Rebuilding her foundation training. First steps? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-05-2011, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Rebuilding her foundation training. First steps?

Now that we have worked through her not wanting to be caught issue, I am looking to take it up a bit. After three rides on her, I notice a couple of things about her that need to be fixed, and I'd like to do that by working slow and building trust and starting over pretty much.

1) The faster we go, the less control I have over her. She doesn't respond well if at all to leg cues and opposes the bit a lot more. At the walk, she listens to my leg and responds to a very light touch on the reins, but anything faster and the head goes up and the sides go "dead". This is my biggest problem and the one I want to work on asap.

2) She is a submissive horse and sometimes spooks when other horses come up around her. She is afraid they are going to attack her. I'd like to build her trust in me a little better. I hope that this is fixable.

She didn't know how to back up when I first started riding her, but I started on that and she is doing awesome! She is a really good girl and wants to learn. She is worth the work to get her educated. I'm just unsure where to begin and I want to make sure I do things correctly for her sake (and mine.) I can't really afford a trainer, and I'm pretty sure I can do it on my own if I know just where to begin, and proper progression.

So any tips or know-how would be GREATLY appreciated! Or website links anything like that, or books that you've used. I have access to a really good library. A lot of those training books require an arena and such, or at least a round pen I don't really have that yet. :/

Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 7 Old 06-05-2011, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to borrow the Clinton Anderson and Parelli DVD's from a friend, so maybe that will help...
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-05-2011, 05:08 PM
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Since you lose the control the faster you go, I would start off just walking. If she responds to all the commands at the walk, go up to a slow trot and do a lot of bending, turning, anything that doesn't involve a straight line at the trot. When she does respond, take away the pressure. This is the easiest and best way to tell a horse they have done something correctly. I wouldn't even think about cantering until she's nearly perfect at the trot.

If you think she's simply not listening to your commands and being a brat, I honestly wouldn't hesitate to try spurs on her. But it sounds like she just needs some more work.


You can tell a gelding. You can ask a stallion. But you must discuss it with a mare. -Unknown
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-06-2011, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseloverd2 View Post
Since you lose the control the faster you go, I would start off just walking. If she responds to all the commands at the walk, go up to a slow trot and do a lot of bending, turning, anything that doesn't involve a straight line at the trot. When she does respond, take away the pressure. This is the easiest and best way to tell a horse they have done something correctly. I wouldn't even think about cantering until she's nearly perfect at the trot.

If you think she's simply not listening to your commands and being a brat, I honestly wouldn't hesitate to try spurs on her. But it sounds like she just needs some more work.
That's pretty much what I have been doing and she does great. I think it's mostly her getting exited when we go faster and her nerves sort of taking over, one time she did scare me, I did get her into a beautiful canter but she got spunky the first time, I don't think she was trying to hurt so much as she was having too much fun and certainly not paying attention lol.

I'd LOVE to ingrain the cues into her brain so that when I'm communicating with her at anytime she is listening. I really don't feel safe otherwise ya know. Communication is everything eh?

I'm especially curious about yielding exercises on the ground and in the saddle to help reinforce leg cue sensitivity.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-06-2011, 01:17 PM
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My horse is exactly like that... she had zero trust of people, and I lost almost all control in canter. We have been doing a lot of lunging, groundowork, and slowly building up the amount/ intensity of riding. I found that getting her to respect people on the ground was a huge factor in increasing my control mounted. We do a lot of transitions, too. Walk-trot, trot-walk, walk-halt. This increased her ability to listen and kept her mind active and focused.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-06-2011, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raidress View Post
I think it's mostly her getting exited when we go faster and her nerves sort of taking over, one time she did scare me, I did get her into a beautiful canter but she got spunky the first time, I don't think she was trying to hurt so much as she was having too much fun and certainly not paying attention lol.
Are you unintentionally gripping with your legs and making her go faster?
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-06-2011, 02:21 PM
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If you want to start her over, build her respect and trust, and get her listening to you better, you need to start on the ground and not in the saddle. Groundwork can be boring but that is where you build the foundation for being in the saddle.

I agre with mls. If you get excited when she gets excited, you may be inadvertently squeezing your legs without knowing it. Try to remain calm and relaxed, no matter what see does.

Everyone should be allowed at least one bad habit, and that's NOT owning a horse!

Mares RULE! Geldings drool!
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