How can I train my 2 older completely green mares? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Red face How can I train my 2 older completely green mares?

I am going to pick-up 2 completely green mares tomorrow evening. Blossom is a 4 year old paint halflinger. She is not even harness broke. We have to slightly tranq her in order to get her to even harness her and get her into the trailer to transport home. She has had NO formal training. All she was ever used for was a big pet.
Babe is a 7 year old pacer horse. She is currently harnessed. She lifts well for the ferrier and for myself. She is not saddle broke and has NO formal training either. She is very shy around people. She is currently housed with a mule and is acting bullheaded like the mule. She thinks that she is the "Boss Mare" no matter where she is.
We are bringing them home tomorrow to get them settled in their new home. I need some training tips on how to gentle them (break .... I don't like this term) so they are well mannered riding horses. Anyone have any ideas or any help?
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 09:02 PM
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When you say "harness," do you mean "halter?"

Have you had experience training a horse before yourself? Do you have a qualified friend or professional trainer to help you?

The same rules apply now as for any horse, just to get them haltered and comfortable around people, then apply the concepts of pressure/release to teach virtually everything they need to know.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 09:08 PM
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Well, from your post it seems you have no previous training experience, right? If that is the case, I would suggest that the best thing for you, and especially the horses, is to find yourself a competent, experienced trainer to work with them.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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I have no training experience but I have rode for 7 years.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 10:03 PM
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Riding and training are two very different things. I've ridden for 15 years and just finishing off my green broke gelding took A LOT of education, and trial and error. If you go into this blindly you will just end up confusing your horse, get frusterated, and than the horse will shut down. I've watched it happen even when trained horses are worked wrong. Their mind just shuts off and they go through the motions, so nothing actually sticks with them

Bubba is right. Before you even think about saddle breaking, or training you need to get them halter broke and use to people... than work into the pressure and release system. Getting them to understand and perform their groundwork is the building block for everything else they will do.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Babe, the 7 year old... she is halter broke...She will allow me to be in her stall with her but when other approach she walks away. She became protective of me today when we were out there and the mule walked into the barn. She stepped between the mare and myself and kind of blew her breath at him as if she were telling him to back off. Blossom is my baby... beautiful... seems to be well mannered... but is green. I went in the stall with her today for a few minutes... let her smell me and adjust to me being new. She is a "boss mare". Untill tomorrow, she is pinned with another mare and acts upon being the boss. She will stomp her hind legs at Rayne and let Rayne know that she is the boss. She kind of tries to snuggle up on my jacket when I am outside of the stall. She loves to be talked to and loves being groomed.
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 10:21 PM
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I'll give you a brief scenario - I was doing an internship a few summers ago and needed cheap housing. I ended up renting a room from a couple who had an aggressive and dominant 2 year old gelding, and they wanted me to gentle him in exchange for living expenses. When I tried to send him away from me, he turned around and started backing and kicking at me. I ended up putting on 2 heavy jackets, a helmet, steel toed boots, and I went out there and didn't quit till he submitted to me. I won, unscathed thankfully, and after 2 months of hard work he was ready to start under saddle.

Point goes to show that you can't lose against a horse. My very first horse was a spoiled yearling. I had been riding for about 12 years by that point, and figured I would enjoy the challenge. During the first year he reared up and pawed me in the chest,and he also bit me so hard he ripped my shirt completely open. It wasn't until I got a trainer to come out and give me training lessons that I learned how I was allowing my horse to be dominant and what I should do to have a safe and rewarding relationship with him.

Novices always ignore the "get a trainer" advice, so I figured I'd give you a real scenario.

My dear friend who has ridden show jumpers for 15 years and jumps 5 feet and shows 3rd level dressage can't train a horse to save her life, but she can ride like hell. The point is, training a horse is completely different than riding one.

If I were you, get a trainer to give you tasks each week and take a lesson where she comes out and shows you what to do and then you work on that each week. I did that for a few months and it made a WORLD of difference, I learned how to be the dominant figure as well as how to start a horse under saddle.

If you have problems affording a trainer (which you shouldn't if you just bought 2 horses) go work at a horse rescue on your time off. I did that for a few years while working with my trainer and I learned quickly how to work with many different types of horses and got to train some as well. That will help you learn quicker than just training lessons alone.

Anyway good luck, everyone's going to tell you to get a trainer, which is what you should do. :)
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 10:27 PM
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I am not going to get into the why you shouldn't train horses without experience & all the rest. It's been said a million times on here. I will tell you one thing, it will be frustrating, unsatisfying, expensive, aggravating, disappointing and possibly dangerous. Is this what you want from horseownership? Because this is what is going to happen in all likelihood unless you're extremely lucky. More than likely, you will end up with knotheads that you can't ride, that you can't load up in a trailer & take out the community trail ride, that basically you're just feeding & getting no fun from. Think hard & deep, is this what you want?
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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I have an Amish trainer that will train them for a month at a time... wonderful man... and will give them ground manners and start to saddle break. I am thinking about sending them to him in February or early March to see what he can do for them.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 10:54 PM
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Careful with the Amish. As a generalization, they tend to see horses as machinery only, and have a reputation for being quite harsh (and not always that effective).
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training advice , training haflingers , training help , training horses

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