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Starting a horse and making mistakes

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Originally posted by Manni01 View Post
    I restarted a mare several years ago, who had 30 days of training as a 3 year old and then she had 5 foals..

    . But I do know how to start horses!! I started many.

    I simply started to lunge her 2 days without saddle, then I put the saddle on her and lunged her and a couple of days later I put side reins on her. That was really the only problem.. After she accepted the side reins, I asked my husband (he is an experienced horse person) to help me. I laid over her, he led me around and then I sat on her. he lunged me two rounds and then let me go.... It was pretty uneventfull...

    but out if you are not confident, the horse will sense it and take advantage...


    Thank you! This is about the plan I was going to take! We've been doing ground work and lunging with a bit in. The line is attached to the halter but this way he's used to moving freely with something in his mouth. This weekend I was going to start with side reins and progress from there

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by impressive_gunner92 View Post

      Thank you! This is about the plan I was going to take! We've been doing ground work and lunging with a bit in. The line is attached to the halter but this way he's used to moving freely with something in his mouth. This weekend I was going to start with side reins and progress from there
      In order to attach side reins you need something to attach them too. First you want to introduce that. I don't work with young horses but my barn is a sales and breaking barn. I spend hours a day with people who work with younge horses. After they are confident on the lunge they put an elastic surcingle on them and lunge them like that until comfortable then a lunging surcingle then eventually a saddle. Our barn doesn't use side reins anywhere near this stage. Before side reins they will ground drive and double lunge the horses so they're used to feeling contact on their mouth.

      Comment


      • #23
        First, find yourself a good basic training book. I know the internet is the "thing" these days, but an actual book is something you can feel and hold, read anytime, anywhere, make notes in it, etc. This is just an example (I have many books by Cherry Hill, so maybe I'm a bit partial to her, but this is simply an idea) Making, Not Breaking - the First Year Under Saddle . Find one you like, that reads/has images that click with you specifically. Spend a couple of hours at a good local book store going through books to find the best one for you. Then read it - several times.

        Second, find a mentor at your barn or in your horse community. Someone you are comfortable with and could bounce things off of as needed. Preferably someone who's been there, done that. Now don't abuse their kindness to assist you on occasion! Offer to clean their tack or give a gift of horse treats or some small gesture for their trouble. Doesn't have to be a trainer/coach. There are many horsepeople out there that are more than happy to share their knowledge or experience with others, without being paid. Just approach it like "I really respect your riding ability and experience with horses and was wondering if I might pick your brain from time to time as I'm working with a very green horse and would really value your input." Something like that. If it weren't for people like this, I wouldn't be typing on this forum right now!

        Third, really get to know this horse. It can't be all about work. Instead of lunging every time, one or two days a week, make it fun for both of you. Just take a really long walk with him, feed him an apple or carrots, let him graze. Talk to him. Do an extended grooming session or hang out with him watching other riders riding. Find his favorite scratch spot. Really get to know him. A strong bond will make the work days much easier!

        Forth, realize we all make mistakes. Every.Single.One.Of.Us. As long as you **learn** from them, don't repeat them, and the horse is no worse for wear, that is what is most important. And you've got to shake the worry/fear of failure - because this horse is going to pick up on that. His confidence is bolstered by yours. If you're fearful all the time, then this is not going to work out well! So, read, read, read, and read some more, rely on your past experiences, ask for help when you need it - including posting here when you get stuck. And if you really get in over your head, by all means, raise your hand! Is putting the bridle on too quickly/harshly ONCE going to ruin this horse? Nope. You seem to have some common sense to me, and that is important. And you're probably going to have to back up and punt more than once with this horse, based on his history. Just be ready for that (and its not a failure if you do). So as already mentioned, go sssllloooowwww. Earn his trust and respect.

        Lastly, have fun and enjoy the process. If it ceases to be fun, stop. Realize you will learn as much from this horse as he's going to learn from you. It's like you're both going to school. Read, study, practice, and if you fail a pop quiz, go back to step one. And if it gets dicey/dangerous/goes off the rails - speak up. There is no shame is not being able to finish something you started with this horse. Not every horse/rider pair is meant to be. I wish you luck.

        (PS - and if by some wild coincidence you're in my area, PM me. I'm in Middle TN)
        ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by impressive_gunner92 View Post
          Before anyone says anything about a professional/trainer I'm not in the position to make that happen right now
          It's not that I'm unwilling to seek help from a professional, I'm just currently in a financial status that won't allow that to happen.
          This pisses me off ennndlessly...

          I don't understand why you would take this on knowing from **literally day one** that you are not in a position to get adequate training and help. Oh sure, let's take on a horse knowing full well that the second I need help (in T-2 seconds, apparently) I won't be able to get it! Lalala, factor actual *training* into the budget? Mais non, the "training budget" consists of a lick and a prayer and singing kumbaya!

          Guess what, if you can't afford the appropriate training interactions you can't afford the horse.

          This goes for everyone!! I wish the entire freakin' horse world would get this through their heads.
          The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
          Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
          Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
          The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

          Comment


          • #25
            Could you ask the horse's owner to pay for some professional support for you and the horse at the beginning, to get things started correctly? Or, if you are actually paying cash under terms of the "lease," perhaps a break on the price for the first (say) three months, to allow you to get help for yourself?

            I would think the owner has as much motivation to see the horse properly handled/trained as you do.

            There are lots of good videos these days. Schiller's program is uniformly well-reviewed here. Videos can't replace hands-on, eyes-on help but can give you useful ideas.

            Comment


            • #26
              If I am dealing with a horse that has only been "green broke" or lightly started I will start from the top with the basics. Especially if they've had time off. I think that this is a better method and is less likely to over face the horse. I rather assume they they know nothing rather then something. Then you can discover holes along the way and address as needed. Re-establishing basics may also help the horses confidence as well as yours.

              Comment


              • #27
                OP I don't think this horse is a good fit for you. You NEED lessons. I would end the lease. Even if this was your own horse I still wouldn't think it's a good fit. This not being your horse makes it an even worse idea.

                I am wondering if you have perhaps gave the wrong impression about your skills to the owner. Riding green horses vs. riding them well are two different things. Starting horses is a whole different ball of wax.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  Originally posted by bluepece2 View Post

                  In order to attach side reins you need something to attach them too. First you want to introduce that. I don't work with young horses but my barn is a sales and breaking barn. I spend hours a day with people who work with younge horses. After they are confident on the lunge they put an elastic surcingle on them and lunge them like that until comfortable then a lunging surcingle then eventually a saddle. Our barn doesn't use side reins anywhere near this stage. Before side reins they will ground drive and double lunge the horses so they're used to feeling contact on their mouth.
                  Okay thank you! His owner said that he's been lunged in a surcingle before/recently but I should definitely take it slow

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Couple of things:

                    I'm going to agree that it sounds like you probably don't yet have the skill/knowledge to be (re?) starting a very green horse. Particularly an older one. Having said that, i don't know you or the horse so if you are a very skilled rider and the horse has a good mind, you might do a great job and really enjoy the process.

                    ??????I second the recommendation for Cherry Hill's Making, Not Breaking. Also, her 101 exercise books are good. You might also want to read Karen Pryor's book Don't Shoot the Dog. It's a clicker training book so probably not directly helpful for your goals but it has a lot of good info about how animals learn. If you're into NH, a lot of people like Buck Brannaman or Tom Dorrance.

                    But to get to your question about if it's normal to make "mistakes" as a trainer, the answer is arguably yes. But most good trainers that I know will see what you describe as a "mistake" to be instead a discovery. Or even better, a "training opportunity." (As ini "Well hey, he doesn't know how to accept a bridle. So I'm going to adjust my training plan to work on perfecting that.") Ideally, skilled trainers can teach a horse without pushing the horse past it's limit but in reality, you need to put a certain degree of pressure on the horse and sometimes the horse will react unexpectedly, even for good trainers. It is literally the nature of the beast.

                    It would be best if you started this horse as if he knew absolutely nothing. Finding out what he does know will be fun but finding the holes in his training won't come as a surprise. Work systematically but be flexible. And be safe! Good luck if you decide to go forward with this.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      One more thing to add to my very long post:

                      A horse's training is rarely significantly affected by a single event (unless the horse is physically hurt.) Horse do take cues from their handlers so as long as you maintain your composure, having a horse react once in a way other than you wanted/expected generally isn't a big deal as long as no one is hurt. Just deal with the reaction in a safe, matter-of-fact manner, then step back and reevaluate how you're going to approach the task.

                      Horses are more likely to remember mishaps if the people involved get excited. Stay calm! If you treat it as a non-event, the horse probably won't even remember. (But keep in mind that if you try the same thing the same way next time, you're likely to get the same result. Adjust and address holes in the training as needed!)

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by impressive_gunner92 View Post
                        Hi all. I'm having a dilemma and needed to get some advice from people that know some stuff or just have some words of encouragement.

                        Last night I finalized the lease on my new show project. He's gorgeous, huge, and a very fast learner. His owner wants me to have a fun time with him (as my show mare had to retire because of navicular) and she doesn't care what I do with him or what type of shows we do. She had hip and knee surgery and can barely work with him anymore. It's a wonderful situation but I'm already facing problems

                        I've had lots of experience with green horses, but he's the first horse I've ever truly started on my own. He had some days put on him 7 years ago. I'm not worried about the training, I'm worried about the mistakes I've already made.

                        I bridled him too quickly last night (just head stall and bit for lunging) and he got nervous. I corrected the problem but it still was upsetting for me.

                        Is it normal to make mistakes as a "trainer?" Am I going to ruin this horse before he even gets a start?

                        Before anyone says anything about a professional/trainer I'm not in the position to make that happen right now
                        The short answer on mistakes is "yes." The short answer on "ruin" is "maybe." Anybody who tells you that they've never made a mistake with a youngster is a complete and total liar!!!

                        Starting youngsters is, IMO, a specialized business and not everyone can do it. My temperament and age mean that it's certainly not for me! That means I have to plan to have the work done. I'm lucky in that there's a pretty good guy not farm from me who is reasonable and competent as a colt starter. You don't have a "youngster" in years but you DO have one in terms of experience. And pretty mature, I would guess. That's good news and bad news. The good news is that older horses are more "worldly" and generally less skittish. The bad news is that they already have some habits formed that might be problematical.

                        This is a lease horse. This means, economically, that every dollar and hour you spend will ultimately accrue to the benefit of the owner. The benefit you get is the use of a good horse as a project to build your own skill level. That is not a small thing. But if you lack the skills necessary then you're cheating yourself, the owner, and the horse if you go on without addressing your own areas of deficiency. So, identify where you are weak and fix it.

                        G.
                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Is the owner more knowledgeable? Can she watch/ advise you from a distance? Do you have someone around who is physically able to help you as a ground person? Someone who can at least call 911? You really need someone around, and ideally someone experienced with breaking horses who can lead you around under saddle the first few times.

                          I agree that you need to start over, from the very beginning, and go super slow. Even if it's slower than necessary, you don't have the experience to make judgement calls. Spend a couple of days just re-introducing the tack (and go really slow putting the girth on and keep it loose at first), then go for walks in hand with tack for a few days, then lunge for a week before you even think about getting on, then start by just laying across his back, then sitting on him, then having someone lead you/ walk next to you. Unless you're very experienced, both with lungeing and side reins, I wouldn't use them. If the horse gets panicky in them things can go really wrong really quickly.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post



                            This pisses me off ennndlessly...

                            I don't understand why you would take this on knowing from **literally day one** that you are not in a position to get adequate training and help. Oh sure, let's take on a horse knowing full well that the second I need help (in T-2 seconds, apparently) I won't be able to get it! Lalala, factor actual *training* into the budget? Mais non, the "training budget" consists of a lick and a prayer and singing kumbaya!

                            Guess what, if you can't afford the appropriate training interactions you can't afford the horse.

                            This goes for everyone!! I wish the entire freakin' horse world would get this through their heads.
                            I agree with you in some regards, this was a snap decision that I made in a fever of excitement

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I guess I'll dissent from the general opinion.

                              If you have high hopes for top-level showing, you need a trainer. If you need this horse broke in 30 days, you need a trainer. If you can't afford to be injured, you need a trainer.

                              If you're willing to accept that it's going to be a slow process, that the horse might not reach 100% potential, and that you'll later have to deal with all the mistakes you make, then I think you'll be okay.

                              Everyone who's started a horse, at one point in their career, had to start their first one. That first horse is probably not a world champion. As long as the horse has a decent mind, you have a decent seat, and you don't resort to beating the horse, the horse is going to turn out okay.

                              Personally, I think starting babies is something every decent rider should try once. It's something that changes your whole outlook on riding forever (or at least it was for me). You can't take anything for granted after you have to start from the beginning.

                              There is a middle ground between you doing all the work and paying someone else to do all the work. If you get all your groundwork squared away, you can pay a more experienced trainer to put the first five or so rides on the horse, then take over from there. This is especially useful if you aren't confident you can stick some rodeo-ing.

                              This is, of course, assuming that you are a decent rider. You don't have to be riding at the top levels, but you do need to be able to sit through some nonsense and keep consistent cues. If crow-hopping, tripping, spooking, or bolting are scary or dangerous for you, you need a trainer.

                              Good luck!

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I just can't imagine this is going to be 'fun' for you. You come across as having some anxiety and that in and of itself is a reason to step away from this horse. I think you should lease a horse that is already under saddle that you can ride and learn from rather than what is obviously a green on green situation. While there are many stories of Sally and Hi Ho Silver riding off into the sunset; there are many more stories that involve broken bones or hospitalization.

                                Give this horse a chance to find the right situation and move on to a better situation yourself.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by impressive_gunner92 View Post

                                  This makes perfect sense! (I sing as well! not professional but possibly considering it as a career path when I go to college) I definitely feel it may not be a good fit, but I'm planning on giving it a week and seeing if I think I could continue and train him on my own, or if I should wait for the owner to find someone more qualified.
                                  ^
                                  FULL STOP!

                                  "when I go to college"

                                  With the added info that you are a teenager I suggest you forget working with this horse & find something to lease that is already started & working U/S. For your level of "expertise" this is not a safe situation.
                                  If you cannot afford a Pro's help, you cannot afford to lease this horse.

                                  Surgeries aside, I now also wonder WTFruitbat the owner is thinking to consider leasing an inexperienced teen this horse.
                                  Has she had these surgeries ongoing for the last 7years? Why is nobody working the horse in all that time?

                                  And you keep shillyshallying back & forth on this thread about you will, you won't be leasing...
                                  NO, just NO.
                                  Now I am advocating for the horse as well as thinking you are going to get hurt working off of your non-skills to try & ride this horse. Horse does not need you experimenting with learning to start a horse & you do not need to throw away lease $$ on one that is unsuited to your skill level.
                                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by impressive_gunner92 View Post

                                    I agree with you in some regards, this was a snap decision that I made in a fever of excitement
                                    Even better...
                                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post

                                      Even better...
                                      meupatdoes I've got the corn popping, you got the cardbordeaux?
                                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #39
                                        Originally posted by delta-time View Post
                                        I guess I'll dissent from the general opinion.

                                        If you have high hopes for top-level showing, you need a trainer. If you need this horse broke in 30 days, you need a trainer. If you can't afford to be injured, you need a trainer.

                                        If you're willing to accept that it's going to be a slow process, that the horse might not reach 100% potential, and that you'll later have to deal with all the mistakes you make, then I think you'll be okay.

                                        Everyone who's started a horse, at one point in their career, had to start their first one. That first horse is probably not a world champion. As long as the horse has a decent mind, you have a decent seat, and you don't resort to beating the horse, the horse is going to turn out okay.

                                        Personally, I think starting babies is something every decent rider should try once. It's something that changes your whole outlook on riding forever (or at least it was for me). You can't take anything for granted after you have to start from the beginning.

                                        There is a middle ground between you doing all the work and paying someone else to do all the work. If you get all your groundwork squared away, you can pay a more experienced trainer to put the first five or so rides on the horse, then take over from there. This is especially useful if you aren't confident you can stick some rodeo-ing.

                                        This is, of course, assuming that you are a decent rider. You don't have to be riding at the top levels, but you do need to be able to sit through some nonsense and keep consistent cues. If crow-hopping, tripping, spooking, or bolting are scary or dangerous for you, you need a trainer.

                                        Good luck!
                                        This is much more along the lines of my thinking. I'm not trying to train a world champion here! However, I am a bit disheartened with some of the replies. I'm a confident rider and a little rodeo has never scared me. My older gelding has had some bronc moments once or twice. I'm going to give it some time to consider and I may go against most of the advice and try it, but I also respect the opinions of the people on this page!

                                        Comment

                                        • Original Poster

                                          #40
                                          Originally posted by delta-time View Post
                                          I guess I'll dissent from the general opinion.

                                          If you have high hopes for top-level showing, you need a trainer. If you need this horse broke in 30 days, you need a trainer. If you can't afford to be injured, you need a trainer.

                                          If you're willing to accept that it's going to be a slow process, that the horse might not reach 100% potential, and that you'll later have to deal with all the mistakes you make, then I think you'll be okay.

                                          Everyone who's started a horse, at one point in their career, had to start their first one. That first horse is probably not a world champion. As long as the horse has a decent mind, you have a decent seat, and you don't resort to beating the horse, the horse is going to turn out okay.

                                          Personally, I think starting babies is something every decent rider should try once. It's something that changes your whole outlook on riding forever (or at least it was for me). You can't take anything for granted after you have to start from the beginning.

                                          There is a middle ground between you doing all the work and paying someone else to do all the work. If you get all your groundwork squared away, you can pay a more experienced trainer to put the first five or so rides on the horse, then take over from there. This is especially useful if you aren't confident you can stick some rodeo-ing.

                                          This is, of course, assuming that you are a decent rider. You don't have to be riding at the top levels, but you do need to be able to sit through some nonsense and keep consistent cues. If crow-hopping, tripping, spooking, or bolting are scary or dangerous for you, you need a trainer.

                                          Good luck!
                                          This is much more along the lines of my thinking. I'm not trying to train a world champion here! However, I am a bit disheartened with some of the replies. I'm a confident rider and a little rodeo has never scared me. My older gelding has had some bronc moments once or twice. I'm going to give it some time to consider and I may go against most of the advice and try it, but I also respect the opinions of the people on this page!

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