How do I start with working with an already trained horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 02-09-2013, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Michigan
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How do I start with working with an already trained horse?

I have recently purchased my first horse. He is already trained. I would like to know what I can do with him as far as groundwork goes, to build a bond.

I am finding many resources for people who have horses that have not yet been trained, or are hard to control, he doesn't fall into either catagory.

Any suggestions on books, or where to start ?
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post #2 of 25 Old 02-09-2013, 09:40 PM
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Clinton Anderson. His methods for building respect on the ground are great for all horses, regardless of training level.
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post #3 of 25 Old 02-09-2013, 10:46 PM
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So...what's your training level?

If you know what you are doing and want to build a good relationship with him, ride him. If you need training yourself, start with the ground work.

Sorry, that was a little facetious. If your confidence is a little lacking, starting with groundwork is the right thing to do.

I would start with grooming. Brush him down very well, every inch, for a long session, including hoof cleaning. Do that before and after each training session.
Then I would work on leading. He should walk at hour shoulder or a hair behind. If he walks out ahead of you, pull him around in a tight circle...every time. If he walks behind, give him a jerk on the lead until he gets back up to you. Use a stiff rope halter with nose knots and a knot at the poll.
Then go to teaching him to give to pressure on his nose to backup and to flex his neck to both sides.
Then start longeing him. There's lots of information around on the rest.

That's what I would do. I agree with the previous poster as well. I like Clinton Anderson's methodology.
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post #4 of 25 Old 02-09-2013, 10:47 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
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I just spent the first week petting my horse and talking to him. He got used to seeing me in his field, in his stall- everywhere. If you have a place to do this: Let your horse go in an enclosed arena. Just watch how he acts. My gelding just acted bored, but my mare followed me around. Also, I find that a bonding with mares is much easier and more evident than a bond with a gelding. This may just be my experience though. Good luck!

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post #5 of 25 Old 02-10-2013, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Michigan
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Thank you for the responses.

Basically, every horse I have ever ridden has been fully trained. I (personally) didn't do much else with them other than groom them from time to time. They already knew the ropes, so there wasn't much for me to do ... if that makes sense ?

The lil'guy I have now is the first horse I've actually owned... and he came fully trained... I do spend stall time with him, just brushing and chatting. I am surrounded by people who already know what their doing; some of them are happy to share advice, some think its not worth my time ( just saddle up and go is all the time you need ) , some have been a bit cocky ... I don't like that.

The previous owner came over and showed me a few things to do with him, but it was rushed and while I remembered how to lunge him, I forgot everything else.

Last edited by Overloaded31; 02-10-2013 at 09:21 AM.
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-10-2013, 09:34 AM
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Just hanging out is good whether or not you talk. Grab something to read. That takes your mind off him and he may chose that time to check you out. I find the impatient people are the ones who think you are wasting your time. Do what's in your heart. I love the sound of horses munching on hay and the rhythm of it. They are so at peace then and so am I.
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post #7 of 25 Old 02-10-2013, 02:14 PM
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Get a trainer to work with you. Don't worry about forming a bond.
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post #8 of 25 Old 02-10-2013, 02:21 PM
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You can never go wrong spending time just handling your horse and letting him know how you do things (and what you expect). Horses that are handled a lot are always easier to deal with in my experience.
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post #9 of 25 Old 02-10-2013, 02:25 PM
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He may know everything already, but you should still go through the different exercises such as lunging, leading, yielding to pressure etc. because he needs to know that he is to do these things when YOU ask for them.

An example. My mare I just purchased was not keen on backing in to the wash rack at first. Different footing, confined space, a little dark without the lights on, its no wonder she was hesitant. But I didn't want the first time I tried to get her in there to be when she hurts herself and I NEED to get her in there to clean her up and bandage her. So I worked on making sure she was responding to my request to back up in the arena and then I took her over to the wash stall and got her backed up in there. She learned that the wash stall wasn't going to eat her and that when I tell her to back up I mean it.
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post #10 of 25 Old 02-10-2013, 02:31 PM
Green Broke
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Gosh, I just got my mare in October of last year and am dying for the weather to turn and work with her more. But I need to remember......... when I got her, her old owner said she is hard to catch and you have to take a bucket of oats out and trick her into haltering, well, I can halter her any time of day or night, she will not run from me. And she will put her head down for me sometimes without asking. And, the old owner gave me a stud chain to "handle" her. I have never used it and do not need it. I try to remember this when I get bummed about the weather and not being able to ride and really work with her because obviously I am! LOL. I must be doing something right! At night she waits for me at the gate to be brought in. I just love horses!
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