I'm 40 yrs old and a novice to horsemanship. We bought 21 acres and built our dream home a year ago. We've been working as we go along to get it to where we want it to be...we have a LONG way to go! I, like most girls growing up, dreamed of owning a horse and growing up in the saddle. Sadly, that didn't happen but I never lost that desire. Here I am at 40 with a small bit of experience riding horses. We purchased a 7 yo Registered Paint almost 3 years ago. His name is Hootie. He stands around 15.1 or 15.2. He's had no health problems. He was sold as a beginner horse. We did ride him before purchasing him and he rode fine...in an arena. He has no kick or bite except when you tighten the girth on the saddle. He will then turn around and nip in your direction. He has never bucked me off but I wouldn't be surprised if he would try now.
While riding him once we got him home, we found him to be quite "spirited" and a bit pushy. And almost more difficult for me to handle is his speed. He's VERY fast. He respects me to a point but I feel as if it's not where it needs to be. Even though I point out his less desirable traits, we love him very much and we couldn't imagine our home without him.
Well, life became difficult as it sometimes does, and now a year later he hasn't been ridden. Now, I'm where I need him to work. He's a great, young horse that needs something to do other than stand and look pretty in the pasture.
So, my ideas are to start from the beginning, for him and me. I have the vet coming out for his annual the second week in Oct. So, I'm not crazy about putting a bit in his mouth until I have his teeth floated. It's been over a year since they've been done and I don't want to cause any undo stress for him or me. It's time for the farrier as well so I called him too. We have a pretty natural area so he's hooves are usually kept trim naturally. Right now, he has no shoes. I have no aspirations of showing horses or anything like that. I just want to ride trails and in and around our farm. I have 3 daughters and well, you know where that is going! They LOVE horses. Fortunately for them, they are taking lessons from someone that knows what they are doing.
Anyway, I think there is plenty do to before I get back in the saddle. I'm in no hurry. It took him a year to get "out of practice" and it shouldn't happen in one day to get back in.
I've been looking around and what methods I should follow on groundwork and I must admit, I'm stumped. I feel as if I need a little from here and a little from there but I don't trust myself to know what you do and in what order.
I would appreciate if you guys would help me put together a plan for the next couple of weeks of groundwork with Hootie. I do have a round pen that can be utilized. He leads fine although he can get a bit pushy at times.
When it comes to getting back in the saddle, I feel as if I should bring out a trainer with me at that point to be sure I'm doing all necessary to make this a good and enjoyable situation for me and Hootie but I would like to work on trust, respect and fundamentals before having to pay someone to come out. I'm stumped on what bit I should use, do I use a curb chain, what about a martingale, etc...Ugh. I'm so type A and not having a plan is driving me in circles...perhaps I should be in a round pen.
Thanks to everyone in advance for your support.