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Riding Experience Without Lessons

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        03-05-2013, 09:09 AM
      #11
    Foal
    Ground work is not brushing the horse. Nor is it hanging out watching the horse or leading it around it's own paddock/pasture.

    Ground work is actually working the horse. Making the horse do something it isn't already thinking of doing at that moment. It can be as simple as leading the horse outside the paddock away from his/her buddies, right up to lunging the horse, and getting it to move in frame at all gaits.

    You do not have to have formal lessons to learn to ride. You do not have to have formal lessons to learn to train a horse. But you do need some instruction and practise.

    The horse in question has been out of work for a long time. Add to that she is extremely buddy sour. These are issues that require skill and experience to work on. The Clinton Anderson program would be a good one to start with to build your skills and experience, but please take things slow and be careful. This situation is a classic recipe for disaster, but can also work out if you take baby steps.

    And yes, the docile horse may become less than enthusiastic once she realizes that you are going to upset her "life of Riley". Be prepared for that.
    demonwolfmoon and Hope4Horse like this.
         
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        03-05-2013, 04:01 PM
      #12
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fourteen    
    Ground work is not brushing the horse. Nor is it hanging out watching the horse or leading it around it's own paddock/pasture.

    Ground work is actually working the horse. Making the horse do something it isn't already thinking of doing at that moment. It can be as simple as leading the horse outside the paddock away from his/her buddies, right up to lunging the horse, and getting it to move in frame at all gaits.
    Uhh groundwork is a very loose term. It can mean a number of things... you can't just say "oh it doesn't mean this and this" because for some horses, brushing them is a challenge. Say a horse that hasn't been domesticated, or a foal or young horse with poor handling. Handling is considered groundwork to me.

    Leading is groundwork.

    To me groundwork is everything and anything that is done with two feet on the ground, with the horse, that builds up its confidence in you, in itself, and teaches or builds on new skills. Yes that includes bathing, etc.

    Watching a horse in pasture is a good way to learn horse communication or herd dynamics.. which will make working with your horse much easier as you will begin to know how they process things.
         
        03-05-2013, 04:13 PM
      #13
    Foal
    We're not talking about a feral horse. We're talking about a buddy sour horse that's lived a life of pretty much retirement for the past number of years. Combined with a green rider/trainer.

    The OP brushing the horse or sitting in the pasture watching the horses is not groundwork...he/she is really not knowing what they're looking for (re:body language of horses) and the horse is not focused on doing what the OP has instructed it to do.

    Yes, leading is included in groundwork, as I said, but that has to be on the human's terms, not the horse's.

    What I'm trying to convey is that the OP should not fool themselves into thinking that they've done any groundwork with the horse with the interactions so far. That horse is no farther along in its' training than it was before. All that's been accomplished is that the OP has managed to ***** foot around the horse and not push any buttons or pick any fights. That's fine. But don't be fooled into thinking that you've made any progress. Try taking that horse away from its buddy and you'll find out quick exactly how much "groundwork" you've done and how successful it's been. ;)
         
        03-05-2013, 05:05 PM
      #14
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fourteen    
    What I'm trying to convey is that the OP should not fool themselves into thinking that they've done any groundwork with the horse with the interactions so far. That horse is no farther along in its' training than it was before. All that's been accomplished is that the OP has managed to ***** foot around the horse and not push any buttons or pick any fights. That's fine. But don't be fooled into thinking that you've made any progress. Try taking that horse away from its buddy and you'll find out quick exactly how much "groundwork" you've done and how successful it's been. ;)
    She's inexperienced. I would not WANT her pushing buttons because she could get hurt DUE TO THE FACT that she is not sure what to do or HOW to do it effectively. Which is fine, we all start somewhere. I'd want a TRAINER or EXPERIENCED HORSEPERSON pushing buttons because they can handle the reactions.

    Spending time with your horse, and reacting in a "I'm in charge" mentality does add to their training. That is, training on where they fit in the chain of command. While the OP is not experienced and not actively training this horse out of its issues, the OP is training this horse by interacting with this horse and doing things to the best of her ability to make sure the horse behaves itself when she's riding it and when she's hanging out with it.

    Now if this OP could safely deal with the reactions that "pushing her buttons" would unmask, then yeah your advice would be really great and she may be *****footing. But from this perspective, she is not. She is smart to not push the horse too far DUE TO HER INEXPERIENCE.

    Which is why I stand by the fact she needs someone more experienced to help her, or to work through the issues with the horse. That way she will learn and it won't be such a touchy situation.
    Thunderspark and Hope4Horse like this.
         
        03-05-2013, 05:39 PM
      #15
    Started
    There are a lot of things you can do with Mango. She sounds like a pretty sensible sort of gal. You can set up obstacles like poles or logs (or a 2x4 for that matter), buckets, a tarp for her to walk over, whatever is handy and neither of you can get tangled up in. Work on the ground first in case she is nervous and then under saddle. Do things to keep it interesting. All the while you will be improving your skills as a rider. You can learn a lot by simply doing.

    I think you are wise at this point to not venture away from her buddy. A buddy-sour horse can be a challenge for an experienced rider...and a real danger for a green one.

    Enjoy your time with the horse and let us know how you are doing.
         
        03-05-2013, 06:01 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    I agree that any work on the ground with Mango could be considered ground work at this point, whether it's lunging her or just petting her. She's getting used to be around the horse, and the horse is getting used to being around her. I agree--with her skill level, pushing buttons is probably a bad idea. But any interaction, no matter how non-trainy (yes, that's the technical term. ;) ), with the horse at this point is a learning experience.

    For example: For the past month I've been working with a new horse. And while there are plenty of "real" groundwork sessions involving a round pen, a lead rope, and/or a lunge line, there are just as many groundwork sessions involving grooming, blanketing, and even just giving treats and being there. I'm learning about this horse, and in turn this horse is learning about me. The purpose for even these relaxed, informal sessions is that I want to know about her: What makes her start? When she does spook, how does she react? Do certain actions on my part make her anxious? Are there certain sensitive areas for her (for instance, I've discovered she doesn't like people messing too much with her ears and feet)? How does she react with other horses nearby? Is it different when she's by herself?

    All of these subtle things help this filly and I to understand each other better, which translates into more productive sessions. And even if the OP isn't as advanced as someone else, I don't see why interacting with the horse in this level wouldn't be helpful either. If the horse hasn't been handled much lately, in fact I would certainly recommend starting with some basics and working up from there. It's learning to talk to the horses and listen to them that makes us better horse people in the end.
    Hope4Horse likes this.
         
        03-05-2013, 10:10 PM
      #17
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
    She's inexperienced. I would not WANT her pushing buttons because she could get hurt DUE TO THE FACT that she is not sure what to do or HOW to do it effectively. Which is fine, we all start somewhere. I'd want a TRAINER or EXPERIENCED HORSEPERSON pushing buttons because they can handle the reactions.

    Spending time with your horse, and reacting in a "I'm in charge" mentality does add to their training. That is, training on where they fit in the chain of command. While the OP is not experienced and not actively training this horse out of its issues, the OP is training this horse by interacting with this horse and doing things to the best of her ability to make sure the horse behaves itself when she's riding it and when she's hanging out with it.

    Now if this OP could safely deal with the reactions that "pushing her buttons" would unmask, then yeah your advice would be really great and she may be *****footing. But from this perspective, she is not. She is smart to not push the horse too far DUE TO HER INEXPERIENCE.

    Which is why I stand by the fact she needs someone more experienced to help her, or to work through the issues with the horse. That way she will learn and it won't be such a touchy situation.
    You seem to be lacking in basic comprehension regarding what I actually said, so I'll repeat it for you...

    Quote:
    the OP should not fool themselves into thinking that they've done any groundwork with the horse with the interactions so far. That horse is no farther along in its' training than it was before. All that's been accomplished is that the OP has managed to ***** foot around the horse and not push any buttons or pick any fights. That's fine. But don't be fooled into thinking that you've made any progress. Try taking that horse away from its buddy and you'll find out quick exactly how much "groundwork" you've done and how successful it's been. ;)
    I'm not advocating that the OP go beyond her skill or experience level and push buttons. I'm telling her that she shouldn't fool herself into thinking that she's overcome any of the horse's current issues, or thinking that she has made any progress in establishing respect with this horse simply by petting the horse, brushing her, or sitting in the pasture. None of these actions will result in the horse behaving better for her while she's in the saddle, which is what she wishes to accomplish.

    You don't need to CAPITALIZE your words. I'm capable of reading and comprehending what you are saying without CAPITALIZING it for me. You, on the other hand, should perhaps go back and re-read what I stated in both of my previous posts.
         
        03-11-2013, 06:00 AM
      #18
    Foal
    I wasn't trying to cause an argument, sorry guys. But anyway, thanks so much for the advice. You've been extremely helpful. :)

    I am completely aware of my inexperience, and that's why I've come here - to get help.
    Over the past few years, I have spent lots of time with Mango, just brushing, spening time with her feeding her treats. I'm not claiming to have done any groundwork with her. I'll do some research on what sort of things I can do with her... I won't worry about the buddy sour for time being. Oh, and the casual leading... groundwork or not I can still do it. It can't hurt, right?

    I spoke to my uncle the other night at an engagement party. He's horse mad, and he's offered to take me out riding of a Sunday afternoon. First he has to break in one of his horses and then there'll be enough horses for me to come along. I'll spend a bit of time with the horse I'll ride (probably Willow or Noah - I've known Noah since he was a foal) before I ride them to get to know them, and them me. He has four horses and goes riding quite often. Hopefully I'll learn something from him while I'm out there.

    I also spoke to his daughter, my cousin. She told me that anytime I like she's willing to come out and give me some pointers about riding and groundwork... the whole works. She currently doesn't have as much to do with horses as her Dad does, but she still has a better knowledge of horses than I do, having have grown up with them. She offered to bring out a lunge rope and everything, which will be fantastic!

    All I have to do now is get out there again. I may be able to get there this Thursday night after school or sometime on the weekend. :)
         
        03-11-2013, 07:52 AM
      #19
    Green Broke
    Well there you go, problem solved.

    I bet he is your favorite uncle isn't he?

    Knowledge can be gleaned in many different ways....Have fun!
         
        03-11-2013, 08:57 PM
      #20
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fourteen    
    You seem to be lacking in basic comprehension regarding what I actually said, so I'll repeat it for you....
    No thank you. I've read all of your replies, and I was going to reply again but I decided to just delete it and re-focus on supporting the OP as much as possible.

    And I can write posts anyway that I like. Capitalizing is how I stress words. I am not going to cater my posts to your likes. This is an open forum.

    ~~~

    OP I wish you the best of luck :) I hope your uncle can teach you a few more horse-related things :)
    Hope4Horse likes this.
         

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