Help with a green broke horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 07-19-2009, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Help with a green broke horse

Hi! I am training my 1st horse. Dixie is a 4 y/o Haflinger Mustang cross. She stands 15.5 and is green broke. I have been training her in a round pen with a halter (advice from the people I got her from) and my saddle everyday for 5 days now. She response very well and was not having any problems. I went yesterday to work with her and we begin in the round pen. Lunging, walking while mounted, etc... We began to trot and she would not take a turn I asked. Finally she did, but the next time we got to that spot she would not. She did finally and then before I new it, we jumped the round pen and we're headed for the electric fence. Luckily she stopped short of the hot wire (I really didn't want to go into that again) and was able to get her back to the round pen. After that she tried the same thing. She was unsuccessful but I became a noodle in the panel when she threw me. I feel that I have no control over her, but the boarders who have trained horses and broke her said not to use a bit yet! Any thoughts? What can I be doing wrong? When can I use a bit? Help!!!! I don't want a repeat of what happened!
Thanks for reading and any advice!

Last edited by bolder07; 07-19-2009 at 08:04 AM.
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post #2 of 23 Old 07-19-2009, 08:14 AM
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If she won't turn at the trot, chances are she does something similar at the walk. Tiny problems generally get worse the more speed you add. Go back to the walk and get perfect control there. Forwards, backwards, left and right. Build a "whoa" button. Get control of her shoulders, ribcage, and hindquarters. From the situation you described, teaching a one rein stop is also in order. You can teach this in a halter or in a bridle, from the ground and from the saddle. All of the basic control exercises can be introduced from the ground and translate into ridden work.

As far as the bit issue, if you bought her, she's your horse, not the boarder's or the first trainer's. I personally would start letting her wear a snaffle bit headstall with the halter when you lunge and ride, let her get used to the bit in her mouth. When she's comfortable with that (no head tossing, easily accepts bitting, etc.) you can introduce bit pressure and ask her to respond to rein cues.

The best thing I can tell you is, if it's not good at the walk, the trot will be a real nightmare. Same for trot to canter.

Incidentally, how high is your roundpen? Except for watching Parelli's on TV, the shortest one I've ever seen is 5 1/2 feet. That's a heck of a jump! Kudos for staying on!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #3 of 23 Old 07-19-2009, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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The round pen is 6 ft. I thought I was going to die! I was amazed I stayed on!!! Ya'll see why I don't want a repeat!!!!
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post #4 of 23 Old 07-19-2009, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Dixie does jump between the pastures. They are 5 ft fences. I should have known.
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post #5 of 23 Old 07-20-2009, 12:01 AM
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Oh my, what a scarey ride!

I think you need to spend more time on the ground with this horse; make sure she knows how to bend and flex on the ground before getting on her, otherwise you may continue to have these repeat incidents.

As the other poster mentioned, you CAN get her used to a snaffle bit, and start riding her in it.

Also make sure she has a firm "WHOA" in place; with your work on the ground (good bending and flexing to light pressure), you will be able to teach her a one rein stop, which is when you take up the slack in one rein and hold it at your hip until the horse comes to a halt.

Until you have her light and soft in the bridle, I wouldn't advance to a trot; she should know how to turn in both directions without fighting you, should stop consistantly, and go forward willingly without stopping on her own.

A good book to learn some helpful techniques is Clinton Anderson's DownUnder Horsemanship

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #6 of 23 Old 07-20-2009, 12:05 AM
Green Broke
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Um - sorry to say, but from the sounds of it you really should get help from a trainer before you or the horse get hurt.

BTW - are you sure she is mustangXhaflinger? Both breeds tend to be 13-15 hands, a cross that tall would be very rare.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #7 of 23 Old 07-20-2009, 12:09 AM
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I'm confused by your post and have a few questions.
1) How old are you?
2) How long have you ridden?
3) How tall is your horse?
*15.5hh is not a horse size.
*Haffies and mustangs tend to be small, as would a cross between the two.
4) Why isn't this horse with your trainer?

You realize that this isn't even green broke, right?

Are you absolutely sure you wanna mess with my carrots?
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post #8 of 23 Old 07-20-2009, 08:50 AM
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HI Guys,

Just joined on here so i thoguht i'd introduce myself!
I'm way out of my depth here i think as i am from the Uk we break horses in a different style!!

Can i ask what you men by green broke?

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post #9 of 23 Old 07-20-2009, 11:54 AM
Green Broke
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To me, green broke means the horse has at least the basics under saddle and understands them. It just needs more miles under saddle to become a more confident mount. The foundation is laid and ready for higher level of training - whatever that may be.

This horse doesn't sound green-broke but rather barely started.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #10 of 23 Old 07-20-2009, 12:16 PM
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The height thing definately confused me too :)

I was wondering, what other ground work have you done with her besides the roundpen? Groundwork is going to be your best friend, especially with the whoaing like Scoutrider said.

Also, jumping out of the roundpen and paddocks is not acceptable. For paddocks, where is she jumping to? Does she have company out there? The mustang side of her is going to be a bit more rebellious generally, and haflinger's tend to be immature for the first like 8 years of their lives. (all generalizations, i know)

Jumping out of the roundpen is one of the worst things because she just learned an escape route. When she doesn't want to do something, out she goes and you have no control. I would get her used to the bit with lunging and roundpen work. Check her saddle, make sure it wasn't pinching her and thats why she rebelled.

Personally, with a horse so green, so athletic, and so fearless, I don't think you should be riding her yet. you definitely need a trainer, and you need to make your roundpen and paddocks higher. I've known horses that jumped out of their paddock and ran right into the street. most didn't fair too well.

P.S. 6 feet is HUGE. are you sure she is a haflinger/mustang? neither breed is known for their jumping ability, athleticism yes, but not jumping. I'm not saying that she isn't the exception, but be careful because at four, her knees aren't fully hard and jumping that high could seriously injure her. even if she's doing it herself.
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