Retraining Red

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Retraining Red

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        09-30-2009, 03:00 PM
    Green Broke
    Retraining Red

    Ok so I have no idea what my horse is capable of. I have only ridden him once and only at a walk/trot in small round pen. I know he's not very well trained so intead of risking my health and just jumping on him, I am going to retrain him from the ground up. First thing I wanna do is despookifey him. Lol. He's a pretty spooky dude so I wanna get that clear before I ever get on him. Tarps are his main thing. I wanna get him used to everything! Suggestions? Here's a pic. Just for fun.

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        09-30-2009, 04:04 PM
    He is gorgeous!!!!i have always wanted a red dun colored up like him. Round pens work wonders for training. I would definatley start be despookifying him. Also because you don't know what he knows I would start from step one such as ground manners and leading, trailering and such. He will fly thru the things he already knows so its not going to waste time doing it but it also makes sure that he doesnt have any holes in his training that could cause problems later.
        09-30-2009, 07:45 PM
    Green Broke
    Yesterday we did alot of ground work mainly for respect. Lots of lunging. And I did some work with ropes. He's terrified, but getting better. I tied ripped up plactic feed bags all in his pen so he gets used to them waving. Today we did a few lunging cirles till he was breathing a bit and the I went and got the saddle and tied him up. I let him smell it a bit and chunked the saddle blanket all over him, when he stopped flinching I did the saddle. He barely blinked at it. I got him all situated and we did alot of lunging with the saddle. Got a nice wet blanket. Then I threw ropes on his saddle so it made loud popping noises. He didnt like that at all. When he was calm with that I took the sturrip and jerked on it and wiggled it and flopped it around. He didnt like that much either. Lol. But I didnt stop until he stood still. I led him around an the I put my foot in the sturrip and put some weight and he stood very well. I did this about 8 times. Then we did some flexing from the ground. He flexes great on the right, not so great on the left. He just doesnt seem supple that way. Any ideas how to get him flexable? Also input on anything I'm doing would be great.
        09-30-2009, 07:55 PM
    You are doing great thus far. You are taking things in steps, and not continuing until he is comfortable; that's what training is all about. Little steps, and perfecting those steps, before pursuing the next.

    As far as bending, you just gotta keep doing it; do it more, right now on the 'bad' side, so that he loosens up the muscles on that side. Do it on the right side too, as you always want to work each side, but really focus on the left. Like say you get him to do it 10-15 times on the left, because he does it well on the right, do it 5-8 times, just to keep him fresh, and to prevent him from becoming stiff on that side.
        09-30-2009, 08:20 PM
    Green Broke
    Thanks for the advice. Sounds good. It's in my plans for tomorrow.
        09-30-2009, 09:19 PM
    So far, sounds like your doing really well!

    Try to keep sessions short, and to the point. Say tomorrow you are going to work on a bag and a rope.
    Work on the bag first - introduce it, allow him to sniff, take it away. Reintroduce it, allow him to sniff, rub his shoulder - if he moves (and by the sounds of it he will), keep with him - no yelling, and no talking.
    Reason for no talking?
    It's tempting to just say 'wooaahh boyy, steady now .. come on, it's not that bad' - this is a reward. Soft, soothing voice = it's ok to this.
    Or "Would you stand the heck up, horse? For heavens sake, stand up its just a bag" - angry voice = there is a reason to be scared.
    Not saying you ARE doing this, but it's just something to be aware of.
    If you feel you need to talk, talk to him like you would to someone who is afraid of patting a horse.
    "Come on - it wont hurt! See, it's really friendly after all" Happy, positive voice. Your horse may then lick and chew and relax a little.
    After rubbing the shoulder, take the bag away (behind you), pat horse, make a fuss, repeat. Aim of the session is to get him to accept the bag on BOTh shoulders (remembering for horses that what happens one side doesn't mean its ok for the other side).
    Then move onto your rope work . Rub all over the body, then swing the rope (away from horse), then rub. Approach, retreat.

    Just some thoughts :)

    As far as bending, you just gotta keep doing it; do it more, right now on the 'bad' side, so that he loosens up the muscles on that side. Do it on the right side too, as you always want to work each side, but really focus on the left.
    I disagree.

    I would not be pushing your horse to do more bending on the stiff side, as this may a) cause problems physically b) create further problems c) hurt the horse. There may be a muscle problem going on and that is why he is stiff, and it may be in the neck/muscle/rump .. I'd get a massage therapist (if you can) to check him out first.

    Suppling the neck and loosening takes time. Start off by before working, give your horse a nice rub on both sides of his neck - flat palm, rubbing and stroking DOWN his neck (or with the muscles). This bring the blood flow to the muscles increasing circulation, in prep for work. Basically your helping warm the muscles.

    While lunging - how balanced is he? Does he stick his nose out to the outside of the circle?
    Lead him in a 20m circle, then come in and dow a 15m circle, then out to a 20m circle again. Get him using his body.
    Bending around cones is also good - you can do this leading or long lining (I personally do not like lunging with one line, and you can do so much more with long lining).
    The one rein stop (aka nose to toe) is a nice way to help him stretch his body - but never stretch a cold muscle (so either rub the neck, or lunge before hand). You want to do it EQUALLY on both sides, regardless of what ever you do. Start off with twice each side. Doing it more on his bad side can tare a muscle.
    If he can't reach his side (And he may dance around a little bit) that is fine, just as him to turn slightly, with feet still. Release, reward, other side.

    Good luck. Sorry it is so long LOL
        09-30-2009, 09:33 PM
    Green Broke
    Originally Posted by Jessa    
    So far, sounds like your doing really well!

    While lunging - how balanced is he? Does he stick his nose out to the outside of the circle?

    The one rein stop (aka nose to toe) is a nice way to help him stretch his body
    He seems pretty balanced to me and his nose is typically pointed straight ahead.

    I'm not riding him yet so that's not an option. I'm just flexing him while on the ground. I will do alot of stretching next time though.
        09-30-2009, 09:38 PM
    Cool - the reason I asked if he was balanced was to see if he was compinsating by using his neck, and this may have made him stiff.
    You can do stretching 'nose to toe', but not in the saddle :)

    Do you long line him? This is awesome fun for horse and handler - and you can do almost the same thing you'd do ridden, but on the ground (weaving, etc) :)
        09-30-2009, 09:47 PM
    Green Broke
    No all we do is lunging in a round pen. I'm thinking in the next few day I will get on him. But what I was really proud of was today I couldnt get him to walk past this tarp stretched over some pvc pipe leaned against the barn in our lil alley. So I backed him past it. But on our way back he walked straight past it.
        09-30-2009, 11:57 PM
    That's great Well done Good luck mounting him - hope to see more piccies of him soon, he's a cutie!

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