How do you make her move under saddle???? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-13-2010, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question How do you make her move under saddle????

Honestly, I thought this was going to be a simple task.. but when riding my prospect mustang last sunday we realized, she would follow any human around while one is on her back but when asked her rider to go.. she seems confused.
I watched her current trainer try to get her to go with some squeezes, clucking and eventually a few kicks.. she went but hesitant and it was obvious she was confused. He is a big believer in natural horsemanship and does not want to use any kind of spur unless neccessary and merely enough to let her know they are there...
He also mentioned a plastic bag on a stick.. but I'm nervous about the fear that might raise!
Like I mentioned she can be easily led around and will follow anyone walking around on the ground - from this point what would be my best bet? I plan to use her on trails and I'm most certain she will follow others - would putting her in that situation be best?
THANKS!!!

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post #2 of 22 Old 01-13-2010, 05:52 PM
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What about having the rider give the proper signals while a person leads her from the ground at the same time. That way you can use what she already knows to teach her something new. I definatly don't like the idea of useing a plastic bag. I would go for spurs or a whip before I resorted to fear tactics. As a trail horse you want her to learn to be brave about things she might see on the trail, not teach her that the right thing to do is run away.

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post #3 of 22 Old 01-13-2010, 05:55 PM
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What you need to do is link rider cues with movement in her mind.

Have a handler on the ground walking next to her, perhaps with a halter and lead rope in addition the bridle at first. The person on the ground and the person in the saddle need to communicate:

"Okay, now I'm going ask her to go by squeezing her sides. Can you lead her with the lead rope?"

"Okay now I'm going to turn to the left and cue her with my rein, can you turn to the left?"

Okay now I'm going to ask her to stop by pulling back on the reins. Can you stop walking when I count to three?"

Once she starts linking the cues that you, the rider, are giving her with what the handler on the ground is asking her to do, you can try it with a handler and no halter and lead rope and then eventually with no handler at all.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-13-2010, 06:00 PM
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(I'm not a trainer) But if you're using western tack, how about a light pop with the reins on the butt to initiate forward motion?
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-13-2010, 06:00 PM
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Are you taking on this girl to train yourself? Are you sure you're experienced enough to deal with a barely even greenbroke Mustang? Make sure you think long and hard before entering this situation, because from the sounds of it, you don't sound qualified to be taking on a project of this magnitude. I mean no offense, only that moving a horse out is a very basic step that every trainer knows how to do.

Do not allow her to follow the trail horses - the idea that you would take her out on the trail before she's trained to obey your commands is alarming and dangerous. This little lady needs months upon months, if not years, of work before she will be a reliable trail horse for you. A professional trainer can probably get it done quicker, but you need to make sure she's safe.

I work by lunging my horses and round penning them. They are taught voice commands for all their gaits, as well as commands for speeding up or slowing down a gait. I find it much easier to train my horses to voice, and then teach them their leg and rein cues from the saddle by associating them with a vocal command. Some horses may be confused by you being on top instead of in the middle, and this can easily be rectified if you have a helper by having them stand in the middle of the round pen. Often they don't even need to do anything, it merely creates an environment the horse understands while you work on associating your vocal commands with leg commands.

Spurs will not help you at this point because this filly has no idea what a leg squeeze means.

Please be careful and I wish you luck.

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post #6 of 22 Old 01-13-2010, 06:26 PM
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Seems like I have been telling everyone lately, but seek an experienced professional. Specifically one experienced with mustangs.

If you cannot get her to go, a very basic concept, you do not have what it takes to train her and it is not fair to her...

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but is the truth. It could be very dangerous for both of you, especially without proper guidance.

Ω Horses are a projection of peoples dreams Ω
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-13-2010, 06:34 PM
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I agree with the two posts above me. Please don't take offense. We mean none, but you need to be working with this mustang on the ground until she is super confident in you and knows all her voice commands without hesitation. Once she knows those, it will be much easier for her to associate "walk on" with a leg squeeze. Use "walk on" on "walk" or whatever voice command you teach her in tandem with a leg squeeze and when she walks forward praise her gently and quietly with a nice scratch so she knows you're pleased. You will eventually be able to just give her a squeeze once she associates "walk on" with the leg squeeze and that they mean the same thing. The same will hold true for all the gaits, but I think you may need some help with this ... it's going to be a huge project and Mustangs can be harder to train than the more domesticated breeds ...

“For what the horse does under compulsion is done without understanding; and there is no beauty in it either, any more than if one should whip and spur a dancer.” - Xenophon
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-13-2010, 07:00 PM
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If you don't want to seek a professional (or can't afford one) I would suggest going to your local library and borrowing any books or DVD's regarding horse training/colt starting. I would also use the internet to your advantage. Youtube has some good videos regarding colt starting/horse training/ground work/round pen work.

Wishing you the best of luck.

"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-14-2010, 12:39 AM
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No kicking and more spanking on the butt. A spank will always get the forward motion you want. Just be sure you have their lateral flexion soft enough to pull them around if they really take off. I trained a mustang last year and she was the same way the first ride, she was really unsure about going forward with me up there. But this is really the case with most horses. Just stick with it though you'll really enjoy the mustang when you get her going.
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-14-2010, 12:53 AM
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Hah, my colt is the same way. The last time I worked with him he was just starting to understand that he was supposed to listen to the person on his back and not the one on the ground. He doesn't know a thing about what my legs are telling him, yet. He is not quite there, but we are making progress by the day. All I can say is just be patient, do not lose your temper, and reward any try.
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