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Best use of barn time of non-riding days?

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  • Best use of barn time of non-riding days?

    I'm looking for ideas on how to best use barn time on non-riding days. I'm trying to spend quality time with my youngster, and believe that time spent on the ground together -- if done properly -- is valuable. I have thought of groundwork, stretching, massage, grooming sessions, and practice with clippers/mane pulling. Any other suggestions?

    BTW, I'm 100% aware that cleaning my tack would be a good use of barn time on these days, but I'm specifically looking for more quality time with the horse .

  • #2
    Clicker training?

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    • #3
      Hand walk in the nature - good for fitness and for showing the green horse different stuff.
      Playtime to teach the horse not to be scared of whatever - umbrellas e.g.
      Just sit next to him, watch him, listen to him. Sounds like nothing, but some 'quiet time' can support bonding.

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      • #4
        Groundwork. I used to take my youngster for walks. Seriously. We progressed to ground driving and I took walks doing that. Put down any and all sorts of "obstacles" - I used feed bags as something to walk on. Anything and everything that helps them learn skills they'll need as an adult (even if it's just mental skills) plus it teaches them patience. And confidence. In you and in themselves.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gertie06 View Post
          I'm looking for ideas on how to best use barn time on non-riding days. I'm trying to spend quality time with my youngster, and believe that time spent on the ground together -- if done properly -- is valuable. I have thought of groundwork, stretching, massage, grooming sessions, and practice with clippers/mane pulling. Any other suggestions?

          BTW, I'm 100% aware that cleaning my tack would be a good use of barn time on these days, but I'm specifically looking for more quality time with the horse .
          Take them on walks. I have raised a number of youngsters and they get taken on walks. Going out solo, with their person, with dogs crashing around in the woods, walking on hills and over logs- it builds their confidence and ground skills. I see toooooo many horses who have been 'barned and arenad' to the ends of the earth and getting out and about would be so good for their minds. Mine also get ponied, because I have the benefit of a couple of solid citizens to help me train the babies.

          Put some good hiking shoes on, good gloves, and go.

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          • #6
            Hand walking on the bridle path was a favorite of mine. Clicker training was a favorite of his (the horse). Practicing trailer loading is always time well spent.

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            • #7
              I have a 2/5 year old that is working on lunging and all of the other things mentioned (except handwalks outside as it just snowed 4" here).

              I try to multitask, so while he is learning how to tie and cross tie, he's right outside the tack room and I can clean my tack and keep an eye on him while he thinks he's alone. I usually only leave him "alone" if he's already eaten his grain or done 15 minutes of lunging - he will cock a leg and take a little nap for the 15 minutes I clean tack and get my older horse's stall picked.

              About 3 times a week, he gets lunged for 15 minutes. We lunge with a surcingle and will graduate to a saddle soon. We also need to start working on bridling and carrying a bit.

              Other things we've worked on - trailer loading, walking/trotting over poles, playing with the yoga ball, walking over a tarp, wearing boots, clipping, mane pulling, sheath cleaning, being good about feet, wearing a blanket, wearing a fly mask, rubbing ears, sticking fingers in his mouth, oral dosing with applesauce, bathing and fly spraying (that season is over though).

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              • #8
                Agree with the above: love long walks (especially alone) as a confidence builder. I’ve done a lot of work with my young horse on exposure and manners expected on those circumstances. Polo wraps, standing wraps (and standing for it to get done), clippers, spray bottles, bathtime, blanketing, trailers. Working in hand about responsiveness (adjusting the pace while being led), working over poles or obstacles.

                If something is going on around the property (heavy machinery, construction, or just something odd - kids’ birthday party a recent example) I pull out the rope halter and the long cotton lead line and want to have her spectating. It’s been really beneficial to her state of mind and accepting odd things calmly. Though my caveat is that the situations are relatively controlled and risk assessment makes me feel like it’s more safe than not (do wear gloves and consider a helmet as well, especially in circumstances that might be more high pressure or change quickly).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Anything you do to interact and handle a youngster is time well spent. Even taking them on a short walk is beneficial. learning to stand tied while you putter nearby is a good lesson learned.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by candyappy View Post
                    Anything you do to interact and handle a youngster is time well spent. Even taking them on a short walk is beneficial. learning to stand tied while you putter nearby is a good lesson learned.
                    😂😂😂 recently we took my guy, a friends new horse, and another friends youngster into the arena, stood them up, dropped the lines, and stood there drinking coffee. It was good for all of them to do a patience lesson, and we hadn’t all been together since June, so we had a lot of catching up to do, in the rush to do things,, the power of doing nothing and waiting is sometimes overlooked. My guy was worst at standing still by the way...eldest, most broke, but never been asked just to hang out.

                    "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                    "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

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                    • #11
                      braiding tolerance; standing for braiding. moving with braids.

                      agree about syringe dosing, find that flavor treat.
                      _\\]
                      -- * > hoopoe
                      Procrastinate NOW
                      Introverted Since 1957

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                      • #12
                        Put him in your back pocket. Whatever you're doing, they're there. When I picked a stall, baby stood tied outside the stall. When I took the wheelbarrow out, they tagged along. If you have to stop, does baby stop? If something drops or falls over, what does baby do? My horse needs to go my speed whether I'm carrying stuff or hustling because it's raining and without losing his mind. I've ponied babies off horses, golf carts, small tractors, 4 wheelers, etc. I've walked them on trail rides with other (known) horses (with a helmet on), walked them alone thru the woods, along highways, past brush piles, mailboxes. I've done it in the winter. Wear snowpants. That's a good one for them. Take advantage of the young 'yeah life is so cool' time because you'll need fun memories to get thru the teenage time of everything outside of eating, playing, and sleeping is a big 'can't make me' or begrudged 'fine'.

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                        • #13
                          Check out Masterson Method videos. Easy to do and horses love it!

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                          • #14
                            Practicing hanging out at the mounting block while I climbed up & down was one that came in handy later!

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