Introducing Loki - a training thread

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Introducing Loki - a training thread

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        02-16-2014, 03:23 PM
    Introducing Loki - a training thread

    Hey all,

    So yesterday marks a very important day. Loki was delivered to my barn to begin her training with me. I'm looking forward to the adventure!

    Loki is a coming 3 year old standarbred mare. She's never been trained for the track or raced. She's a trotter, not a pacer. Not registered due to the timeline not being met, as per her previous owner. Chatted with a friend that is well versed in standie lines and she says she's nicely bred.

    She was for sale so dirt cheap that my business partner and I were very worried the meat man would show high interest. So we snapped her up.

    She's had very minimal halter training so far, that's it. I don't believe she has even been trained to pick up her feet much. I was informed she was pretty much untouched until last october, when her halter training started, then not worked with much over this winter.

    The round pen's top rail is about 6 feet tall. As you can see, she isn't standing on a lot of snow, maybe 2 to 3 inches at most under her back feet, front feet are on the dirt. And she's not done growing yet! Her sire is over 17 hands. She's going to be a big girl :) I was going to get some nicer photos, but figured day one was better for getting to know her than becoming her paparazzi right away, lol.

    Yesterday we didn't do a whole lot. New place, new sights and sounds and new horses to distract her. Brought her into the round pen just to assess her personality (it's verified, she is part moose, lol) and see what she knew as far as leading. She is happy to come up to me when at liberty and will follow me for a few steps, albeit a bit wary (new environment and people most likely was the factor there). She does need to learn about respecting her human's space, as she does like to crowd and push a bit when on the lead. When the seller unloaded her from the trailer and was holding her, she was being very pushy and obstinate. I took the lead and the first moment she tried pushing on me I pushed right back, fist in her chest and the lead taut. She backed pretty good and I think ground manners won't be too difficult for her to learn.

    Today we will start work on just standing nicely for some light grooming, and depending on her attention span we may work on getting those feet picked up. She let me lift her front right quite nicely yesterday but showed a good bit of resistance with the right hind.

    Stay tuned for more adventures with Loki!
    flytobecat and ecasey like this.
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        02-16-2014, 03:44 PM
    Wow, she is going to be big! Can't wait for more pictures.
        02-16-2014, 04:25 PM
    Who is her sire? Just curious. Standardbreds can be "close talkers" so yeah manners are good. What are you big plans for her?
        02-16-2014, 04:38 PM
    She's a cutie! Good luck with the training /sub
        02-16-2014, 04:48 PM
    I was told her sire is Armbro Scholar.

    My plans with her are to make her into a nice 'all around' type horse. Some trail, some jumping, some training level dressage, etc. no specific discipline in mind, just going to turn her into a well behaved sane riding horse that you can do just about anything with. In my eyes, a good horse like that is worth more than one that can only do one thing.
    rookie, VickiRose and Roux like this.
        02-16-2014, 08:13 PM
    Originally Posted by rookie    
    Who is her sire? Just curious. Standardbreds can be "close talkers" so yeah manners are good. What are you big plans for her?
    Is that a typically STB trait? I've only had two STB crosses and both were like that. Very friendly and almost human in personality, but still 'up close' horses. I didn't know if it was just coincidence.
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        02-16-2014, 08:25 PM
    Hmmm… odd my standardbred is almost completely aloof, he has to really like you to let you really touch him (most people can only scratch his nose at liberty), I knew my fiancÚ had to be the one because buddy actually walked up to him the first time they met. But then again Buddy could just be an odd ball standardbred.
        02-16-2014, 09:23 PM
    Ambro lines are good lines. I think its a combination of breeding and training. In training the groom is all over the horse putting on the harness, cleaning and the harness (and hobbles where appropriate) leave little room for cloister-phobia. We had two STB who were aloof and really not into interacting with people at all. One was polite but just not interested and we always figured it was his rather troubled past. The other held a grudge and just wanted nothing to do with you if you were "unfair" to her.

    OP do you have a training plan? I ask because I want to shamelessly "borrow" ideas because I am looking at breaking a five year old STB to saddle this summer. I have a basic plan but I am always looking to tweak it.
        02-17-2014, 12:05 AM
    Day 2:

    Loki was an absolute pain to be caught and haltered! But then again, she doesn't want anything to do with the other grumpy mares in her pen, so whenever one would come within 20 feet she started walking away. Took some time and some crunchies and a whole lot of sweet talking but I finally got her haltered and brought her up to the yard. Here's a tip for anyone trying to catch a horse that won't let you put a lead rope around its neck first - make a small loop and put it around their nose and hold it snug enough to keep it on there, then put the halter on over top and then just slide the rope out from underneath. Worked great!

    She absolutely loves being brushed. She stook like a horse that is ground tie trained (i did keep the lead draped over my arm) and let me brush her everywhere - head, body, butt, legs all the way down to her fetlocks, even on her back legs...... and didn't move around or get antsy at all. Got a couple of the snarls out of her mane, but I think the scissors may have to take care of some of it. That's ok, she's got a lot of mane!

    Then we went for a walk in the arena. She led nicely with a loose lead, keeping right at my shoulder. Walked over to the mounting block and I stepped up onto the lower of its two steps and waved my arms all above Loki's head. She didn't even bat an eyelash.

    Afterward, we went back to the yard and I started working on picking up both her front feet (no helper with me today so nobody to hold her for working with the back feet). She is pretty leery of having a foot off the ground still, but I was able to pick up both fronts and she calmed down after a bit and let me give her foot back when I was ready to.

    Also flipped the lead rope all over her today. Other than being a little leery of the rope bonking her on the right side of her bum, she did great! I discovered what her 'ok human, that's enough pressure on me for now' face is, and learned to back off when needed.

    Patted her all over her body, pushed my hands into her side where the girth is going to go some day. Pushed up on her belly all over too, and that didn't phase her one bit. She was fine with me lifting her tail and moving it side to side. A horse I work with has to be comfortable with my hands anywhere on them, so these little 'tests' are vital in my mind.

    Only sad part is she is still finding out her place in the herd, and when I left the barn she was out in the pasture by her lonesome, digging for grass instead of up at the hay stations. Will have to keep an eye on her weight, make sure she's getting enough to eat or else i'll have to think about supplementing her somehow.

    All in all, a great day for day 2! :)
    jmike likes this.
        02-17-2014, 12:10 AM
    Originally Posted by rookie    
    OP do you have a training plan? I ask because I want to shamelessly "borrow" ideas because I am looking at breaking a five year old STB to saddle this summer. I have a basic plan but I am always looking to tweak it.
    you know, I don't have a solid training plan set in stone yet. With my barn being all outdoor facilities, the snow and ice are really hampering what one can do with a horse out there. For now we are working on ground manners, getting used to humans doing silly things to her, lol, and just generally beginning a good relationship of trust. With her having such minimal handling before I took her on, there is a lot of 'preliminary' work to get through before actual training starts.

    Once the snow melts and spring is here, then we will be stepping things up. The round pen will be our best friend. I plan to begin in there by free lunging her and teaching her vocal commands for different gaits, teaching her to tie (it's too icy right now and I fear she might injure herself by slipping if she pulls back), and we will introduce things like saddle and bridle in the round pen too. I'm hoping to be able to back her by the end of April or so, we'll see how it goes.

    Stay tuned for more Loki updates! :)

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