In the process of training a young gelding to accept a rider. Tips anyone? - Page 3

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In the process of training a young gelding to accept a rider. Tips anyone?

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  • Sand bag saddle horse starting monty roberts

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    04-05-2011, 10:12 PM
To the OP, please get a trainer to help you, or get a broke horse. I really worry for your safety - unless you know what you're doing or have someone to assist you (who knows what they're doing) you or the horse are liable to get hurt.
I am aware that getting hurt or landing in the hospital is a big risk with starting my horse. I am willing to take that risk. This is not something that I have just woken up and decided to do "Oh, I think I am going to jump on Buckshot today.". I have been researching, watching videos, reading books, and talking to pro trainers about it ever since I got him 5 yrs ago. I have people around me who can help me who are not pro trainers as far as a plaque on the wall goes but they have started their fair share of horses and have ridden most of their lives.

I know it would be easier just to get a broke horse but that would mean selling Buckshot and that's not happening anytime soon. That would be like asking me to sell my brother (which I would sell my human brother...maybe trade him for another horse???lol Just kidding! ;) ).

I really appreciate your concern for my safety. That's very sweet of you! And if I fall off and brake my arm you have every right to say "I told you so!!". I'm going to take every precaution though so that doesn't become a reality.
I am going to wear the necessary gear, have somebody around when I am working with him, and if I don't feel comfortable or if I feel he isn't comfortable then I am not going to force myself to do anything nor am I going to force anything on Buckshot.
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    04-06-2011, 09:13 AM
I am in the same type of situation as I said before and while it does carry risks, if you know your horse and the OP seems to, then you will be much safer. The reason that I got a trainer was that I didn't know enough about the actual riding to teach it to my horse. I read, watched and observed as much as I could, then I bit the bullet and took precautions and got on. I didn't ask him to do anything, but I just sat there for a few seconds then got off. He was an angel. He didn't know what I was doing up there, but he trusted me and that was the biggest thing. I trust my horse and he trusts me. He also respects me and would never hurt me intentionally.

The OP is doing all that she can to be safe and have the knowledge that she needs. As long as she knows how to ride I think she can teach the horse how to have a rider.

Good luck girl! Can't wait to see pictures of you on your baby! :)
    04-06-2011, 09:21 AM
Originally Posted by ArabianChic    
No, I have never started a horse before. I have had my horse for 5 years and we have been looking for a good professional trainer (they are hard to come by around here....if they even answer your phone calls. :P) since we got him. We have found a trainer but we don't have the finances as of now (My mom just had to put a new engine in her truck) so I am going to do it myself.

I've definitely done lots of ground work! The the other boarders at the farm who see me training him always say "Haven't you gotten in the saddle yet??" "What is that horse a pasture ornament?" lol!
When I work with him we go on walks around the farm, I make him jump over logs, walk over tarps, walk around dogs, swinging gates, big scary objects. I try to do everything I would do if I was in the saddle so getting in the saddle will just be a different point of view for him. Like I said above we have had him for 5 years so I have really been doing ground work with him for 5 years while we have been looking for a trainer.
I have sacked him out a couple of times. He barely spooks at anything now unless its windy or he is feeling frisky.
We have a very strong bond and we trust each other a lot. I made sure to establish trust when I first got him. He is kind of a personal horse. He does things with me that he doesn't do with other people and he lets me do things to him that he doesn't let other people do.

I always have my mom around when I am working with him and I always always always have a helmet on when I am going to be working with him with the saddle. My mom would kill me if I didn't do either so no worries there! Lol

What I am going to do for now is work with him in a bridle and long lines. I hope to at least be in the saddle by the end of the summer. We'll see how it goes!
Thank you for the advice!

You can do it.... there are tons of online references, videos, websites and everything you need to do it yourself. Proceed with caution and wear protective helmet at the very least (boots seem obvious)- your mother is wise!!

Always end at a place where your horse feels confident- even if it means stopping what you are trying to do, and going back to something he is really good at.

I know there are excellent videos from Larry Trocha on youtube..... good luck and keep us posted.
    04-06-2011, 11:29 AM
If you insist on starting this horse your self, spend TONS of time sacking him out. Tie him to a post, put him in different scenarios, crumple an oats bag, rub it on him lift the stirrups and drop them, stand further behind him and raise your arms up, do jumping jacks, make noise, shake the saddle, put a saddle blanket over his head, pat him all over until he stops many things as you can think of that will cause a horse to spook, and don't stop doing it until he is calm and realize he isnt melting.

One thing you can do that works great, is buy a pair of coveralls (cheap pair) sew the arms and legs closed fill the legs with sand and the rest of the body with hay, put 'D' rings on the legsgs, arms and back and chest, grab some binder twine and tie dummy into the saddle to get him used to something up there...that way if something happens it isn't you getting hurt and you'll know how he will react when you 'mount' and 'dismount' your dummy (he will be the same with you if you simulate it properly.

There are some things you can do on your won, and others I would say to have help from someone experienced. I trained my first horse this fall/winter, and although it was do able for me to do with experienced help I was able to do it properly, there are so many things that can go wrong and the last thing you want is for something to happen and the horse be scarred for life form it bc it terrified them.

I am sure you can do it, it just may take more time, but always end on a positive note, something the horse knows, or if the horse learns something and does really well at it end there. If you're horse is licking his lips, he knows he was good and you can either move on, or end on that note. As long as you're making the decisions not the horse, you can do it!
    04-06-2011, 05:33 PM
Thank you guys so much for the encouragement!
I'm definitely going to take things slow.
If you insist on starting this horse your self, spend TONS of time sacking him out. Tie him to a post, put him in different scenarios, crumple an oats bag, rub it on him lift the stirrups and drop them, stand further behind him and raise your arms up, do jumping jacks, make noise, shake the saddle, put a saddle blanket over his head, pat him all over until he stops many things as you can think of that will cause a horse to spook, and don't stop doing it until he is calm and realize he isnt melting.
I do a lot of this stuff whenever I have him out. Whenever I walk him to and from the pasture I will just randomly jump then keep walking. Sometimes it will surprise him but it hardly ever does anymore. One thing we are going to have to work on though is people suddenly walking out of the barn.
There will be times where I will put the saddle on him and we will either go play in the arena or go for a walk around the farm. I like to walk or jog him around the barrel pattern as well since that is what we are going to be doing once we get lots of solid training under our saddle.
    04-06-2011, 05:39 PM

When I first got on my mare, I lifted my arms out to the side and she spooked all over the place. So everything needs ot be exaggerated and if you're going to get him working on that then slowly lift your arms, up and down as fast as he can remain calm, then eventually speed up...just work with what you are reading from him, if he is getting nervous, slow down a bit until he's calm then speed up.

Have him in the ties, or something and practice going in and out whenever you can and surprise moments.

I would seriously recommend the dummy aspect as you can get them going fast on a lunge or ponying him as everything is spookier when they go faster, so you can get him used to the speed and having sone up there.

    04-06-2011, 05:50 PM
Oh and yes, I am going to see if I can try the dummy! I saw Monty Roberts at an expo a while ago and he had a dummy, much like the one you described. I thought it was so cool!
    04-08-2011, 09:39 PM
Update: Today I worked with Buckshot and he did awesome!
This is how our training session went (this is how most of them go). We started out just round penning....we did about 5 or 6 revolutions in each direction. We did join up and follow up.
Then came the saddle which he is a pro at excepting. We round penned again for about 4 to 5 revolutions in each direction. No bucking.
Next came the long lines which he did awesome with. We did about 6 to 7 revolutions in each direction with lots of turns in between and one step back at the end.
Then, I stepped up in the stirrup and just stood there for a while and stroked his neck and talked to him. I made noise on the saddle and I flexed his neck so he could see me on him on both sides. I did this 3 times on each side.
Finally, I stepped up in the stirrup and sat in the saddle sideways and stroked him and flexed his neck so he could see me. I did this 2 times on a each side.

The whole time I was in the saddle he had his ears locked on me and he was calm and he even closed his eyes a few times. Lol

While I was doing the work with the saddle, the barn owners son and one of the boarder's sons came over by the round pen with little remote control cars. My first thought was to tell them to take the cars elsewhere but I let them do their thing and Buckshot didn't even care that they were there. He looked at them once and just went back to standing and being calm. He didn't tense up or anything.

All in all it was a great day! Buckshot did excellent, I am so proud of him!!! I know I haven't gotten all the way in the saddle yet but I am confident that this is all going to work.

My mom, who was watching from a distance, came over and took a couple of pictures.
(The picture of me in the saddle on Buckshot's off side is kind of deceiving. It looks like the saddle is slipping way off to the side but it really isn't. It only slipped maybe an inch. )
Attached Images
File Type: jpg buckshot training 2.jpg (47.8 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg buckshot training.jpg (42.0 KB, 50 views)
    04-08-2011, 10:05 PM
You go girl!! That was perfect, and even though I love how you are taking it slow, I bet he was standing there telling himself "I wish she'd just get on already!" lol he seems like a great horse. Becareful though. He is still a baby and will have "baby" days. Just play with him on those days for now. Then when he is a gentleman again go for it. I bet he'll be great!
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    04-08-2011, 10:18 PM
Haha Yeah, he pretty much just takes a nap while I am doing work with the saddle. He will be listening to me the whole time but he has his eyes closed like "Just tell when you're done...I'm going to rest my eyes for now...." lol!
That's a good sign though, he feels comfortable with me being up there.
The next step is to swing a leg over.

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