Lessons on a 3 year old horse
Ok, so a week ago I was asked by my uncle (not my alcoholic uncle, but my preacher uncle) to bring my mare up to his house today (Sunday) and let a 14 year old guy (Tyler) from church ride, since my uncle has given the guys family his ‘rescue’ mare, Nightmare. I was like ‘ok’... but my girl and I, well, our fall Friday quickly scrapped the idea of me bringing my mare up to let Tyler ride.
My uncle called early this morning and asked if I could bring our oldest mare Buttercup instead... but I couldn’t because she’s lame. I told him that I’d bring my three and a half year old gelding, Dakota... since my Gypsie is hurt, Buttercup is lame, Diablo and Megan aren’t ours (plus Diablo is way too old; he’s thirty-five, and Megan is extremely hard to catch), Patch threw her owners two year old daughter and her daughters uncle last time they tried to ride her, and Nugget is only two and a half and has only had two rides so far... plus, she bucks and is extremely small... we don’t have any tack that fits her correctly.
So, I took Dakota. I thought I’d just be leading Tyler around... but when I got to my uncles, I found my six and three year old cousins Alyssa and Danielle, plus Tyler’s two younger brothers Carson (age nine) and Cameron (age three) wanting to ride. Dakota has ponied kids around on his back before, but never for four hours in the same area (I was at my uncles from twelve noon until about four-thirty)... so it was a pretty interesting experience for him.
Anyway, the first and only time (if I’m remembering correctly) that a guy rode Dakota was when my cousin Earl got on him and Dakota tried his best to throw him until Earl got off. No other guy (who could ride by theirselves) has been on Dakota since, so I wasn’t sure how he’d react when Tyler got on. (and it was only after I mentioned this to them that they informed me that none of them [Tyler and his brothers] had ever even ridden a horse or sat atop one).
Surprisingly, Dakota really took to Tyler. I thought he’d have a bit of a fit, since he’s used to only me riding him (well, he gets ridden by a few other people, but not often at all... it’s mainly me riding him), but he really seemed to like Tyler. By the time I went home, Tyler and Dakota were riding down the road a little ways by theirselves and Tyler was even trotting around my uncles yard (though he obviously didn’t know how to, or understand ‘posting’...)
Anyway, I was literally giving Tyler a lesson on my three and a half year old gelding who has only been trained for about a year while giving pony-rides to four little kids in between, or whenever we took a break.
But that’s not the point of this post. I’ve ‘taught’ people to ride before, but most of them had ridden a few times and knew the basics like how to hold the reins and stuff... Tyler literally knew nothing. It was hard for me to explain to him what to do, because I was having trouble finding words. However, he’s going to be at my uncles at least once a week and said that he’d like for me to come up whenever he’s up there and teach him some more, especially since the horse my uncle has given him is ‘crazy’. We caught her out and she was extremely nervous, so we kept her right by the fence so she could stay right by her buddy, which is a little pony... Well, Nightmare, even though she was right by the pony, freaked and jumped the fence from a standstill, taking half the fence with her before taking off with the leadrope still attached to her halter. We couldn’t catch her, either, or get anywhere near her afterwards... plus, it was time for my uncle to start getting ready for church and Tyler’s parents had arrived to pick him and his brothers up, so we had to leave her with the lead on... hopefully my uncle can catch her tomorrow.
Anyway, I’m probably going to continue teaching Tyler, but since my three year old is the only horse who is actually ‘ridable’ by other people right now, I’m going to have to teach him on/with Dakota. How should I go about it and how should I teach him? Like, what all should/can I teach with him riding and me on the ground? I’ve usually ridden a horse and had the other, inexperienced rider on another horse... so I could show by example...
I guess my question is really just ‘how can I teach him better?’. He’s kinda... well, he’s really just not as ‘demanding’ with horses as he needs to be, or it didn’t seem that way. Leading his brothers and my cousins around on Dakota, he would just kinda let Dakota do what he wanted... if he didn’t want to walk, or if he wanted to stop and graze, Tyler would let him... and that’s a big ‘no-no’ in my book. After I told him as much, he started being more forceful, but still not really making Dakota listen to him when Dakota started trying to ignore him at times. Also, when we tried to mess with Nightmare, Tyler seemed ok, but when she started acting up, even though he held onto her for a few minutes, you could tell that he was pretty nervous and kept trying to hold onto her with him being a few feet away... I really would rather it just be me and him, so I could talk to him and teach him as we go without annoying interruptions from his brothers or my cousins when they wanted to ride, because he really does want to learn, and he enjoyed riding Dakota today... but I don’t think I’ll be able to get him without his brothers or my cousins... which, I don’t mind giving pony-rides to the younger kids... but if Tyler really wants to learn, he needs to have no distractions... right?
Sorry for the long post, I just need some... well, help.
Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)