Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
If it were my horse to restart, I would do it this way and I have pretty high standards. First off the horse would be taught to lower his poll with a touch, no pressure but a touch, for bridling, haltering, etc. I would not move on until he will lower his head and accept a bridle as if he was the best horse in the world to bridle, yes with a snaffle. After that, he would be ground driven everywhere, past scary lawnmovers, leafblowers, everywhere until it was just like another day on the job. Then he when he was saddled, I would longe him lightly with loose side or long reins attached to the saddle, until he got into the workmanship & it was another day at the office for him. Then I would mount him but not until he stood perfectly for mounting, dismounting, offside as well, using a mounting block or not. First lesson under saddle and many subsequent ones would be at a walk, and he would learn flexing each side until he dropped his poll and lifted his back muscles and started stepping under himself. After he was rock solid on that, we would move on to the back & stop, which is just flexing & lifting & stepping underhimself BUT from both sides at the same time, there's your stop and the back is when the cues are not released, the horse will back off of it. After that is rote for him, then we move onto the trot doing the same exercises which will be a part of his "come back to me & listen" touchstones for the rest of his life and through every scary situation. I have spent many years and tens of thousands of dollars learning this from respected, knowledgeable trainers. If you don't have the proper body position, weight distribution, feel of the rein, release of the rein, timing etc., it's schmutzy and rudimentary, I have been on the road to get away from that, I think I am almost at the end of my journey, phew!