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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

In our continuing effort to provide an avenue for individuals to voice their opinions and experiences, we have recently reviewed and updated our forum policies. Generally, we have allowed users to share their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, trainers, etc. within the industry, and that is not changing.

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Forum rules and no-advertising policy

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(Revised 5/9/18)
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Riding Green Horse

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  • Riding Green Horse

    I haven’t ridden my TWH gelding in about 2 months and I’m nervous. I have worked him lightly in the round pen, what else should I do before riding and any tips for overcoming my nervousness?

  • #2
    How green is your horse?
    "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


    • Original Poster

      he isn’t all that young but wasn’t ridden for a long time after only being green broke. He was sent to a trainer last summer which helped a ton but he is nowhere near finished.


      • #4
        Work him a little harder for a couple of days , maybe turn him out that morning then get on him in the hottest part of the day. if he’s good, don’t push your luck and end on a good note. Work longer the next day and gradually increase the time.

        Hot day is your friend when breaking colts or restarting one that’s been off. Old cowboy wisdom that makes a ton of sense. They just are not as ambitious which solves one potential problem for you.

        If you are at all doubtful, see if you cant get an experienced rider on him first couple of rides, set him up for success. If you aren’t confident, he won’t be either so no shame passing the reins to a more confident rider.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


        • #5
          Originally posted by alexisk14 View Post
          I haven’t ridden my TWH gelding in about 2 months and I’m nervous. I have worked him lightly in the round pen, what else should I do before riding and any tips for overcoming my nervousness?
          If you're nervous, you ask a more seasoned rider to put the first few rides on him.


          • #6
            Originally posted by alexisk14 View Post
            I haven’t ridden my TWH gelding in about 2 months and I’m nervous. I have worked him lightly in the round pen, what else should I do before riding and any tips for overcoming my nervousness?
            I agree with the above poster that if you are nervous, do NOT get on him. There is absolutely no shame in having a trainer put on the first couple rides for you, to make sure there are no surprises. Putting a nervous rider on a green horse can sometimes be a recipe for disaster.

            But if you can find a way to overcome your nervousness and be confident instead, you can do a little "round penning" for the purpose of making sure he is listening to you. I don't round pen to make them tired (or you'll be there all day, and longer every day after that) but it can be a good tool to make sure the horse is paying attention to you. Then, I will check the steering and check the brakes from the ground. Standing next to the horse, I'll ask them to give to the bit with a direct rein from both sides, and I will ask them to back up. If they are listening well, then I am ready to get on, knowing that the horse is listening to me, and the steering and brakes work.

            If need be, I'll get on in the round pen, because it's a small area that I can control the horse better in, should things go south. But ultimately, if I have taken the time to properly prepare the horse with ground work, there shouldn't be any surprises when I climb aboard.
            It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


            • #7
              Have a ground person walk alongside you or have a seasoned horse and rider ride with you. And don't overdo. A couple of laps at a walk is a great place to start. Also, lunge or hand walk your horse to check go, whoa, and turning.
              I've ridden a lot of TWH's, and they are typically people-oriented and quick to try and please. They need your confidence though.
              Think about what makes you nervous about this horse or riding in general. Observe your horse in the pasture to see what his 'go-to's are, how does he spook, how does he show his dominance, or is he passive. This tells me a lot in regards to what I can expect not just in the saddle but on the ground also.
              You don't have to just get on and go either. Maybe just mount and stand there for a few moments. Small victories accumulate over time!


              • #8
                I'm currently working on a "green" after being neglected for 2+ years TWH. I've been doing a TON of ground work to get him back to thinking and focusing on the ground. Once you have the respect and confidence on the ground, then think about the saddle. Like others have said, start slowly. Start with mounting and dismounting without walking off... and move up from there. ALWAYS end on a good note and keep the sessions short until you're confident that you can get on and off and he's not going to kill you.

                My current mount was a nut job when I got him. With lots of ground work and tons of patience, he's an amazing horse. However, it took months before I could trust him enough to get on him.

                You said he was sent to a trainer last year. Did you ride him after that? You didn't say how long you've had him all that you've been working with him on in the round pen.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by findeight View Post
                  Hot day is your friend when breaking colts or restarting one that’s been off. Old cowboy wisdom that makes a ton of sense. They just are not as ambitious which solves one potential problem for you.
                  This. Walking Horses aren't known for their endurance.

                  But, also, I second the recommendation to find a trainer you trust in your area. Green horses are tricky and NEED a confident rider to establish a solid foundation. If you have any doubts about your ability to be a calm, steadying influence on your horse, get someone else to ride him until you can be that person.