09-11-2012, 12:00 AM
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I am very much a 'do-it-yourself'er I think everyone who loves horses should start a horse from the beginning. The way you are with that horse will be like no other.
You clearly love your horse and clearly want to do everything right by her.
Now here's what I'd change:
Call your vet, tell them your horses diet and level of exercise. Sweet feed is, well, sweet, and very high energy. I'm sure they'll want you to change it up. If you feel she needs grain at all look at some high fiber, low carb grains.
Next - go get yourself some riding lessons on a lesson horse. There are a number of stables who will trade stable work for riding lessons if you don't have the money. Can't train a horse to be ridden if you don't know how to ride.
This will also put you in contact with a broader spectrum of horse-knowledgeable people. You can ask them questions and learn from them - some may even be willing to go help you out.
I love that you want to train this horse yourself. I've said the same thing - I'm the only person who will ever ride my first horse. But when she needed to be trailered I knew someone more experienced needed to handle her. You need to know how to hand over the reins (so to speak :P).
There are a huge number of trainers who would rather go to your house and teach you what to do rather than just sending the horse away to get trained. I think that would benefit you greatly. If you can't do that maybe try finding a local trainer and see if they wouldn't mind you following them around and being a back-up set of hands if they need it? You'll learn alot like that.
Good luck and we want pics!
ETA: I agree with Tiny, avoid taking her out to the grass - she needs to be respectful of you 24/7, not just when there's nothing better to do. When you have her confidently working for you in hand all the time, yielding all parts and backing out of your space and being generally perfect. Then I'd consider taking her out to the grass and working her butt off, yielding everything, then back into her area to let her rest and just enjoy. This way she doesn't connect being on the grass with getting stuffed full of goodies. Grass=work. Eventually you can mix it up. I take my pony out for long hikes and having him rip my arm off to get food is pretty awful. So I worked on him forever - he's only allowed to eat grass when I'm sitting - the moment I stand again his head had better be up and ready to move. He carries our water and lunch ^^