reasonable expectations?

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reasonable expectations?

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    10-25-2010, 03:30 AM
reasonable expectations?

Hi all!
Some of you may remember some of my older posts about the horse I recently purchased, but here is a little background.
I purchased Blitz about 1.5 months ago. He was mis-represented, and I rushed into the whole thing and made an impusive buy. I am relatively new to horses, although I have been around them my entire life, and my Father and his ex-girlfrind used to own horses--this is where I learned most of what I know today. I rode horses that were mostly well broke. When I brough blitz home (to where he is being boarded) I was actually scared of him. He is a 16hh 5 year old Reg. Paint, who hadnt been ridden for 1.5 years, and only in an arena (we will stay away from this story, and all others as I will only get angry). I was at the point that I wanted to return him. Well, I have fallen in love, and we are going to work thru our issues--this is where we are today:
I can lunge him, saddle him, and ride him around the arena; he has nice ground manners and would never kick or bite. He picks his feet up well, will move his hip/shoulder one step at a time under pressure (form the ground), stands for mounting, stops, and backs up. He is quite submissive, and will come to me from across the pasture when he sees me--very easy to catch and lead. He loves to be handled and groomed. He is generally a lower energy guy. He ties pretty well, but can get impatient. He gets excited around other horses, but is at the very bottom of the pecking order. He does not neckrein, and is quite nervous on the trail--I have had him out 4 times now (and by himself, Iknow...I I have NO ONE to ride with). He does okay, but is always on high alert, hates puddles, and has his head way up (probably his greeness and lack or expereince/exposure), luckily he doesnt mide traffic or barking dogs. I try to ride him in the arena/do ground work 4-5 days a week, but see him every day. As far as I can determine, he doesnt have any vices, or major issues that could really hamper his training.
SOOOO, first, thanks for reading all of this, here are my questions:
1. I am sending him to a professional trainer in the spring for 30 days. I am waiting for spring because we get alot of snow here, and cold winters (-35 celcius is not uncommon), I want to reallty work with him after getting him back). I have it narrowed down between two, they are both local, and have very good references:
Home - Coloured Quarter Horse Ranch
So, what can a person expect to see after sending to a horse to a trainer, result wise, in 30 days with a horse at his level (it is not like starting a new colt). I know it greatly depends, but I am not sure what can be done in 30 days; I am hoping that he will come back more responsive, less exitable, and neckreining. I want a safe, responsive trail horse--nothing more. The second trainer does alot of trail riding with the horses. Also, any thing that stands out to you, good or bad from the websites would be good to hear.

2. What are some things I can do under saddle in the arena to get him more supple, aware/responsive? I am using a one way locking hinged (releases quickly, but dosent nutcrack under pressure) Dee ring snaffle--the gentlest bit I could find. I am working on getting him to side pass on the ground (not much luck), and responding to voice commands (slowly coming along) BUT I AM NOT a horse trainer, and don't feel I have the knowledge/ability to get him where he could be.

Thanks in advance!!
Here is a pic just because
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    10-25-2010, 03:39 AM
I think you have a pretty good idea of what is best for him, and kudos to trying to work through the issues and keep him. Although I am confused with what his faults are from your post. Why do you feel it's necessary to send him to a trainer? Having his head high on the trail is absolutely expected, since he has no exposure and is by himself. Keep in mind he is a herd prey animal. When he gets to a strange place, and he's by himself, he is going to be on alert.

Anyway; I see that he and the alpacas have started a white-face-black-body trend. How adorable :] Does he think he's an alpaca? ;]

Good luck!
    10-25-2010, 03:44 AM
In 30 days, if they take him out on trails a lot then you should be able to conquer most things you would see on your trails.
He should be able to neckrein decently and move off your legs pretty well as well. Or at least that is the least I would be expecting. I've never sent a horse away for training, I do it myself.
He's gorgeous btw. He looks like he stepped in white paint and tried to wipe it off with his nose
    10-25-2010, 03:51 AM
Lol, I never noticed that that llamas match him in the picture--most of them are white or brown. The training is for hima s much as me--I am quite nervous, because he is quite nervous--I am not sure how much further I can bring him with my current knowledge and skills besides just giving hime miles. I am worried about our safety. Like a said he is only green broke.
    10-25-2010, 03:54 AM
Ahh I see. Yeah, professional help for a nervous rider+horse is always safest. In addition to what Amir said, you expect him to be ridable with smaller (if any) kinks and holes. Just don't expect his training to plateau once you get him back.. you still need to contribute to keeping him knowing what he's learned. Are you going to go to the trainer with him? It's always nice to train the horse, train the rider, and meet happily in the middle.
    10-25-2010, 03:55 AM
I just wanted to say congrats and WOW he is so pretty. My favorite face marking is a giant snip, just like that. :)

I am leaning towards the first place you posted... maybe it's simply because it looks more professional. Which I know doesn't always mean anything :)
But I also like the description of how things are done. It sounds like my kind of place, and it sure doesn't hurt that it's cheaper! Lol

As far as what to expect.... that's hard to say. I don't really know your horse other than what you describe, and it all depends on him anyways. If it were me, I would want the spookiness to be a priority, along with getting him soft and giving to the bit. To me, neck reining comes after a good solid foundation is established with bridle work.
Go visit these places and check them out for your self (if you haven't already). A really important factor IMO is someone willing to let you come out and watch whenever. And also show you what they are teaching your horse. I encourage my customers to come out and watch and I have them participate, too. It doesn't help to send your horse to training if you don't learn also.

Good luck!!!!
    10-25-2010, 04:33 AM
I agree that the neckreining shouldnt be priority--I just feel it might be easier to controll him if he spooks--if he is more responsive? The spookiness is my biggest issue, as it makes ME nervous--always waiting for a reaction.
    10-25-2010, 04:46 AM
Green Broke
I think most of what the trainers will do is get experience on him. I think a major thing young horses need is just time under the saddle. He doesn't seem bad - the most the trainers will do is get him hopefully a little more responsive and a bit more used to going out - you can't train "calmness" it just comes after work.

I'd consider getting lessons as well or instead of training. You might find you get a lot more out of one-on-one regular lessons than you get out of sending him away.

As far as bits goes I use a double jointed snaffle. Usually loose ring. D-rings are fine but some horses do not like the nutcracker action of a single jointed snaffle.

To get him off the leg I'd do heaps of transitions. Ask slightly first, then a little more, then a little more and finally a tap with a dressage whip. As soon as he moves off stop the aids, if you want more speed ask again.

Set up bending poles or cones and do some bending. Include heaps of change of direction and pace. He'll pay more attention and be ready for changes.
    10-25-2010, 12:33 PM
It sounds like quite an adventure. All the advice so far sounds great. The one thing I will add is that often our horses will tense up and act nervous because we are nervous. If we relax they will relax. This takes practice, for both of you. If he thinks he sees the boogie man, tell him it is just a tree and keep going. They will respond to how you respond. I would strongly recomend joining a riding club and meeting other horse owners so that you can ride with someone else, that would help his confidence a lot.
    10-25-2010, 01:40 PM
Originally Posted by mramsay    
I agree that the neckreining shouldnt be priority--I just feel it might be easier to controll him if he spooks--if he is more responsive? The spookiness is my biggest issue, as it makes ME nervous--always waiting for a reaction.

Well, he needs to learn that it's ok to be scared, but to spook in place. So him learning to neck rein isn't going to make a difference.

I know it's easier said than done, but if you are relaxed it will help tremendously. If you are always waiting for him to spook, then he will be looking for things to spook at.
It will really help if you have a friend with a trustworthy horse to ride out with. It will help you relax since you can have a conversation, which in turn will help him. Along with showing him how to act (the other horse).

If you do find someone to ride with, be sure to change things up some... like you lead sometimes, you follow sometimes, turn and ride away from the other horse, etc. You don't want him to depend on a buddy.

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