Introducing the Saddle and Rider to an Unbroken Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-15-2011, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Wisconsin
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Introducing the Saddle and Rider to an Unbroken Horse

I planned on getting my mare to a certain point before sending her off to the trainer to get really broke by someone who has alot of experience. I know what I am doing for the most part, and I know better than to just throw the saddle on and jump on her back untill she gives up.

I use natural horsemanship methods, and have been putting the saddle on her back when I do the excersizes. I get her used to new objects and used to noises. I've been laying over her shoulder and back and she hasn't done anything drastic. (She will move her head to stare at me, ocassionally take a few steps backwards/forwards) She takes new things quite well and didn't really mind the first time I put the saddle on her. She is currently 4 years old, and very out of shape. I hope that over the winter I will be able to start riding her (very minimally) and watch what she eats to get her weight down.

So what things should I start doing to introduce her and prepare her for a career as a riding horse? What I would like to do with her is mainly she would be a trail horse. I would possibly show her in 4H for fun. Just some gymkahna, and if she is up to it, maybe a trail class or western pleasure. (Not that she would get a first, but just for a little fun and experience.)
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-15-2011, 10:51 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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I'm a little bit of a nutcase, so when I got on my ex-harness racer mare, I did it without a saddle or bridle. I just crawled on and hoped she was feeling charitable that day. Luckily, she didn't feel like making me eat dirt. I've been on her a handful of times in a saddle and not, and she's been quiet each time.

With my colt, I put the saddle on him and just let him chill out. I jogged him around in-hand and let him figure out what to do about the stirrups, cinches and other strange things. When I got on him, I started by simply leaning over the saddle. When he accepted that, I leaned my entire weight over his back. Then we graduated to me mounting and sitting in the saddle very briefly, before dismounting. Since he was just a 2 year old, I didn't overwork him and we eventually worked up to a slow walk around the round pen so he could get used to my weight on his back.
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-16-2011, 07:41 AM
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Do yourself and your horse a favor --- get some help! You are asking questions that tell me that you do not know what you do not know so there is not possibility of you teaching your horse what you do not know.

If you want to learn what step follows what step and learn how to teach your horse correctly rather than let her get terribly spoiled (which she will), find someone to help you. Find a knowledgeable 4-H leader or a mentor that knows what they are doing or find a trainer that will help you with your horse in exchange for helping them in their stable. There are ways to learn what you need to know to teach a horse correctly and not just add them to the list of thousands of spoiled horses.
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-16-2011, 05:20 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Queensland, Australia.
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I agree with Cherie, on the matter of finding help. While everyone has to learn, your asking on an online Forum. Preparing a horse for saddle and then beginning the riding can be very unsafe and dangerous if someone doesn't know what they are doing.
For someone to be able to teach a horse, they need the experience themselves.

Find the right person to help - who has experience and knowledge with horses, specially breaking. Otherwise, you and/or your horse may end up in an unsafe situation.

Sir Success. Eventer.
2000 - 2013,
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