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Starting 5 yr old mare over

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  • Starting 5 yr old mare over

    After losing my amazing steady eddy horse tragically, I was faced with the reality of looking for a new horse. I was willing to pay whatever within reason to find that perfect middle aged, super broke, safe, gentle horse. Sadly every “perfect” advertised horse I tried was NOT as advertised.
    Two weeks ago I ended up finding a 5 yr old mare (the exact opposite of everything I thought I wanted) that I fell in love with. This is a one of a kind mare that is very brave, calm, gentle etc. the BEST disposition you could find in a horse. She is broke and after refreshing her with two weeks of ground work, she knows how to do it all well, happily, willingly etc. The catch is bc she is only 5, and I don’t know much about her training history, she does have holes in her riding training. She seems to initially fight pressure, but once she gives she is very light after the initial brace on the bit... specifically turning and stopping. She also does not ride off seat/leg at all.
    I have decided to tackle this by starting at square one. I’ve started with groundwork and now working my way into “training” rides in our outdoor arena. ( I am training her to just be my play day/trail horse and possibly do obstacle courses for fun) I have put her in a D-Ring snaffle (was told previously she was ridden in a jr. cow horse, but feel like something harsher may have been used prior). Riding her in the snaffle this first time I felt like I had very little steering/control. I’m hoping with each ride she becomes more responsive to it.
    Just reaching out to see what kind of tips, tricks, advice you guys may have for my situation. Best exercises to do in arena? My main goal is to get her riding off seat/leg and becoming light and responsive to the bit.

  • #2
    Find a GOOD local trainer to be your eyes on the ground. Just because a horse doesn't go the way you feel they should, doesn't mean they aren't broke to the nines in a discipline you aren't familiar with.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tinah View Post
      Find a GOOD local trainer to be your eyes on the ground. Just because a horse doesn't go the way you feel they should, doesn't mean they aren't broke to the nines in a discipline you aren't familiar with.
      This is so true. I once did an informal survey of how different people cued a horse to canter. I found 27 different ways and was still counting.... It's amazing horses are so tolerant and willing to put up with us.

      Comment


      • #4
        Just train her like you would any horse.

        Any horse you get on is a series if asking it questions, seeing what answers you get, and making adjustments from there.

        If you think she needs to be lighter in the bridle and respond to seat better, do 7000 transitions a ride. If you want the canter cue to be xyz, then calmly and deliberately explain to her that you want her to canter when you do xyz. Who cares what it was before? Train her how YOU want her to go. If you want the halt cue to be putting your hand on her neck and saying SHAZAM, then calmly and deliberately explain to her that you want her to slam on the brakes when you lay your hand on your neck and say SHAZAM.

        For a horse that needs re-education in the contact and seat responsiveness, I do transitions transitions transition, down up transitions between the gaits, smaller bigger smaller bigger steps within the gaits, head to the wall (30 degree angle) leg yields, and try to build the outside rein connection with shoulder fore feeling and spiral circles.
        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


        • #5
          Originally posted by Shelby720 View Post
          After losing my amazing steady eddy horse tragically, I was faced with the reality of looking for a new horse. I was willing to pay whatever within reason to find that perfect middle aged, super broke, safe, gentle horse. Sadly every “perfect” advertised horse I tried was NOT as advertised.
          Two weeks ago I ended up finding a 5 yr old mare (the exact opposite of everything I thought I wanted) that I fell in love with. This is a one of a kind mare that is very brave, calm, gentle etc. the BEST disposition you could find in a horse. She is broke and after refreshing her with two weeks of ground work, she knows how to do it all well, happily, willingly etc. The catch is bc she is only 5, and I don’t know much about her training history, she does have holes in her riding training. She seems to initially fight pressure, but once she gives she is very light after the initial brace on the bit... specifically turning and stopping. She also does not ride off seat/leg at all.
          I have decided to tackle this by starting at square one. I’ve started with groundwork and now working my way into “training” rides in our outdoor arena. ( I am training her to just be my play day/trail horse and possibly do obstacle courses for fun) I have put her in a D-Ring snaffle (was told previously she was ridden in a jr. cow horse, but feel like something harsher may have been used prior). Riding her in the snaffle this first time I felt like I had very little steering/control. I’m hoping with each ride she becomes more responsive to it.
          Just reaching out to see what kind of tips, tricks, advice you guys may have for my situation. Best exercises to do in arena? My main goal is to get her riding off seat/leg and becoming light and responsive to the bit.
          We begin with the idea that there are no "tips, tricks, or advice" worth much more than the SOAP process. But a BIG part of this is identifying the use to which the horse will be put. Training for Eventing will be different than training for Reining which will be different than training for the Hunt which will be different for training for Endurance. There ARE some constants that will be found in all three but they are very basic and not that many.

          So, define your task. Then look for the different ways others have accomplished that task. In time it's OK to have more than one task in mind but with a young horse I do one, clearly defined task at a time.

          Then, when you define the task, get help to do what that task requires. Every astride tasks requires that the horse stand for mounting. move on command, perform its gaits on command, and stop quietly and stand for dismounting. I've recommended, before, Littauer's book called Common Sense Horsemanship and its seven month training program to prepare a Hunt horse. You may not be interested in riding to the hounds but the skill set in a good hunt horse transfers to just about every other discipline I can think of. So it's a fine foundation for a young horse. The book is free from multiple download sources.

          Plan you work; work your plan.

          Good luck as you go forward.

          G.
          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

          Comment


          • #6
            Just remember horses are like elephants - they don't forget. This may result in you taking some detours around some sticky bits, that may involve more thought and subtlety. You don't want this horse to lose confidence with a lack of rider sympathy.
            ... _. ._ .._. .._

            Comment


            • #7
              Just remember horses are like elephants - they don't forget. This may result in you taking some detours around some sticky bits, that may involve more thought and subtlety. You don't want this horse to lose confidence with a lack of rider sympathy.
              ... _. ._ .._. .._

              Comment


              • #8
                Is her dentistry up to date? That would be my first question... have her teeth been floated, and correctly floated? If she has points on molars, or any other painful issue in her mouth associated with the use of a bit or pressure on her face, this will influence her responses to both bit AND halter, or sidepull, or hackamore. Get that checked out first.

                Then it is just a question of training. If you want to try to do that yourself, you will need direction to line up the goals and practices usually used to accomplish this training. So, you will be looking at finding a "mentor", and/ or reading books about training horses, or videos.

                Basic training for riding usually includes lunging, w/t/c/whoa, in both directions, checking that the horse is responsive to words and cues, and has basic balance, rhythm in their stride, and relaxed free forward motion. The horse will choose the bit, not you. You will try different bits, different mouthpieces and rings, and you will find one that the horse approves of, and is comfortable wearing and responding to. Some horses prefer mullen mouth straight bar bits, one joint, two joints, different materials (plastic, composite, different metals). You teach the horse basic "steering" and responding to the bit accurately with "ground driving" or "long lining". This is much like riding in many ways, but you are not on their back. Make sure that you can control where the horse goes, steering and stopping accurately BEFORE you get on her back. You can ground drive out everywhere, starting in your arena, then branching out to your yard, over poles on the ground, past some "scary" things. Usually at the walk and trot, circles, serpentines. It should "feel" a lot like riding, that you have a "connection" and communications with the horse through the lines. You run the lines through the stirrups of the saddle, with the stirrups tied together under the horse's girth, to keep them steady. You tap the horses sides with the long lines, right where your leg will be when riding. This transfers the cue from your voice, to pressure on the horse's side as the cue for "forward". So the long lines become both the reins AND your leg.

                It doesn't matter if the horse has done this before, or perhaps she hasn't, and that is why you are finding the "holes" you are finding in her training so far. Doesn't matter, do it right, or do it again. Everyone does their first one, this one is your first one, and that's OK. Good luck, and have fun with the process.
                www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

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