Can anyone offer me any advice?

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Can anyone offer me any advice?

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    01-21-2009, 06:45 AM
Can anyone offer me any advice?

Hi guys,

Well, i'm hoping that all the horsey minds on here can help me out.

I've just been given a beautiful buckskin boy.

When I spoke to the lady about him many months ago, she offered me him, and his son as long as I paid for the transport. This seemed like a pretty good deal. Anyway, both are unbroken, and have had minimal handling (which is working to my advantage) and both appear to have lovely temperaments.
Now, I did something that I never do. I purchased them sight unseen.
The deal was, the buckskin was a gelding (gelded 6 months prior) 3 and a half years old and 14HH. His son, was 11HH and a steely grey, still entire.

I wasn't stressed about the lack of handling, as that is what we do as a business (and hobby - but don't tell my OH lol)

So the first time I see them is when they are unloaded off the truck.

The buckskin is gorgeous, but there is no way he is 14HH. I measured him, he's 16.1HH ! His son is about 12HH and very chunky.

Now, neither have had much in the way of leading lessons, but both are very pliable and try really hard to do what is asked. So much so that after two quick lessons, they are leading beautifully.

My question is this:

The buckskin was supposed to be a pen riding horse for me, but he is far too big. I keep looking at him (and watched him jump my fence) and thought, maybe eventing. Then I thought, nope, I don't have the guts for eventing, how about dressage? I tried a dressage test once, but my boy hated arenas. He'd do everything beautifully out on the trail, but put him in an arena and he thought he was the worlds best saddle bronc known to man! Lol

Now, i've been riding for some 24 years, and have picked up HEAPS of bad habits. When I get lazy, they come back, but I do know how to ride properly and use my aids correctly.

The plan is to let my big boy settle in, and then start working on him. I've got all the time in the world to get him going, so i'm going to make use of it.

How do I determine what he is good at? And what he will enjoy?
I've been lucky over the years in that my horse/s have always been fun loving nutcases so did pretty much whatever we felt like, but I feel that this guy could really go a long way, if I get it right.

He is beautifully balanced when he moves, absolutely floats along at the trot and canter and is very athletic.

Should I try dressage with him? Its been years since i've even looked at a test, would it all come back to me?

Anyway guys, any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Oh, and i've looked into working with a trainer, but I have to go to their place, and not having transport for my boy, its making it very difficult.
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    01-21-2009, 08:44 AM
Some pictures or a video would help. Did you actually stick him to verify size ?
    01-21-2009, 10:59 AM
I don't see any reason not to try him in dressage if he has the right conformation and ability. If you don't want to try eventing, maybe just some mid-level jumping? I would love to see some pix of them both.
    01-21-2009, 11:31 AM
Dressage is a wonderful base no matter what you end up doing with him in the long run. I won my first ribbons in a western pleasure class on a horse that had only been trained dressage principles. Dressage is at it's heart simply body control of both horse and rider so it is always a good place to start establishing your aides and balance and things of that nature. If after a while you decide to go with another discipline, you have not done any harm at all in teaching him to listen to your aides.
    01-21-2009, 11:49 AM
What I would do to start with is just do everything. A horse doesn't need to specialiseat something, but if that's what you want to do you should make sure it is something you both enjoy. Just because he is theoretically good at something does not mean he will like it, and same with you.

Go out on rides, you know, jump the occasional log and maybe doing that will appeal to you. Sure eventing can be pretty scary, but its made much easier if you trust your horse. Do dressage, dressage is the basis of EVERYTHING. And whether you want to be a jumper, or an eventer, or even polocrosse, if your horse knows basic dressage everything will easier, safer and more fun.

I'd start with dressage, basic tests are easy once you know the basics. Then I would do some showjumping, maybe a small event, even an endurance ride. Just get to know what you and your horse like.

Hope that helps.
    01-21-2009, 06:00 PM
As spyder said I think a video would be helpful!
    01-21-2009, 06:18 PM
Hi Guys,

It sounds like Dressage is a good start. I haven't broken him in yet, but am planning to start over the next couple of days with serious work. At the moment, because of the extremely hot weather, im just playing with him. Picking his feet up, brushing him all over, etc etc.

I got onto the pony club website last night and found a basic dressage test. I was hoping to find a walk/trot test but no such luck. Although this one has only a small amount of canter in it.

It looks like a good test to use to start getting him nice and supple.

I'm sorry if i'm boring you, but this is the test:

A - Enter at rising trot.
X - Halt. Salute
Move off in walk

C - Track Right
M - Rising trot
B - Circle right 20 metres diameter in rising trot.
BA - Rising trot.

Between A & K - Canter right (incorrect lead not to be penalised)
Between H & C - Rising Trot

M - Walk.
B - Turn Right
E - Track Left

K - Rising Trot
B - Circle left 20 metres diameter in rising trot.
BM - Rising Trot

Between M & C - Canter left (incorrect lead not to be penalised)
Between E & K - Rising trot.

A - Turn Down centre line.
X - Walk
G - Halt. Salute.

C - Turn right or leave and leave arena in walk at A

I'm hoping to be up on his back within the next couple of weeks, and then we'll start on his training. Basically, once he is going well at the walk, trot and canter, is soft and responsive, he'll have six months of just wandering around out on trails, the farm etc.

Anyway, i've got two photos for you. I don't have any video yet, and the photo's aren't great, sorry.

Thanks again guys
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