Lessons on a 3 year old horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-06-2009, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
Posts: 2,470
• Horses: 8
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 (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-07-2009, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
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I don't know much about the teachign part, seeing as to how I'm only 14, but about the 'demanding' part..I was exactly like that when I started riding at age 10. Lucky for me, I was leasing a dead broke babysitter horse that wouldn't dare do anything bad, but it kind of messed me up later on. Usually, people that don't know or haven't been around horses have the mindset that if they're nice the horses will be nice back, and while some horses can go off of that, others will walk all over that person, as I learned when literally, my horse tried to walk all over me. I, too had a 3 year old that I had raised, was my first horse, taught me so much, but would only let me ride him without someone leading. It can really turn out to suck later. Lol. But just make sure to teach Tyler that he has got to get a backbone, and if he doesn't he will get hurt. And that some horses just need more leadership from humans than others.

Sorry that I ramble, it's got to be one of my worst habits.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-07-2009, 05:46 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Brokenheartsville, just north of Styxtown :)
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I'd love to stick up for you, but what you did, (see HC) was, well, like what we've already said.. Very unsafe.

Most people are like Slinkies; they serve no real purpose, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on for dear life.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-07-2009, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
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It's ok Sunny. I'm wanting to get more than one 'forum' full of peoples information... There's some good info hidden beneath certain comments.

HorseofCourse, thanks for the info... I'm lucky that Dakota is pretty much a laid back horse who won't take advantage over a person very much... but if Tyler ever gets on one of our older mares, he'll have trouble. Buttercup is a major handful for timid riders... she'll take every chance to get her head down to eat, but besides that, she's pretty push-button.. and when my mare gets better... well, unless the rider knows how to take her attitude, he'll find himself in a bit of a bind with her minding, lol.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-07-2009, 08:49 PM
Green Broke
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In a way I think they (HC) over-reacted. If you stuck a helmet on his head and stayed careful, I think it'd be ok.

Most people are like Slinkies; they serve no real purpose, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on for dear life.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-08-2009, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Texas!
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I hate to say this...but ive found it to be true with everyone ive ever had to teach, and even with myself.

People learn through screw-up's and falls...

The first time I fell off a horse: I started working on my balance and improved.

The first time I got bounce off a horse: Learned to post

First time I had a horse run me over: I became more demanding when on the ground.

First time my friend fell off: He also learned the meaning of balance...not to mention courage for getting right back on lol

First time my other friend got bucked: she learned the importance of good ground work.

Those are just examples but my point is everyone around me warned me to pay attention and gave me advice but I never listened unless I wanted too. I had to learn through my mistakes.

When I started teaching people here and there...well I tried to tell them, and they sorta listened but never really did...and eventually they got bucked or bounced off, that or they got run over, that or they got bit...or kicked....

So my best advice: Helmet...make him wear one...cause even if he is willing to listen to every word you say he will still never learn as well as he will once something bad does happen.

Sorry that all probably sounded very harsh but atleast in my experience its the sad truth...

Horses Will Listen...Even When No One Else Could Possibly Understand...
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