Location Change - new training schedule/other
 
 

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Location Change - new training schedule/other

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        11-13-2008, 06:46 AM
      #1
    Foal
    Location Change - new training schedule/other

    Hi all:

    I am the owner of a 5 year 9 month old Friesian import from Holland and have had him for the past year. Currently, I live overseas but am originally from the states. My background with horses began when I was 6 years old and horses have been with me most of my life (I am now in my early 30's having had some off time in my 20's from the horse life).

    As a 1st time owner now, things are totally different from 1/2 boarding someone else's horse. There is the usual worry about everything as well as it being a huge responsibility. Add the language barrier over here, and some small things have been very hard. For the most part, I learned things by trial and error and it was such a great learning experience.

    I can honestly say my Friesian has been an absolute dream and he is so much a part of our lives now. We have had many ups and downs that I could write my own Friesian book. I just love him and only want the best for him therefore I really pushed for a move to be close to him.

    That is the quick recap. Now to the question(s). We are moving next month to a new stable from his existing one which I consider to be very professional. I do know someone who will be there at the new place and she said that while it is a great facility, the overall atmosphere is very different (more laid back - less supervision during the day) so we really need to take a more hands-on approach (i.e. Being there!)

    The relocation is actually in my favor since I will get a lot more riding time but I still have alot of worries about the change.

    Example training now (until end of December):

    1. Monday - Ridden by Grand Prix rider - 45 minutes with lots of walking in between
    2. Tuesday - off, usually with turn out for a few hours each morning but the paddock has been very muddy which leads to scratches in his feathers. Grass paddocks are now closed. Turnout is reduced. He is in a box stall, no window and no walkout. The walker is more of a treadmill which I consider dangerous and not an option for exercise.
    3. Wednesday - I take a lesson with same GP instructor, learning basic dressage. I have the entire day off and spend most of the day with him. Unfortunately, this day off may change when we move and I go back to full time work.
    4. Thursday - off, turnout as above
    5. Friday - visit, trick training
    6. Saturday - long hack /or ring work
    7. Sunday - long hack or ring work

    New location changes:

    1. Turnout does not begin until the springtime so he will be in his stall more.
    2. His new stall will not be in a high traffic area but quiet with his own walk out to a small area. There will also be another Friesian across from him which I think is great. No grass in the walkout though. Right now, he has no walk out but is turned out for a few hours each day. This is a big change.
    3. The riders at the new place are not Grand Prix level but knowlegeable. I have no dreams of competing at such a high level and my existing barn offered this rider as this area of Europe is very well known in Dressage. I would like for my horse to learn alot though. Can I do this myself? Probably not!
    4. The walker is actually better at new place and not dangerous in that it looks like a treadmill but an enclosed area.

    Questions/thoughts:

    1. Should I continue with a rider to train him or should I take an additional lesson instead in order to learn with him?
    2. I hate putting my horse in a walker as he seems to be too intelligent for it. Does anyone use a walker a few times per week?
    3. What do you do to entertain your horse all day? His new stall is not in a high traffic area, is in a corner but it does have a walk out (no grass, just a small area to walk).
    4. Any tips to keep your horse from getting bored? Unfortunately, since I do not get to see him alot, he has been acting really studdy to other horse lately which is normal since he was gelded late at 4.5 years. He never oversteps with me and everyone says he just melts when he sees me. I know that my lack of time with him now is a huge issue.
    5. I think that he needs a new training regimen that I would like to start when he moves at the end of the year. We will start after he settles in with his new friends.

    I cannot wait to be able to see my horse almost everyday!

    Any feedback or suggestions would be great.

    Thanks for your help.

    Cat
         
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        11-13-2008, 02:51 PM
      #2
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FriesianCatRider    
    Questions/thoughts:

    1. Should I continue with a rider to train him or should I take an additional lesson instead in order to learn with him?
    I think that would be totally up to you. The benefit of having someone train him is that they already know everything (please don't take this the wrong way) and it will be easier for them IMO. Though I do see why you would want to take a lesson and not have someone riding him to train him.
    Could you get a trainer to work with both you and him?

    Quote:
    2. I hate putting my horse in a walker as he seems to be too intelligent for it. Does anyone use a walker a few times per week?
    Do you mean walker as in a hot walker? One of these? 4 Horse Hot Walkers are our most popular hot walker, great for any size horse operation.
    I have never used one, sorry.

    Quote:
    3. What do you do to entertain your horse all day? His new stall is not in a high traffic area, is in a corner but it does have a walk out (no grass, just a small area to walk).
    4. Any tips to keep your horse from getting bored? Unfortunately, since I do not get to see him alot, he has been acting really studdy to other horse lately which is normal since he was gelded late at 4.5 years. He never oversteps with me and everyone says he just melts when he sees me. I know that my lack of time with him now is a huge issue.
    I combined questions 3 &4 into the same answer.
    There are tons of toys available on the market to keep your horse occupied in the stall.
    Jolly balls are always good, though some horses don't really play with them (like my horses)
    Jolly Ball - Horse.com
    My one gelding absolutely LOVES this (Uncle Jimmy's Hangin' Balls from SmartPak Equine) He goes threw them in about a week.

    There is also a boredom breaker Likit Boredom Breaker from SmartPak Equine I have never used it though.

    Like I said, there are many things out there that you can put in his stall to amuse him.


    And welcome to the forum!
         
        11-24-2008, 05:09 PM
      #3
    Foal
    Hi FriesianCatRider!! You sound so much like a lot of first time Friesian owners, myself included! I own a 10 year old Friesian gelding that I've had for almost 3 years now, having bought him coming off an 11 year hiatus from horses. It's a dream come true as I've wanted a Friesian since I was 8 years old, but also a huge learning experience with it's ups and downs! Like you, I could probablly write a novella.

    Here's my boy...



    Would your current Grand Prix trainer be able to come to your new barn to give you and he lessons, together or not? Another idea, so your Friesian gets in plenty of working time is to lease him out to someone with more experience. Friesians deffinetly need consistent riding time...I learned that the hard way, because like you, my work schedule and lack of ability don't lend themselves well to training a Friesian. So I would try to keep to his same work schedule as possible. I actually love that you have a visit day where you are working on trick-training! It seems Friesians thrive on a diversified work load...I know my boy does! If he gets bored, he gets stubborn and cranky!

    As for lack of turnout and boredom. I believe in letting horses be horses and to this extent I much prefer pasture boarding horses (my boy currently is now). They stay healthy and sane. My Friesian when he was in a stall too long (more than 8 or 9 hours) would lose interest in toys and find less desirable ways of entertaining himself...like kicking at the walls or pulling the water buckets off the wall. And then he would be a total nut-job in the pasture!

    I actually like that your new barn has the walk-out for him...though having grass in it would be ideal, as long as he has free-choice hay at his disposal all day that should keep him busy. I'm sure any horse would prefer to graze rather than play with toys. Even if you give him a simply hay net. Though I agree with appylover on the Uncle Jimmies Hanging Balls. My guy loves them, too!!!

    I agree with you, I don't like those walkers for exercise. I have never nor will never use them. I've heard of too many accidents and stupid things with them. I'd only use them for rehabilitation.

    Good luck with your move!
         

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