Call me crazy for this "schedule."
 
 

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Call me crazy for this "schedule."

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  • My horse is so jumpy under saddle

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    12-14-2011, 01:00 AM
  #1
Weanling
Call me crazy for this "schedule."

Am I really as big of a nut as my friends make me feel??

I got my project, Bamber, back in August. My boarder made me severely uncomfortable and no one ever really wanted to stick around long, so I didn't get to do extensive work with him until I moved him late October/early November.

When I got him, Bam was extremely hard to handle, let alone catch. He wasn't wild, just jumpy. I would move my hand toward his neck, his halter, etc. and he would nearly flip out (jump away and stare wide-eyed). To catch him, I simply took his feed into a stall; he would go in, I would put up the stall guard, let him eat a few bites, halter him, let him finish, and away we go.

Now he's where I work at the livery; 100% horse-safe property, plenty of mentor horses. He has his own paddock. From day 1 he was a different horse; friendlier, in my pocket. I figured it was because this was new, and I was familiar; however, it is still the same. At the old place if I came in his direction, he would pin his ears and then scurry away -- there was no getting close to him! (He tried to kick my old boarder more than once, so he claims.)

I have spent all of this time working out the kinks on his ground manners. Picking up his feet. Accepting a full grooming. Leading properly. The works.

A friend of mine recently asked if I've been on him yet. I explained to her that I wanted to work out his ground manners before I worked him under saddle. (He was ridden when he was 2 -- but since he's a hard catch, spent 3 years on pasture.) And boy, did she look at me like I had 13 heads! The way she said "Are you serious?" made me feel like I've been doing this all wrong.

Bamber stands tied for hours. He grooms well (but doesn't stand well for his hind). Halters great (used to spook when you tried to put the halter over his nose or lead around his neck). Easier than any of our other horses to catch; he comes to you. Picks up all 4 feet. Today he even let me use a spray bottle to spray wound treatment on his face where our "old bitty" bit the bridge of his nose, and then rub the treatment in without an argument.

With the progress he's made, I feel like I'm on the right track with my boy. I give him 1 lesson a day, work him on that (plus his previous lessons) for about 2 days, before I teach him something new. I'm in no rush to have him dead broke and under saddle like a champ.

What do you guys think? Would you take this trail with a similar horse or would you jump on its back ASAP like my friend claims she would?

EDIT
I also feel I should include that the new property has a round pen, a small paddock (where he is now), and medium pasture where I work our other green horses. The previous pasture had two good-sized (nothing huge, but not small either) pastures, and no round pen. So my choices were: work horse in open area or with barbed wire fencing. So I put that off and worked on his handling there until he was moved where he is now, where I have fewer kinks to work on.
     
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    12-14-2011, 01:04 AM
  #2
Trained
Sounds like you are progressing fine. Why do you feel the need to speed it up? Because somebody said so? Tell them to suck a lemon.
natisha likes this.
     
    12-14-2011, 01:05 AM
  #3
Banned
Personally, I'd ride the thing. There's only so much ground work you can do, and if he's not blowing-up snorty, what's the reason for waiting? You can work on confidence under saddle as well as you can on the ground.
     
    12-14-2011, 01:06 AM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear    
Sounds like you are progressing fine. Why do you feel the need to speed it up? Because somebody said so? Tell them to suck a lemon.
I won't be speeding up until I'm 100% satisfied with Bam's manners on the ground. But she certainly made me feel like I should be galloping down the road with him by now. :/

My last boarder allowed him to turn his rear & kick out when he was around food. Kick out in the stall. Push him around. All of this, I have to undo.
     
    12-14-2011, 01:24 AM
  #5
Weanling
Also! My birthday is December 17. I will be getting on him on the 18th. Until then, will be working up on his accepting the pad & saddle without spooking, as well as lunge work with the saddle.
     
    12-14-2011, 04:10 AM
  #6
Yearling
If it were me I'd trust my instincts. As fast as things can go bad, seems like it's taking a pretty big risk if you're not 99% certain that you can handle anything that happens and you get on. The more experience you get the more you're able to handle but remember that green on green can indeed result in black and blue ;)
     
    12-14-2011, 04:28 AM
  #7
Started
In my opinion your doing it the right way for you and your horse. You know this horse better than anybody else don't you? So don't worry about what your friend says you should or shouldn't do, your two completely different people with different horses and everything.

Your horse is ready to be ridden when you say so, and personally I think it's great you haven't just strapped everything up real tight and held on for dear life, I'm glad that you want respect and good behaviour on the ground before you get on his back. And it's also great that you have a goal, just don't be disappointed if for whatever reason it doesn't happen.

Good luck :)
     
    12-14-2011, 04:30 AM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba13    
Personally, I'd ride the thing. There's only so much ground work you can do, and if he's not blowing-up snorty, what's the reason for waiting? You can work on confidence under saddle as well as you can on the ground.

Agreed.
You made the progress, but horses don't think like humans. He may have had a bad time, but why put you, as a rider, in that situation?
You don't have to be galloping about, just get on, and walk. Don't change anything out of the norm for now, just make it part of his routine and crack on.

If he is snorty snorty, try free lunging in a lunge pen/round pen. Get him to start to listen to you in every aspect.

We have someone at our yard who bought an 8000 mare, QHxTB. Nice creature, she pays for her trainer to ride it, she lunges it, but she won't ride. I don't get that, personally. If you have a young, fit horse that is under saddle- ride it! Its a great way to bond with the horse, and have contact with it.
     
    12-14-2011, 04:36 AM
  #9
Foal
Go for a birthday ride and enjoy. It sounds like you've been putting a lot of work into him.
     
    12-14-2011, 11:06 AM
  #10
Weanling
Sounds like you've come a long way with him. Despite what others may think - YOU know this horse best, and if you want to take your time and get his ground manners better before adressing the riding issue it will just help the horse to be more trusting of you before you take such a large step.

How many rescue horses has this person trained before? Probably none. My guess is they've ridden very calm horses and never worked with a horse like this who needs to establish trust of humans before being ridden. So don't let someone else tell you what to do - you know the horse best so you, and only you, should determine the timetable for this horses training.
Creampuff likes this.
     

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