Experianced Girth Help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-25-2014, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Red face Experianced Girth Help

Hi ,

I Have A Detailed Post In "Narural Horsemanship" But Im Writting A Straight One As Well... So I Dont Come Off Like A Owner That Spoils Her Horse Too Much (Cause I Probably Do) Im Asking For Tips On Easing Your Horse Into Responding To A Tight Girth When Saddle Breaking... Some People Never Tighten It... I Dont Want The Saddle To Slip So Im Not Getting On Till It Stays TIGHT And My Horse Responds To It Comfortably... Ive Seen To Many Accidents Happen That Way... Im Still Using A Roller And Saddle Pad... Any Tips???

Thanks... And If You Are Going To Say Off To A Trainer... Please Dont Respond... I Want Feedback And Sujestions As I Have A Great Trainer Who He Sees If He Dosnt Respond To My Comands... Trainer Is My Last Resort... Thanx
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-25-2014, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Ps... I Am Making It As Comfortable As Possible With A Padded Roller/Girth Too That Is Not Big And Bulky... Its Not "Uncomfortable" For Him As Such, Its Irritating Him Being Tight...
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-25-2014, 07:54 AM
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from my experience the slower you tighten it up the more comfortable they will get with it and just take it slow and don't push past a comfort zone...I know a lot of horses that had problems with their girth from tightening too fast.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-25-2014, 08:05 AM
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I responded in your other thread, but if your "trainer" cannot get past this, they obviously are not experienced enough, or you are not listening to them.
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-25-2014, 08:54 AM
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Agreed. Tightening the girth shouldn't give you too many problems as long as you go at it slowly and let him take baby steps to get used to it. I haven't read your other thread, but if your trainer doesn't know how to get him used to a girth I don't know what to tell you...
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-25-2014, 09:13 AM
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I haven't read your other thread so apologies for anything I'm missing
I can't see the point in discussing your trainer as not relevant to your question and lots of very good trainers that teach people to ride and school horses aren't horse breakers
When I start a horse I leave a good padded roller/surcingle on it all the time for a while - it gets removed twice daily when the horse gets groomed and put back on. The exception being in wet weather
When you tighten it up do it gradually so he gets used to the pressure and has no worries about moving around when its on and tight
So assuming you've already gone through this stage and had no explosions and the horse is relaxed and happy with it then the saddle shouldn't be a major deal because the thing that worries them more than anything is that pressure from the girth squeezing on them
I used to keep an old lightweight saddle for the introduction phase - not for riding in. Use a good saddle pad and be sure that nothing is going to pinch him
Go through the same process that you did with the surcingle - a bit at a time and once its tight enough that it wont move when you pull on it walk him forwards a few steps - if he's OK then increase on that
Always be really alert to the horse getting tense and stiffening up - even experienced handlers can have bad accidents if a horse suddenly goes into a broncing panic attack and lands on them
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-25-2014, 09:15 AM
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First, make sure the saddle fits. If it fits poorly then the horse would naturally be uncomfortable with it being strapped to his back. It may help to have someone distract the horse while you slowly tighten it hole by hole initially. Put it on hole one on both sides and go up one hope after giving a break. Praise the horse when he stands quietly.

You may want to rethink telling people to take their advice elsewhere as well. Sometimes good advice includes consulting with a trainer, and I'm not going to just overlook that if I think it's something you need to think about. You're more than welcome to ignore any advice that you receive, but it's best to consider all options. Unless the horse is severely lashing out at you I think this is something you can try to handle on your own first, but if your current trainer can't help nip this problem then I would question their abilities.
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-25-2014, 10:27 AM
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Hello to the OP.

Please please please stop putting capital letters at the front of every word you type, it makes is so hard to read.

You are asking us to separate our views on your relationship with your horse from our advice on how to get him to accept the girth. But the majority of us are unable to do that because we feel that they are linked -

From what I have read I think that if any horse felt as dominant over me as your horse does over you, then I would get the same bolshy reaction to tightening up the girth as you are. In other words, a girth is a (vaguely) irritating thing to lay on his skin - he baulked at you tightening it up, and you backed off.

He had never learnt to accept what you ask of him without complaint because he is your boss.

I am not saying that you should cause your horse pain and discomfort. No no, the saddle and girth must fit properly and your horse must be healthy (no sores, no ulcers). Once you, as a responsible horse owner, are sure that he is healthy and has no reason to reject the girth, then you need to make him accept it.
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-25-2014, 11:08 AM
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Please please please stop putting capital letters at the front of every word you type, it makes is so hard to read.
I second this.

Here is how I get a horse used to the girth. First a saddle pad and rope snugged up around the girth area, just enough to hold the pad on. They usually don't respond much to this if you have desensitized properly. Then a surcingle. I do this one on the lunge line or ideally in a round pen. Snug it up enough to keep it on, send them off for a lap or two at a trot, then snug it up again, and move on with whatever you were planning to do. If they buck, ask for immediate direction changes to stop the bucking. If they try to stop, rear, etc, ask for faster forward motion, in no uncertain terms. At no point are they allowed to misbehave with tack on. You really want to reinforce that out in the pasture = play time, time with human = time to do your job.

when they go well in a surcingle, move on to the saddle. In the case of all the horses I've worked with, this is in a couple sessions, some times only one. Get the horse used to the saddle going on and off before cinching. Like I do with any horse I ride, I tighten the cinch enough to hold the saddle on, bridle, walk the horse out of the barn to wherever I want to mount or train, then tighten it enough to get on and ride. Job done.

the thing is, a horse will do whatever you let him do. In your case, he fussed with cinch pressure, you let him fuss instead of making him get on with it, now he fusses all the time. I could fix this horse in 15 minutes, and I'm no great trainer. You could too.

STOP treating him like a friend or child. In your other post you described your relationship as being like mother son or 'besties'. These ARE NOT healthy relationships for a horse and human to have. Horses are not humans, they are a prey animal that lives in herds and craves leadership. You are a predator.

For this relationship to work, you need to a) learn to read horse body language and understand them. Turning to kick = total disrespect. Sucking on your hands like they are a mares teats = disrespect(and weird...), being turned out for days in a grassy field with nice clean water and no work = vacation, yay! and;
b) learn to be a leader, and a good fair one. Give the horse a job. When you say "go" or "stop", mean it and make it happen. Strive to be the type of leader your horse wants to follow.
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-25-2014, 11:21 AM
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I third the grammar issues. xD

When I was breaking my filly I just took things slow. If you start with the curcingle or girth loose, and then slowly begin to tighten it, (and the training has been going well so far/your horse respects you) I don't foresee you running into any issues.
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