HELP! Starting a horse that knows NOTHING
 
 

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HELP! Starting a horse that knows NOTHING

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  • The horse that knows nothing
  • Starting a horse for the farrior help

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    09-15-2013, 12:39 AM
  #1
Foal
HELP! Starting a horse that knows NOTHING

Hello everyone,


I need some help. I've taken on the task of training a starting a 10 year old buckskin gelding. He's a stocky handsome boy and naturally mild mannered. However, he's lived in a pasture with three mares his whole life. He had a halter put on him once or twice about 8 years ago but that's it. I've trained a few horses before, but they were already halter trained and trained to stand while tied up, and used to being taken from the pasture to be worked with. I've got him comfortable with a halter on and being led, but other than that I'm kind of stumped. He freaks out when taken from the mare. The training arena is butted up against the pasture so when I separate him they all stand there and call out to him, and he throws a fit. I figured I should train him to lunge first, but then I realized I need him to just be comfortable being lead wherever I take him. What steps should I take in training this big boy Where do I start. I am a person of natural horsemanship. I want him to trust me and I want to trust him. I want to make this learning process as least stressful for him as I can. Not to mention SAFE. He likes to spook and take off when the mares call out. Any suggestions on training him and what I should do. Thanks for any advice.
     
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    09-15-2013, 01:45 AM
  #2
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahjgarrety    
Hello everyone,


I need some help. I've taken on the task of training a starting a 10 year old buckskin gelding. He's a stocky handsome boy and naturally mild mannered. However, he's lived in a pasture with three mares his whole life. He had a halter put on him once or twice about 8 years ago but that's it. I've trained a few horses before, but they were already halter trained and trained to stand while tied up, and used to being taken from the pasture to be worked with. I've got him comfortable with a halter on and being led, but other than that I'm kind of stumped. He freaks out when taken from the mare. The training arena is butted up against the pasture so when I separate him they all stand there and call out to him, and he throws a fit. I figured I should train him to lunge first, but then I realized I need him to just be comfortable being lead wherever I take him. What steps should I take in training this big boy Where do I start. I am a person of natural horsemanship. I want him to trust me and I want to trust him. I want to make this learning process as least stressful for him as I can. Not to mention SAFE. He likes to spook and take off when the mares call out. Any suggestions on training him and what I should do. Thanks for any advice.
I would start at the basics! I follow Clinton Anderson's methods, start with ground work in a round pen. Just taking him out and he's not paying attention to you is him disrespecting you. If you do a search on Youtube you can find some vids that will help you with working on the ground and teaching him to lead.
When you lead him is he bumping into you, trying to go past you.......I would make him stay behind, take the end of the lead rope and toss it over your shoulder, if he runs into it, then he's too close in your personal space.....he's got to learn to focus on you and not the girls out in the paddock.....
gssw5 and Clevelandbays64 like this.
     
    09-15-2013, 06:44 PM
  #3
Foal
He's herd bound and that is your first task at hand. Get him to walk away and be calm and quiet. After that everything will go much easier. That's a big task. Any possibility he can be pastured away from the mares?
     
    09-15-2013, 07:29 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Just as in training any horse, you'll need to work with him in stages or levels. Because he is an older horse you will need to be prepared to take longer getting through them but if you persist you will get there.

Right now it sounds like the first stage is to get him comfortable on his own. If you are consistent and regular (this is a very important point with any horse not just him), he will get the hang of this new 'lifestyle' change - take him out, groom him, feed him, lead him around a bit, gradually increasing the time you have him out. As he settles into this routine, start adding groundwork exercises in yielding hindquarters, yielding forequarters, backing as he most certainly will need them. You are now setting him up to learn to follow your leadership. Once again, because he is older, make sure you and he are absolutely in tune with these before you move on to something else. You need to be sure he understands and accepts these exercises as they are laying the foundation for more advanced work.

I should think you should look at Clinton Anderson's methods for starting horses (not that I'm promoting him over someone else). They seem as reasonable and easy to follow as any. He lays out steps to follow that recognizes the importance of desensitizing, sensitizing and helping the horse to handle pressure.

I`m assuming getting a trainer into help the two of you is not possible at this point so that means you`ll just have to be doubly careful, doubly patient and ever watchful really think through what you are doing with him.

Good luck and keep us posted on his progress.
     
    09-15-2013, 07:55 PM
  #5
Yearling
Find some videos of Clinton Anderson doing the round penning exercise, that is the very first exercise in colt starting and in his fundamental series.

The purpose of the round penning is to establish respect in a safe environment, you are teaching the horse that you can control his feet, just like the mares in his herd. Without getting into specifics you do it off the line this gives you and the horse lots of space for you to apply and release pressure. You establish direction, gait, and consistent changes in direction always having the horse turn into you. Once you have a consistent change in direction you move towards drawing them into you. The purpose of any lunging is to gain and maintain respect, not to wear them out. You have to establish yourself as alpha and prove yourself worthy of leading him, the round pen is a safe place to establish yourself. Once you establish yourself as leader the rest will come easier. Prove to him you are able to move his feet just like the mares in his pasture.

Honestly if you don't know where to begin and have no experience starting this type of horse you need to ask for help, from someone who can help with hands on advice. Older horses are no harder to train then younger ones, actually I find them to be easier in a lot of ways. Their bodies and brains are fully matured and they are ready to learn. Starting a horse at any age is easier then breaking bad and dangers habits on any horse. But you absolutely have to know what your doing and have a plan. Good luck, be safe.
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    09-15-2013, 08:05 PM
  #6
Foal

I really like how this guy does his groundwork. I think it's mostly Clinton Anderson methods. I lose him a little when he gets to backing the horse, but other than that he does a really good job of explaining.
Evan likes this.
     
    09-15-2013, 10:15 PM
  #7
Trained
First & foremost, if you aren't experienced in training horses, especially if you have no idea how to go about it, I cannot stress enough to find a good trainer to at least work with you & the horse. It is very easy to mess up a horse if you don't know what you're doing, & spoil his chances of a good life due to 'bad behaviour'. That said...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahjgarrety    
I've got him comfortable with a halter on and being led, but other than that I'm kind of stumped. He freaks out when taken from the mare.
Start at the beginning. Don't tie him up until he's really good at yielding to lead pressure in any direction & don't tie him solid until he's good & confident at standing 'tied' with a long lead looped around a rail, with a 'Tie Ring' or some such.

If he isn't used to dealing with humans, then he will naturally be much more reticent to leave his 'herd' & comfortable environment with you. So I'd stick to training him in his pasture with his mate for a start, until you establish a good, trusting relationship with him. Once you get to the point that you're ready to take him into different environments, you could start out taking the mare too, &/or you could start taking him out for VERY short stints - eg start out going out the gate 10 metres, or only a minute & then back, repeating this to gain his confidence with being out with you, & gradually increase the 'journeys' as he becomes confident & learns that it's OK to be out with you, regardless of the other horses carrying on.

I also like to use positive reinforcement & in this situation it would help him see going out with & paying attention to you is a Good Thing for him. If you don't know much about +R training, read up on the principles of 'clicker training'.

Quote:
I figured I should train him to lunge first, but then I realized I need him to just be comfortable being lead wherever I take him.
Yes, you need to start at the beginning, which is not 'lunging'. Depends what you want ou of 'lunging' as to why you might do it at all too. Think about the basics - the foundations he needs; To learn trust in you & be desensitised/accustomed to what you want, whether it's what you do, where you go, what you use, etc; to understand what you're wanting of him, of which IME yielding to pressure in a variety of ways is the main 'foundation'.

So you've got him comfortable with the halter & being led. Good start. Is he comfortable being touched all over, including being touched with ropes, a stick/whip, etc? I'd work on that first. Then when he's confident with all that, start applying pressure in different ways - with your fingertips, with a stick/whip, swinging rope, etc, to get him to move in various ways - move his forehand away, hind quarters, go forwards, backwards, etc, etc. The point is to *teach* him to *yield*, that is, move softly & willingly with understanding, rather than just try to make him do it, which can lead to him reacting in fear without thought.

Once he's yielding to pressure in all ways, leading really well up close, then you can 'test' it by asking him at gradually bigger distances away from you, until it becomes 'lunging', which is, to me, just for teaching/confirming these basics at a distance.
     

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natural horsemanship, starting, training

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