How long is too long?/I'm a chicken - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-08-2010, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: northeast ohio
Posts: 88
• Horses: 4
How long is too long?/I'm a chicken

I have an 11 year old paint gelding who hasn't been ridden in almost 2 years. I am not a fearless rider, but I purchased him as a 3 year old anyway. I know, I know, not the smartest move. The newest horse we just purchased is 18 lol. At the time I was working with an instructor, and I was actually riding Phoenix quite a bit the first year I had him. Then I got pregnant with my youngest daughter, stopped riding for awhile, then got back to riding but was riding my older TB, because I knew that he was really easy and safe (much older, lots of training).
Phoenix started only being ridden sporadically after that. He was never "bad", just green and needed more miles. No buck or rear or anything like that. The last time he was ridden, some older 4H kids (friends of the family) were working him for me. Fearless, very experienced. An 18 year old girl who had ridden him many times prior was getting on, and he spooked a little. The one problem he has had is that he wants to go as soon as you put your foot in the stirrup. Normally he just starts walking, but that time something scared him (she didn't feel she needed anyone to hold him while she mounted) and he ran forward afew steps. She fell off as she was halfway on, hit the fence (no helmet), and ended up with a concussion. Someone else did get on him and ride for about 20 minutes that same day, and he was fine.
I haven't ridden him since, and no one else has either. Does a horse forget a lot about riding in 2 years? I plan to keep him forever, and would like to ride him again. Not looking for him to be a show horse, just to walk trot around the pasture and ride with my little girls when they ride their horses. They show, I'm never going to, so I don't need a show horse for myself.
I put the saddle and bridle on him recently, and he was completely un fazed. I was just to chicken to get on! I was thinking about doing some clicker training with him, and starting to lunge him again, which will hopefully build up my courage to get back on. What other steps can/should I take? Is 2 years too long to still expect him to be good?
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-08-2010, 03:22 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
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It all depends on the horse. He wont forget, but depending on his temperment he may need to be reminded. So long as the last time he was ridden wasn't a bad experience for him (doesnt sound like it was). I'd just take it slow & maybe treat him as though you were starting all over again.
Saddle, bridle, maybe walk him around/ lunge him. Then take your time mounting & ride him in a small area before taking him out (be sure someone is there. You could even have them hold & lead him if you wish). He could surprise you & be good or, like i said, he could be one of those horses that has to be reminded that they had a job once upon a time ;)

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-08-2010, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South Dakota
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I had bought a broodmare once that had not been ridden in 7 years and rode off like she was rode yesterday. It will all depend on the horse. My wonderful Shunke can stand forever (not really of course) and be such a good boy when he comes out. I found out I had heart problems this year and he is not rode nearly as often as he had been in the past and is still just the same as if I rode him yesterday. Love my boy!
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-08-2010, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: northeast ohio
Posts: 88
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Reading these posts makes me feel a little more confident. I can definitely do ground work with him, so I guess I'll start with that and work my way up to having someone give me a pony ride on him lol
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-08-2010, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N.W. Ohio
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I agree it really depends on the horse. All my horses can go for years and then I can get on and ride. Now I have one that is still green and I normally do not lunge but if I have not worked her for a time I will lunge her and then ride. Once I get a few rides on her I do not lunge any more. My others I ride my stallion about 3-5 times a year if that and he is great every time. Same with my finished horses. Can go for months without being worked and just hop on and ride. They are great.

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