Advice on my training plan, please?

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Advice on my training plan, please?

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    03-11-2012, 11:13 PM
Advice on my training plan, please?

So for my 13 birthday my dad bought me a two year old MFT reg. Gelding. Both my dad and I at that time were classified as beginners in the horse trade and realize how big a mistake this was but obviously you can't change the past and I know we've both learned from the experience. As you can imagine the ending result of the next three years I had this gelding were Green + Green = black and blue and so two years ago I finally sold him after one trip to the trainers--who in hindsight should have that title stripped from him fast--and many years of groundwork because he was just not improving and it didn't seem worth it to send him to the trainers especially since this was around the time that I started becoming interested in reining and he definitely was not a prospect for that.
I've spent these past two years working with my trainers horses and showing at small local shows in pleasure classes--which I got all around grand champion last year :)--and trying fataly to get into reining.
Now, due to some circumstances, I am getting this gelding back. Part of me does not want him back at all. He caused me a lot of emotiontional and physical pain when I had him and I'm sure that I didn't help him much as a novice 13 year old. Now he is 7 and I just turned 17 yesterday and I've decided to try and make the best of the situation. I cannot control if we get him back or not--it was my dad's decision--and our financiaces haven't improved much over the years so sending him out for training to a better trainer is really out of the question.
I refuse to let him become another pasture hog that burns up cash though so I am willing to try again with the knowledge I've learned over the years and some assistance from the trainer I have now. My ultimate goal with him is to just get him trained as a trustworthy good mount and sell him as a trail horse by the fall. Then I would use that money to purchase a reining bred yearling to eventually send in for reining training and take lessons myself.
I know he hasn't been worked with in two years but before I sold him he had pretty good foundations in groundwork so I feel confident that if we get off to the right start that he can be trained by the fall. Obviously, once he gets here I can evaluate him and see if it will take more time then that but by the fall is the very optimistic goal.
I guess by posting this I just wanted to get this off my chest as it has been worrying me and also seek others opinions if this seems like a logical plan to follow and if there are any better suggestions.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and I appreciate responses but please try to refran from being rude while stating your opinion.
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    03-11-2012, 11:23 PM
This will be very interesting and I hope you will share your adventures and progress.

Specifically, what sort of problems were you having with him before? Do you think you now know what you might have done wrong?
    03-11-2012, 11:26 PM
There is a great book called " the modern horseman' s countdown to broke by Sean Patrick. I highly recommend buying it and following it step by step... it starts with round pen, handling, giving to pressure, desensitization, then first rides, giving to pressure, moving body parts, transitions, and then up to more advanced maneuvers... even if you know most of it, it really helps to have a solid plan on how to move forward...

Good luck
    03-11-2012, 11:39 PM
I think the main problem was I scared of him in the saddle. The first day we got him back from the trainers he bucked me off and when I fell I hurt my hip pretty badly and he ended up jumping completely over me. He's a very dominant horse and that incident with him made me a very hesitant rider on him. I've been through quite a bit-more than I'd like to admit :P--of falls on other horses since then and my seat is a millions times better and I'm a more assertive rider. I also had issues with turning and forward implosion under saddle with him but I'm fairly certain it was because he was never trained to move off pressure or give and I would get so tired after just a little bit of trying to get him to go I would just give up :P

I will definitely check out that book. I have a pretty general idea of my step by step plan but a book would be a godsend as well. :)
    03-11-2012, 11:41 PM
Forward impulsion. Not forward implosion XD that would be awful!
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    03-12-2012, 12:14 AM
Well, in that case, having him move forward off of the lead rope will be your first goal. Then backward, then yield front back and sides.
The horse you are leading is the horse you'll be riding, so if that horse is being dominant, heavy, sticky or resistant on the leadline, you might not want to even bother saddling up.

Work on having him responsive and respectful on the ground . And work in some things that are 'messy", like noisy things or other things that will disrupt him. I mean, folks often think the horse is doing so well on the lead rope, but only because he's in a perfect environment and as soon as there is something strange, the horse falls apart. Make him fall apart a few times. Or rather give him the chance to fall apart if he's going to do it anyway.
    03-12-2012, 12:24 AM
Thank you very much! I had planned to start him as you have suggested but having a second opinion is very comforting :)
    03-12-2012, 12:43 AM
I agree with tinyliny. Groundwork. Lots of backing up, turns on the forehand or hind. Also use trailers, wash rack or hose, clippers, and anything else your horse needs to get used to.

Then move on to lunging. Lots of transitions, pace changes, changing the diameter of the circle. Or round penning if you don't lunge.
    03-12-2012, 01:04 AM
I did have him trained to lunge before I sold him although he was slightly rough going into and during cantering. I hope he will pick it up as quickly as he did before after he has the rest of the basics down again.
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    03-12-2012, 01:31 AM
Do you know if he's had any kind of training since you sold him or has he just been virtually unhandled since you last had him?

Either way, the first thing you need to do is throw your timeline out the window. I know that sounds harsh, but the best way to set yourself up for failure is to put a time limit on things. His training will take as long as it takes and you'll need to prepare yourself for the possibility that he may never be a trustworthy trail mount. I don't want to sound pessimistic, but some horses simply aren't cut out to be trusted mounts whether it is due to temperament or whether it's due to previous handling. With him, all you can do is take it a day at a time and just see where you're at come this fall.

I am very happy to hear that you do have a trainer you will be working with. That will be your best chance of success right there. Be very thorough on all you're groundwork and make sure you know how to react (and how to stop him) if he starts trying to buck you off again.

Good luck to you.
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