i broke a 6y.o

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i broke a 6y.o

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    08-31-2011, 10:09 AM
i broke a 6y.o

So one of the horses at my barn is 6 and was still not broken. Being the dare devil that I am.... I decided to try to ride him last summer. He bucked me off and broke his owners sholder. So this summer I decided I would do it the right way.... introduce the saddle, the bit and introduce weight on his back slowly. After that I just tried to desensitize him. He is a really spooky horse so it took a while. One day me and my friend were out in the field playing with him and we got on him bareback. He didnt even care. I got on him and my friend led me around. He acted like it was no big deal. So. After a few days of being led around on him I put on a bridle. We practiced stopping first then turning. Then one day my sister was riding my horse and trotting him around and the 6 y.o decided to trot after him.... I was bareback. He was PERFECT! He stopped when I asked and turned when I asked. So the next few days I trotted him around bareback. A few days ago I put my saddle on him and trotted him around some more. He is acting like he has done this forever. I am really proud of myself and the horse. Maybe one day he will become a great show horse. I will keep everyone posted on the progress. :)
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    08-31-2011, 10:22 AM
Congratulations. :)
    08-31-2011, 10:34 AM
Thanks! He had very little work when he was younger. So it was like evry day he got a little more wild. He finally is getting it. He remembers everything we worked on in the evening the next day!
    08-31-2011, 10:36 AM
Does anyone know of any excercises I can to to continue to build this horses muscle and get him used to steering? He will turn but sometimes he resists and throws his head up. Any suggestions?
    08-31-2011, 01:18 PM
Jrcci, does he know pressure on the ground? When you ask your horse to move over, and put some pressure where your leg would usually go (a little behind the girth) and they move sideways (not backing or going forward) [you can even add a cue of OVER] then when you get in saddle and you apply pressure and say your cue.. your horse will understand. Then you just add a little bit of rein and forward seat (he'll need to learn this too, but it takes awhile of course) then he'll be a lot less likely to throw his head.

But make sure his teeth aren't obstructing the bit and causing him pain.. or that the bit fits. Throwing the head multiple times can sometimes mean he's trying to get away from the pressure, which can sometimes be caused by pain.. so please check him over :)

As for muscle.. just riding him he'll be using muscles he didn't use on his own because he has to factor in the weight of the saddle, the reins, what his feet are doing... he'll develop balance. But the more you work him on the ground, with lunging and then adding side reins will help him to build muscle. But before you add side reins, please make sure he understands he needs to give to the bit, and a lowered head is better than one in the air. Get him to give to the bit by softly pulling on one rein than the other (while on the ground) until he lowers his head, then praise him.

Also, you can practice him yielding from neck pressure once he understands direct reining pretty well by just turning your thumbs outward and the reins will bring themselves closer together and you can add the pressure of the rein against his neck and the direct pull still (handy trick my instructor taught me)

But even before you do any of this... he needs to be soft all over. You don't want to rush a horse into learning the nuts and bolts before learning to be soft about it. By soft I mean beginning to give to the slightest touch. Work on him lowering his head gently when you apply pressure to his poll (as much pressure as he is giving you) or the same with the lead rope being pulled down.

Remember... always give back when your horse gives to you. Meaning when he lowers his head, you stop the pressure.

Hope these tips were helpful.
    08-31-2011, 02:53 PM
Thanks! This info does help. He does move away from pressure with my legs. He moves forward off my legs really well. The only time I try to use the reins is when im trying to stop him. Im trying to use alot of verbal commands. He is starting to learn all of them. He knows "head down" for when you put his bridle and halter on him. He is used to the weight and I know that in order to get him to balance it will just take time and work. I know circles and transitions help but do you have any other activities that I can try to get him balanced. I feel like he is just trotting around the field with no purpose and that he isnt really listening to me. He is just doing what he is supposed to do. Any ideas?
    08-31-2011, 02:55 PM
Oh and he is really bad at lounging. I practice with him. But he thinks im trying to kill him and he runs away and rears up. And advice for that???
    08-31-2011, 02:58 PM
Can you describe how you're lunging?
    08-31-2011, 08:54 PM
With lunging...... I'd start in a roundpen and just keep him away from you and moving, praising him a lot. With the lungeline.. I'd walk with him on the line and slowly ask him to move away from you. Some horses are terrified of the whip and when they see it they think "omg there's the scary monster that chases me and hisses and tries to snap my tail off!" so sack him out with the whip. Look up some videos on youtube about how to sack out properly.. the key is taking your time and giving the horse space to figure it out for himself.

BUT PLEASE, if he is rearing with a line... oh my goodness girl, get him walking on the line perfectly before you ask for anything more! Drive him forward... don't make the line too saggy or you'll end up in trouble. Please be careful!!!!!!!

Make a game when you ride. Ride around the span of the arena first, then do one large circle and go the other way. Do little soft half halts in between to get your horse on you when you change directions. Then go again around the arena twice, now do two circles. One at one end, one on the other. Remember those halt halts... now walk him, and put him into serpentines, half halting when you change directions. Half halt again and ask for a soft trot. RIDE THE TRANSITION PLEASE :) then do a gentle figure eight, remembering those transitions. Then half halt and wind down into a soft but large walk. Then make him sidepass across the diagonal of your arena and get him bending on the rail. Then do a large half circle and ho him. Spend a minute, rub on him. Then ask him to back up 2 steps, walk forward four, then back one, and walking on forward. Let him have a loose rein and do three large loops across the span of your arena, asking him to bend his neck and drive him forward with your seat until you are satisfied with the walk, gather up your reins and ask for a trot again. Trot a large circle taking up 3/4 of the arena, and work down to a smaller and smaller circle.. ONE HE CAN HANDLE without falling apart.. then get him back on the rail and go again across the diagonal.

Notice what I'm telling you to try? A variety of things... circles with bend, changing directions, asking for quick lead changes.. all of these things, as long as you are driving with your seat, supporting with your legs, and asking for a bend, will get him building up muscle and will also get your creative juices flowing too. Just remember those half halts, and praise him when he does what you ask :) Don't let him have any breaks until YOU feel your legs becoming bouncey and weak and you feel his neck start to tense up a bit and his feet getting slopy. That would probably be enough.

It's going to be a lot of hard fun work :)

But definitely get ahold of some side reins and lunge him gently (at first) in them.
    08-31-2011, 08:56 PM
Just an additional comment.. if he is rearing loose, then he is challenging you as a leader and you need to drive him forward and get stern with him until he is back on his circle and paying attention. Since he's a 6 year old and just now green... he will have a lot of pent up energy and a lot to say about work :P So just keep driving him forward and don't kill his spunk for working with you. 10 minutes of lunging is perfectly fine.. build up once he starts to build up.

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