Suggestions for a training program - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-07-2008, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chilton, Wisconsin
Posts: 169
• Horses: 4
Suggestions for a training program

Looking for suggestions for a "training" program.

For those who don't know, I have recently rescued 3 horses. I am attempting to work with these 3 myself. I am not doing anything special - simple pleasure trail riding, western. Looking for ideas, tips, and the like for a training "schedual", if you will. I have been tring to work with these 3 every day - if nothing more than to aquaint them with human contact.

Thunder, is a 6yr mare, never been ridden, but handles very nicely. So far she will walk on a lead rope, and follow 90% of verbal commands - walk, whoa, and about 50% of trot. She does not know what I want when I try to lunge her (only tried twice). I have put a pad on her back, with sucess, and a saddle, with no problems at all, and have gotten on her back, no problems. She has had a bit, no problems besides the expected chewing.

Bullit, a yearling (coming up on 2yrs), has very little ground work done. Never been tied even. Again, I have simply been walking her every day. She will also follow simple verbal commands - walk, whoa and the like.

Jake is about 3 months old. I have been working on catching him several times a day, and walking him. He will even follow verbal commands, and visual preques ( I stop without saying anything - so does he). Brushing, touching his back leags, holding feet up ect.

Also, specificly, is Jake or Bullit too young for this?
Can I start working on tieing Jake? too young?
Would it be bad to start getting Bullit used to a saddle pad? Bits? Lunging?
Is it reccomended to work with horses in the winter (Wisconsin)? wait till spring? doesn't matter?
Ruby Tuesday is offline  
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-07-2008, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 334
• Horses: 10
As long as you handle things lightly in training with your long yearling, you should be good!

As for the winter, unless you are working any of them into a sweat, its not an issue. They normally exercise themselves in cold conditions regardless if they were even on pasture.

With the 3 month old, definately working the desensitization is key to easy training later on as you go! Leading, haltering, backing, standing quiet, playing with hooves, clippers, mouth work, and building confidence and trust.

Your yearling will definately benefit from "bit work". Familiarization and ground work under bit will help when it comes to saddle work later on. With the lunging, use it for directional and lateral practice. Using a variety of lateral exercises can be done. I always work constantly with feet, as farriers appreciate much more, and it ensures that trimming goes well and right! Exposure is something else that needs to be done with a lot. Why not work that angle while on the ground! Its better on the ground then when in saddle and having problems arrise there!

Those are some things that will keep you busy during the winter, LOL!

Dixon's Red Hot Ember
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-07-2008, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chilton, Wisconsin
Posts: 169
• Horses: 4
Exposure? as in...
Ruby Tuesday is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 11-08-2008, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 334
• Horses: 10
Exposure ideas..

Well, I take mine for walks through a variety of areas. Up and down hills, with varying grades and difficulties. Different road textures. Different terrain too, including holes with babies as I am there at a slow walk and would rather them discover a hole with me next to them, then running one day in a field, and find out in a bad way!

Other neat things you can introduce them to, tarps.. and in a variety of ways. You have the usual walking across, and if you have the shiny ones folded, you can simulate water crossings since their visual perception is different. But walking under tarps is a tsk! If you cut one up into lengths and hang it from a pole horizontally then walk them through it, it also challenges their percpetion and fear.

Fields of pop cans. I use pop cans as they crunch under foot, yours or their, and in grassy areas, they are harder to see from distance and surprise them last minute. Doing this and calming them through it, they develop trust in you getting them through problems!

I own a gooseneck trailer, so walking under the hitch and around the head makes things interesting. Poles and bails on the ground and passing over and around them adds a little fun to the mix. "Semi" balance beams.. not ones where they walk a tight line but narrowing and height differences. Working your lateral directions on something narrow helps teach them their foot work.

There is a ton of thigs to do.. you just have to get creative. But anything you can throw at them as a surprise will help desensatize them and when it comes to riding in the future, their experience level with surprises will have better results!

Dixon's Red Hot Ember
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