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Riding Experience Without Lessons

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  • Horse riding with my uncle

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    03-12-2013, 10:15 AM
  #21
Foal
Hope, I wish you well. Maybe your uncle will let you watch him as he starts another horse, so that you can see this process from start to finish. Very few riders have actually had that experience, so that would be invaluable to you and your horsemanship goals.
     
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    03-12-2013, 10:38 AM
  #22
Weanling
Just read through this entire thread. Although I do not have much advice to give, I would like to say I think it's great you are trying to improve your riding, even though you can't afford lessons at the moment. I think you'll have fun no matter what! It's a shame, the whole buddy sour thing. I'm also quite inexperienced so I've never heard of that before. But that's why I'm on this forum - to learn!

Best of luck!
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    03-16-2013, 03:12 PM
  #23
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope4Horse    
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. :)
Ha ha, don't worry about unintentionally starting an arguement. They start at the drop of a hat on Internet forums!

Have fun! I assume your uncle is sticking you on one of the quiet, experienced horses rather than a greenie. If you have a chance, be sure to watch him start the other horse - you might find it interesting.
     
    03-21-2013, 09:17 AM
  #24
Foal
Yes, I will be on one of the quieter horses. At his 50th birthday party last weekend he told me that he had three horses that were going to need frequent riding, and that he only had two riders... then he winked at me. Looking forward to it!
Last night, when were at my grandmothers house trying on wedding dresses for an op-shop fashion parade this weekend, my aunty came up to me and showed me a video of my uncle riding Poppy for the first time. It was so awesome! But from what it looks like, it doesn't seem like he was the one who broke her in, yet what he told me at the engagement party sounded like he was doing it himself... maybe I translated it wrong. Oops, sorry guys.

Hopeing to get back out to see Mango again. The holidays are coming up, so hopefully I might take part in the holiday program that the riding centre - the one my uncle highly reccommends, and won't let anyone ride his horses until they've had a lesson with the horseman there - holds. I've done the holiday program probably over ten times in the last 3 or 4 years, but it never gets tiring!
     
    03-21-2013, 11:11 AM
  #25
Green Broke
Sounds like you will be getting more riding time soon. Have fun & learn more when & where ever you can.
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    04-12-2013, 07:31 AM
  #26
Foal
Over the holidays I've been out twice. I would've liked to have gone more, but with the rush of Easter and things planned it was difficult.

Mango is beggnning to get stubborn. When I ride her, she decides she doesn't want to move. I'll kick her hard to try and get her to move, but she just refuses. Clancy was in view too, like he was the first time, but this wasn't an issue then. The old lady who lives there (Doug's mother who is the one boarding Mango for her daughter/Doug's sister) got a stick and smaked her on the bum with it, and that got her trotting away. I hated that - I didn't get on her back just so she could be smacked around.

The second time Mango wouldn't move, she went to do it again. I tried to stop her, and so did Doug, but she just ignored us and went on. I didn't really want to push it too far because Mango isn't my horse and I didn't want to overstep my grounds. In the end Doug got out the lunge rope and whip and lunged her while I was on her back (without actually hitting her with the whip), trotting almost cantering round in circles. After that whenever Doug approached her when she wouldn't move she started moving again, whereas before she wouldn't. I asked DOug if I could lunge her, to see if she might start listening to me. He agreed and I did, just a trot in circles until she was puffing. Then she came over to me and nudged me, almost knocking me over. After that I put her and Clancy back out into their paddock. I don't know if that was the right thing to do, so I've come to you guys. How can I get her to move when I tell her? What's the best way to bond with her and show her who's boss - without hurting her?

Thanks.
     
    04-14-2013, 05:43 PM
  #27
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope4Horse    
Over the holidays I've been out twice. I would've liked to have gone more, but with the rush of Easter and things planned it was difficult.

Mango is beggnning to get stubborn. When I ride her, she decides she doesn't want to move. I'll kick her hard to try and get her to move, but she just refuses. Clancy was in view too, like he was the first time, but this wasn't an issue then. The old lady who lives there (Doug's mother who is the one boarding Mango for her daughter/Doug's sister) got a stick and smaked her on the bum with it, and that got her trotting away. I hated that - I didn't get on her back just so she could be smacked around.

The second time Mango wouldn't move, she went to do it again. I tried to stop her, and so did Doug, but she just ignored us and went on. I didn't really want to push it too far because Mango isn't my horse and I didn't want to overstep my grounds. In the end Doug got out the lunge rope and whip and lunged her while I was on her back (without actually hitting her with the whip), trotting almost cantering round in circles. After that whenever Doug approached her when she wouldn't move she started moving again, whereas before she wouldn't. I asked DOug if I could lunge her, to see if she might start listening to me. He agreed and I did, just a trot in circles until she was puffing. Then she came over to me and nudged me, almost knocking me over. After that I put her and Clancy back out into their paddock. I don't know if that was the right thing to do, so I've come to you guys. How can I get her to move when I tell her? What's the best way to bond with her and show her who's boss - without hurting her?

Thanks.
Swatting her on the rump with a stick isn't going to hurt her. You're being too soft and not thinking like a horse.

You need to be the leader. Obviously Mango respects Doug because they have some sort of history or he's enough of a horse person to give off the "I'm the boss" vibes.

Balking is when a horse refuses to go forward. Swatting them on the rump is one way to get them to move forward. Another way is to make forward the easy option. Instead do lateral work (leg yielding, turn on haunches, turn on forehand, sidepassing), circling, etc. is another good option.

Think every action must be a correction if they're doing something you don't like/allow. The fact she bowled you over shows she has as much respect for you as a wooden scratching post. That isn't much, btw.
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    04-15-2013, 03:37 AM
  #28
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Swatting her on the rump with a stick isn't going to hurt her. You're being too soft and not thinking like a horse.

You need to be the leader. Obviously Mango respects Doug because they have some sort of history or he's enough of a horse person to give off the "I'm the boss" vibes.

Balking is when a horse refuses to go forward. Swatting them on the rump is one way to get them to move forward. Another way is to make forward the easy option. Instead do lateral work (leg yielding, turn on haunches, turn on forehand, sidepassing), circling, etc. is another good option.

Think every action must be a correction if they're doing something you don't like/allow. The fact she bowled you over shows she has as much respect for you as a wooden scratching post. That isn't much, btw.
Thanks for the help. I never thought the nudging was actually anything, but at least I know now the respect she doesn't have for me and how much I need to do to earn it.
Thanks for the clarification on the swatting. As long as it isn't hurting her I'm okay. Call me soft, but I think the word vegetarian speaks for how I feel about hurting animals.

Now, I'm a complete noob when it comes to horses, but I do know that you can't be soft. I have a soft, gentle nature, so this is something I'll need to pay extra attention to. Since I'm amongst people that aren't extremely experienced horse people like you guys, I'm feel like I'm flying blind. If you could, could you please clarify on what lateral work and those exercises actually are? That would be extremely helpful. Maybe even explain how do them, if you can. If it's a 'hands-on experience' job, I'm sure I can get my cousin out to help. She doesn't know quite as much about horses as her father (the uncle of mine that I mentioned previously), but she has offered to teach me what she can. I'll just have to find the right time for us all.

To everybody else: You wouldn't believe how badly I want to learn, so if you have anything else that you think I should know (or even you aren't sure, just tell me anyway - it can't hurt to know extra), please tell me!
Thanks so much, I really appreciate it.
     
    04-15-2013, 12:36 PM
  #29
Foal
I guarantee that whatever smack Mango got on the butt was nothing compared to what she'd feel if she ticked off the leader of her herd.

As I predicted, you are now starting to see the "Real Mango"..."Docile Mango" left as soon as she figured out that you aren't there to brush her hair and feed her carrots anymore.

You have to get tough with yourself and analyze whether or not you have the personality, the determination, and the knowledge to work these things out with her.

Have you started researching training programs/DVDs/books? What are you reading up on? Who is your resource for training education and lessons? When you are out there riding, is anyone helping you?

Having the old lady smack the horse on the butt isn't going to help you. You need to learn how to establish respect, first on the ground with groundwork (yes, back to that subject again), then progress up into the saddle. There are printed programs designed to help you learn in a progressive way, and these would be much more beneficial to you than just coming online and asking for help. We're all happy to help but it would take too long to explain everything in an online forum...that's why I originally suggested Clinton Anderson's program. It's not the be-all and end-all to horsemanship, but it will help you get started. Then as you go along and work through it all, you can ask specific questions to help you build your skills.

If you don't get a handle on this, Mango's behaviour will only escalate, becoming increasingly more dangerous to you. The horse is sending you warnings that she is not ready for you to ride her, based on your experience in dealing with a herd-bound/out of shape/left to sit in the pasture horse.

P.s. Don't feel so bad about being a "noob"...everyone was there at one point or another. Even with the years of experience I have with multiple horses, I would not be getting on a horse that had sat for 6 yrs and demonstrated serious herd-bound behaviour, without doing groundwork for a while until I was dead sure that the horse was listening to me and doing what he/she was told, before I got in the saddle.
     
    04-15-2013, 02:26 PM
  #30
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    

Balking is when a horse refuses to go forward. Swatting them on the rump is one way to get them to move forward. Another way is to make forward the easy option. Instead do lateral work (leg yielding, turn on haunches, turn on forehand, sidepassing), circling, etc. is another good option.

Think every action must be a correction if they're doing something you don't like/allow. The fact she bowled you over shows she has as much respect for you as a wooden scratching post. That isn't much, btw.
^^^This. If my horse refuses to move off my leg, I'll use work that will move their feet sideways, if they don't want to go forwards. I guess a simple way to 'explain' lateral work is moving sideways off your leg while still maintaining forward motion (this is a very basic explanation). Technically, leg-yielding isn't a lateral movement because it has no bend (which is required for lateral movements, it is more of a precursor to lateral work, imo).

Since I suck at explaining things, here are some videos I like that explains leg-yielding well. Start the leg yield at the walk until you figure it out. The aids are the same as they would be at the trot.

For learning/teaching turn on the forehand, I would bring the horse to halt. You will be moving the haunches around the forehand here - for the sake of explanation let's say you're moving the haunches left. Flex the horse's nose to the right slightly (so you can see the corner of his right eye). Keeping the flexion, press with your right leg (inside leg) to move the haunches to the left. Use your left leg and rein (through keeping your leg on lightly and "squeezing" your left rein[half-halt]) to restrict the movement and so he takes a couple small steps. Maintain your flexion to the right throughout. If he backs up go immediately forward (however, forward movement is okay - this is really what we want from this horse in the end anyways with his unwillingness to travel forward).

SO (recap): right flexion, right leg on and pressing/asking for the haunches to move left, left leg and rein on to keep the movement controlled.

I hope that made some sense .

Sidepass is like a leg-yield, but without the forward. You would move the horse directly sideways opposed to sideways and forwards. The aids are essentially the same. This may actually be a better place for you to start. It will be easier to organize your aids without going forward as well.

If my horse nudged me nearly over he would be in a world of trouble. I would suggest backing him away from you when he's rude like that and making him yield to you. Move his forehand away from you (like a turn on the haunches) and move his haunches (the same manner as a ridden turn on the forehand, press on his belly to move his butt away) for example. You can do any of this on the ground, as ground work, but you may need a helper until you understand the ground work a bit better.

Good luck! If you need me to explain better I'll do my best. I hope that helped you out. You sound like your off to a good start and have some knowledgable people you can pick the brains of!
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