Can you Re-Train a 23 year old.. - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By waresbear
  • 2 Post By Northernstar
  • 1 Post By gssw5
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-05-2014, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Can you Re-Train a 23 year old..

Charlie used to be a horse ridden every day and walked,trotted and cantered with beautiful transitions. Fast forward eleven years and being a pasture pet. He has only sadly been lightly ridden and is mainly a companion for our pony. A riding spill scared me too much to have total confidence with him for years until up to a year ago and now I don't put up with his shenanigans. I just want to know if/how to get the horse back that I bought. I know that my lack of being there do to fear and lack of time/experience has lead to the way he is now but I want to get us back to being able to go for a ride and it being everything it should be!

(Sorry for all of the how to change my horse posts.. but I want to get back to the part of life where I can really bond with him and ride him)
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-05-2014, 09:03 PM
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Absolutely, but it won`t be an overnight thing. It will be a long, slow while, as he is older so long warm ups are a must, to teach, or reteach proper behaviour and responses to a rider`s cues.
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-05-2014, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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What would be the best way to teach him to re-respond to my cues? Should I start out with just long walks for a while? What do I need to work on at the beginning?
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-05-2014, 09:16 PM
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I agree with waresbear, and also want to add that you shouldn't feel that riding your horse is the utmost goal to do with him, especially for now. There are so many enjoyable things I do with my horses every single day, without riding them! Think of the simple things to un-complicate your time with him! Take a long walk with him using the lead rope - it's not uncommon, and it's very, very relaxing and enjoyable! I'm not the only one who does this, and many other cool interactions that I enjoy with my mares. Horses aren't waiting around just 'dying for us to get on their backs and ride them', as they weren't created for that purpose in the first place! I'ts just a privilege that they allow us to do it. Work with Charlie, spend time doing all sorts of things with him in between riding, and you'll most likely establish a remarkable relationship :)
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-05-2014, 09:20 PM
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He probably needs to be re-tuned rather then retrained. I read an article talking about how horses retain their training even after years of no use, such as your case. He may not be able to perform at the same level he did 11 years ago due to old age and certain ails such as arthritis, but he is certainly not a lost cause. You would have to start him back slow and get him conditioned again. In addition make sure he is being fed an adequate diet to help regain his conditioning.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-05-2014, 09:27 PM
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I would go through all the flexing, side, other side, back, then the hindquarters, then 2 tracking, all perfected at the walk, then move onto the trot, then the canter, or lope. Slowly, really slowly.

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post #7 of 9 Old 03-06-2014, 07:35 AM
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He just needs to be 'legged up' a little and needs a tune-up. They do not forget anything. They get sloppy and lazy and sometimes pretty spoiled, but they do not forget anything.

I would get someone very experienced to ride him a few times and see just what he knows. He does not need training to go right back to being ridden at whatever level he rode at when you got him.

We have run on to old show horses. In 30 days they were doing great competitive lead changes, doing patterns that a youth or Amateur could win with, etc.

Was he 'show trained' or just well-broke to ride? If he was show trained, he probably knows little about the 'ground work' that is all the fad nowadays. Personally, I would get him legged up and in decent condition and have someone ride in a couple of times and evaluate his previous training unless you know all of his history.

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post #8 of 9 Old 03-06-2014, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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His previous owner told me when I bought him that he had been showed. I know that the girl who rode him for the owner rode almost every day! I accidentally cantered once when I was trying him out before we bought him and he transitioned like a dream! I don't remember if he had his head low then or not.. but he definitely does when he canters now if I'm on him! He is also not as fluid!
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-07-2014, 12:48 PM
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every time you are with your horse, you are training it. good things or bad things. at any and every age. yes, you can train an older horse...but there are going to be years of training that you have to break through, first. it will take time, but it can be done.
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