steps), they come along as if they're already old hats. Building a good foundation means not leaving out any pieces, regardless of how compliant the horse may be, so I can't speak to the comment about getting into a pickle due to skipping steps early on.

                          Have a blast, it's an awesome breed!
                          Real Horses. Real Riders. Real Results! www.wvhorsetrainer.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HCH View Post
                            I've started several pure and part breds and the only thing (in my experience) they will do the first time you back them is walk backward looking for you and your voice! They are quick learners and the thing to be most careful of is that you can teach them the wrong thing as easily as the right thing.

                            Good luck and most of all, HAVE FUN doing it!
                            My 1/2 bred did that!! I was so funny. I got one his back and he started backing up, which initially scared me, but then I realized he was looking for me. Then when he saw me in the mirror it was REALLY funny! He couldn't quite figure that one out!

                            Overall, Connemara's are really easy. They are WAY TO INTELLIGENT, but they are very willing. Mine is a bit stubborn, but I attribute that to the QH 1/2.

                            Good Luck!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              agree!

                              d. The ones I've worked with have all been great jumpers, very catty! I didn't find them any different to start than the warmbloods or TB's; hey're all individuals witheir own personal likes and disikes; they do seem to enjoy being challenged mentally, learning exercises/ obstacles ; varied terrain; going out in groups , changing places, etc. foxhunting is lots of fun! __________________
                              breeder of Mercury!

                              remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                the Wadlows at Mountain Fields

                                Mountain fields farm in the plains, va. Vicky and Clark Wadlow have a woman who, has had YEARS of experience; if you can't find their number from the ACPS, try directory assistance,, 540 area code.
                                breeder of Mercury!

                                remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Carol Ames View Post
                                  Mountain fields farm in the plains, va. Vicky and Clark Wadlow have a woman who, has had YEARS of experience; if you can't find their number from the ACPS, try directory assistance,, 540 area code.
                                  Do you mean their daughter, Anne Wadlow?
                                  Forward momentum!

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Carol Ames View Post
                                    Mountain fields farm in the plains, va. Vicky and Clark Wadlow have a woman who, has had YEARS of experience; if you can't find their number from the ACPS, try directory assistance,, 540 area code.
                                    Thanks for the reference, Carol.

                                    And thanks to everyone else for their observations. Now that the snow is melting, I'm getting excited about getting back out there with her and doing some long lining
                                    "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                                    "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

                                    Comment

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