a crazy ride! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-23-2010, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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a crazy ride!

My almost 3yo RMH and I area coming along great! However, we had an interesting ride yesterday. I had him all tacked up, (halter under the bridle), and we went with my friend to try and go around the barn. Well the mare we were with is happy to be the last pony so Jacoby and I led. Well Being a baby he thinks he needs to see the world at a trot! He tried to pace but he tripped a few times. I don't think he can balance well with the extra weight on his back?

So off we go at a trot, I am fine with this as he has so much energy and his attitude was fine. Well let me tell you, I am a trail rider, nice and slow usually, and have NEVER jumped! Well Jacoby saw a little brush pile and instead of slowing down he JUMPED IT! I think I handled it well and we went on, but it was great!

One question though, how can I get him comfortable to pace instead of trot with me on his back?
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-23-2010, 04:17 PM
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I'm assuming you don't mean pace, as a pace is a very uncomfortable 2-beat gait. I think the RMH gait is called a ramble, correct me if I'm wrong. Are you sure he's trotting? Many gaited horses are literally incapable of trotting, like my Paso Fino. He does a fox trot in the pasture and some type of running walk or largo under saddle.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-23-2010, 08:55 PM
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You need to take him back to a walk. Up hills, down hills, build the muscles. Do not let a trot get started, slow him down immediately. You don't want a pace either. Keep him walking and let him learn how to balance and place his feet with someone on his back. I don't recommend allowing the jump either. He has to learn to do what you want him to do.

On our last trail ride a young teen was "teaching" his 4 year old to cross water, he did not take the time to show his horse how to tackle the obstacle, the horse turned sideways and jumped the water slamming his rider into tree branches. So lucky he didn't lose an eye.

A woman can NEVER have too many horses.....
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-23-2010, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. We do have lots of hills, now getting him to slow down...that is the challenge! Maybe if I pushed him into a canter when he trotted to make him work harder?

He does a trot, and it isn't that bad, but I would rather get the pace, or rather stepping pace. I don't know what a ramble is...I am new at the whole gaited thing! lol
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-24-2010, 08:44 AM
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You said it yourself: "Well Being a baby..."

So, back off and give the younster a chance.

If the horse does not know how to rate himself then train him. The easy way is to do this on the longe or in the round pen. You don't overstress the back (easy to do with a youngster) and he learns to balance himself before he has to learn to balance a rider.

What is your experience in using a longe or round pen? If it's thin then get somebody to help you out. Remember that this kind of work is not done to "take an edge off" or exhaust the horse but rather to emphasize that to the horse that it's work time. It's about precision, not speed. This is particularly valuable with young horses.

Keep tack at this point to a minimum. I prefer to start youngsters in a snaffle bit with a very easy mouthpiece (I prefer the Myler bits, but there are good quality alternatives). You add "brakes" to a horse with training, not a curb bit. Curb bits add finesse after you've done the basics. Get rid of the halter under the bridle as it serves no purpose at this point.

This would also be a good time to review saddle fit and ensure that you're not creating future problems.

With a youngster your training periods should be modest (maybe 45 min. maximum, including longe/round pen time). They should be done mostly at the walk, with short periods of work in gait. It should include work inside and outside the school. I would not add the canter until I saw the horse moving in a controlled and balanced way at the gait. Note that this is NOT setting a gait. It is ensuring that the horse can effectively carry itself and rider. This will generally take at least 30 days and may take as much as 180, depending upon the maturity, strength, and fitness of the horse.

Personally, I don't like to see youngster much under three under saddle. But if somebody is going to do it then they have to realize that they are dealing with a very malleable horse. It can be formed into Good Things and it can be bent into Bad Things. The human, and their skill, is the difference.

Good luck in your program.

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post #6 of 8 Old 11-24-2010, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice G!
I don't have a round pen anymore but I have longed him on a short line, and have longed him in the round pen this summer at a different barn. He did great once I figured out what my body language was telling him. He can walk, stepping pace, and canter beautifully saddle free.

He is in a D-snaffle and the halter is there to keep him mouth from getting to worn on, as well as keeping his head from reaching the ground when he thinks he can get a snack! lol (It is around the saddle horn)
The dentist is coming out soon because I know he has some hooks going on so I don't want to use just the bit until then.

The saddle seems to fit fine and he isn't in any pain. He can move freely with the saddle on and me on the ground.

I only work him for about 30min tops! I know he is a baby and I don't want to hurt him. I am small only about 130lbs so I don't think I am putting TOO much pressure on him.

He walks fine with halter pressure, and in the pen, but when he gets out in the woods he wants to GO! He will listen when we are walking together and be respectful of my space, but I don't think he quite knows to listen under saddle yet.

I am thinking that I need more time in the pen before we leave it again for a ride around the yard.

Thanks again.
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-24-2010, 12:49 PM
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Maybe turning him the second he starts to go faster than a walk, will help him understand that he's not to do anything, unless you allow it.

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post #8 of 8 Old 11-25-2010, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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I worked him on the ground yesterday, and then bareback and he was much better! Thanks for the ideas guys.
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