If you're gonna ride a young horse, then ride them. - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 73 Old 09-21-2010, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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That's kinda the same way I look at it. I have done more with this little sorrel mare than I ever have with any horse simply because she is so mortified of everything but doing it for months and months? Nuh-uh, thank you very much. I have been around too dang many horses that were little angels on the lunge line, had perfect ground manners, even with the saddle on, they acted like an old broke kid-horse. Then the second you get into the saddle, they turn into a vicious killing monster. I don't know, I'm sure people would say I expect too much from my horses too soon, but if nothing else, I want to be able to get their head to the side and get a 2 reined stop out of them before I get off on that first ride. Even if my horses won't do anything else, they will **** sure plant their ass when I pick up on the reins. That has saved my bacon more times than I can count so if you can't do anything else, having a stop is paramount.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #22 of 73 Old 09-21-2010, 11:42 PM
Green Broke
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I think groundwork is good for NEW people. It's good for all people, but to spend months on those things are good if you haven't ever ridden the snort out of a bronc - getting dumped repeatedly isn't going to teach the horse anything good either.

I did so much with Zierra before I could ever ride her, it's like she was born broke - the day I got on was the day I simply started riding a beautifully responsive and well trained animal. This was because I owned her since she was born though - 4 years is a looooong time to invent things to do with a horse!

Jynx I got on as soon as I bought her only to discover she knew absolutely nothing. I spent about six months on groundwork with her before riding her - mostly because I had to undo so much damage that had already been done in making her a spoiled brat. She was also a little young for me to want to ride at freshly 2.

I wouldn't spend much groundwork at all if I was handed a 3 year old to train from the ground up - get the basics, and on we get! I just always end up doing tons of groundwork because I have the darn things since birth!

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #23 of 73 Old 09-21-2010, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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That I understand. Rafe has had more groundwork done with him in his short life than I have done over all my other horses added together. I finally had to just stop because he was bored and so was I. Now I just go to the pasture and give him a scratch a few times a day :roll:.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #24 of 73 Old 09-21-2010, 11:47 PM
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LOL thats different MM. I know a few people who have had their horses from weanlings and have had very little trouble and resistance in training them. Mostly because as a yearling they were wearing a saddle, they knew weight on their backs as a 2 year old, they ground drove as 3 year olds and they were started officially at 4. When we get a new rescue in at the barn...I am always the first to say 'when can we ride him!" not because I am an impatient 14 year old...but because the faster they get under saddle, the faster they find a new home. No one wants an untrained, unrideable horse. My dear friends at the barn are the ground work gurus. I would rather ride. LOL
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post #25 of 73 Old 09-22-2010, 12:22 AM
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I tend to use ground work as a 'mental check' before I get on my horses...even older ones can have days where they just don't want to pay attention, but a little bit of "well fine, you don't want to pay attention, then we'll work harder and longer" wakes 'em up pretty quick. I think properly done ground work has it's place, even with well trained horses, and it's certainly not something I let slide, because what happens if the horse get's injured, or sick and your "stuck" with only ground work until the horse is well enough to ride?

However, that said, I don't spend "hours" on end, doing ground work, either...quick reminders of proper lunging, round penning, etc, are all that's needed to keep the horse fresh in it, unless there is a spot that get mucky, then you work through it, and move on. I probably spend about 5-10 minutes out of 3-4 hours doing ground work with my mare now...before it was more, simply because she needed it more.

When I am working with a young horse who is untrained, I make sure he knows how to move on a lunge line, and round pen, make sure he can bend each way, can yield his hip and shoulders, and then once he is desensitized to the saddle, I get up and we start working undersaddle.

It can be different with horses like my current mare, who have a less than desireable history, but even with her, I taught her the above mentioned 'basics' and was on her in less than two weeks after I got her. From there we've gotten plenty of wet blankets, and she has settled down ALOT from her first few rides, although she never bucked, or otherwise went bronc on me, either. Sometimes undoing damage done by bad training, is sooooo much harder than working with a colt who's had NO training at all.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #26 of 73 Old 09-22-2010, 07:08 AM
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Great original post smrobs! Love this thread.
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post #27 of 73 Old 09-22-2010, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mom2pride View Post
I tend to use ground work as a 'mental check' before I get on my horses..
I do it too if something feels off (too nervous or in a VERY hyper mood (I bet that's when in heat) or can't tell if there is a slight lameness or not, just move funny).

Actually I also start with 3 - 5 days groundwork when I start them over after 3-4 months off work in winter. But overall I prefer to ride.
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post #28 of 73 Old 09-22-2010, 07:34 AM
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Sarahvr, love your post!
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post #29 of 73 Old 09-22-2010, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
Aw, ya'll make my horns feel all warm and fuzzy .
I like it when someone has the bal!$ to say something. I am too afraid I may get into trouble on here but I know that if you arent being rude to someone I think you are ok. The thing that "trainers" need to know is, your always going to learn something new each time you train and just because you think you "know" your horse and it is the kindest, gentlest, non aggressive animal you've worked with, doesnt mean it cant and wont do something to surprise you. I hate it when someone gets on here and posts a thread asking for help and no matter what anyone tells them they think they know better and get upset at our advice.
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post #30 of 73 Old 09-22-2010, 10:14 AM
Green Broke
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I wish there was some way you could broadcast this thread to all the owners of young horses out there.

I just had a call last night from some lovely people who own a young Anglo Arab that I finished over summer. This was one of the horses that was so called 'broken' but after talking to the owners, she hadn't gone past a walk in the round pen.

In one month I had her up to w/t/c in the arena, basic patterns like figure of eights, serpentines, 20m circles etc and I also took her out on the trails three times for a few hours each time, w/t/c again. What I would call 'green broke'. The only thing she ever does is have a little wriggle when you ask for the first canter, nothing dramatic and she is very easy to push through it.

Well of course I am not riding her now that I am in college as I don't have time but I was very direct with her owners and told them that she needed constant, regular work to keep her going in the right direction. Well the call last night was because apparently she 'bucked' (very doubtful, probably just crowhopped once or twice) and they were quite shocked.

Here's the kicker - she is kept in a stall, fed grain twice a day and hasn't been ridden in THREE WEEKS!!! What the hell do you expect??? You know what young horses need? MILEAGE!!!

So I am off to ride her on Saturday.....

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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