Tips for starting a filly?
   

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Tips for starting a filly?

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  • Tips on how to start a filly
  • Starting a filly

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    01-04-2013, 11:55 PM
  #1
Foal
Tips for starting a filly?

Hello! I have a 3 1/2 y/o filly who has been my 'project' for the past few years. I've done all the ground work myself, and have her comfortably wearing a birdle and saddle and ground driving halfway decently. I've never started a baby, so I don't want to screw her up once I'm on her back. She's very easy going and smart, and not malicious in the slightest way. I've re-trained my OTTB for eventing, but that's as far as my training horses experience goes.

Tips would be appreciated!
     
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    01-05-2013, 03:58 PM
  #2
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by mustbemonroe    
Hello! I have a 3 1/2 y/o filly who has been my 'project' for the past few years. I've done all the ground work myself, and have her comfortably wearing a birdle and saddle and ground driving halfway decently. I've never started a baby, so I don't want to screw her up once I'm on her back. She's very easy going and smart, and not malicious in the slightest way. I've re-trained my OTTB for eventing, but that's as far as my training horses experience goes.

Tips would be appreciated!
I'd just start putting your weight on her back and maybe getting on halfway that way if she spooks you can hop of quickly, give her lots of rubbing and love to show her she's doing good. If you get on and off a few times halfway and she's fine then get on her fully and just sit and give her lots of love. When I first start getting on I often put weight on their back by laying my body on the saddle with my feet dangling, that way the horse feels my weight and if they get spooked I can make a quick hop off As a precaution have you may have someone hold her when you get on. But if you've been working a long time with this filly she probably has a lot of trust for you. When she ground drives does she give to pressure and will change directions? How well is she giving to pressure on the bit, you want her giving decently before you try to ride. How good is her woah that's also important. If you have someone to help you I'd have that person lead you around a bit at first if not then start by getting your horse to move forward or sideways when she moves her feet lots of praise even if its a step, I think this will help you gain confidence for your first time as well. Do you have any specific questions that your unsure about or afraid you will mess up. I've started lots of young horses you can PM if you want even I guess the only other advice I have for you now is be safe and take it slowly.
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    01-05-2013, 11:50 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppy Barrel Racing    
I'd just start putting your weight on her back and maybe getting on halfway that way if she spooks you can hop of quickly, give her lots of rubbing and love to show her she's doing good. If you get on and off a few times halfway and she's fine then get on her fully and just sit and give her lots of love. When I first start getting on I often put weight on their back by laying my body on the saddle with my feet dangling, that way the horse feels my weight and if they get spooked I can make a quick hop off As a precaution have you may have someone hold her when you get on. But if you've been working a long time with this filly she probably has a lot of trust for you. When she ground drives does she give to pressure and will change directions? How well is she giving to pressure on the bit, you want her giving decently before you try to ride. How good is her woah that's also important. If you have someone to help you I'd have that person lead you around a bit at first if not then start by getting your horse to move forward or sideways when she moves her feet lots of praise even if its a step, I think this will help you gain confidence for your first time as well. Do you have any specific questions that your unsure about or afraid you will mess up. I've started lots of young horses you can PM if you want even I guess the only other advice I have for you now is be safe and take it slowly.
Thanks so much for replying My main fear is screwing her up...me second fear is ending up with a broken neck She "gives" to the bit pressure fairly well (could always be better, but she doesn't fight it at all...just an occasional delayed reaction.) Her brakes are decent.

If she tolerates me laying across the saddle well, how long should I wait before actually sitting on her? If everything goes perfectly, should I end the day with me laying on her or should I go ahead and try sitting on her? I don't want to push her too much, but I don't want to bore her either. She's already used to me jumping up and down next to her and laying on her (while my feet are on the ground...she's pretty short!) I do plan on having a second handler there if I need them...especially once I'm sitting on her!

I may be PMing you once I'm on her and know what I'm dealing with :) Thank again!
     
    01-06-2013, 12:03 AM
  #4
Yearling
I have a soon to be 4yr. Gelding, he was born here from my mare. He had all the ground work done with him and like you I don't want to rush him with training or ruin him.
Last fall we started just putting weight on him, he had been saddled/bridled previous and lunged with it for short periods. Like the one above said just lay across her, move your legs/arms around alot so she gets used to seeing movement on her sides and do lots of praising and petting.
In the Sept. We started just sitting on him. A friend is helping and he uses the saddle and bridle, I use the bareback pad/halter. I was trying to get him to walk with the squeeze of the legs but he's quite sensitive so I didn't want to spank him LOL I'm too old to fall off! He did everything but walk forward, he would flex side to side, back but not step forward.....then one day the light bulb must have gone on for him, I was on him and I squeezed but this time I took my finger and just gave him a little poke in the top of his butt and he walked!! I was so excited that instead of paying attention I was video taping him LOL Because he's so young we only work while on top for short periods because he's still growing but the next time my friend came out, he saddled/bridled him....did his ground work and then got on, he squeezed and he walked off LOL I was like the proud Momma!!
My friend would mount him from the ground but I want him to learn to be mounted from a stool/fence or whatever, so I use the stool with him....come spring I will be using the fence in the round pen....good luck!!
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    01-06-2013, 12:23 AM
  #5
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by mustbemonroe    
Thanks so much for replying My main fear is screwing her up...me second fear is ending up with a broken neck She "gives" to the bit pressure fairly well (could always be better, but she doesn't fight it at all...just an occasional delayed reaction.) Her brakes are decent.

If she tolerates me laying across the saddle well, how long should I wait before actually sitting on her? If everything goes perfectly, should I end the day with me laying on her or should I go ahead and try sitting on her? I don't want to push her too much, but I don't want to bore her either. She's already used to me jumping up and down next to her and laying on her (while my feet are on the ground...she's pretty short!) I do plan on having a second handler there if I need them...especially once I'm sitting on her!

I may be PMing you once I'm on her and know what I'm dealing with :) Thank again!
So when you lay on her first just sit there and rub her then maybe move your arms and legs a bit see if the movement bugs her then maybe rub her some more. Get off and on maybe a few times and if she doesn't show concern I'd day go ahead and hop on fully you can always keep your right foot out of the stirrup for a quick escape . If she is a little concerned about you laying on her maybe wait a day or two and just practice getting on, then hop on fully on a day when she doesn't pay much attention to you laying on her. Sounds like your doing fine keep it up
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    01-06-2013, 12:40 AM
  #6
Foal
Thanks guys! I'm quite excited about this! I've been waiting for this from the moment she hit the dirt so I don't want to screw it up. She's too nice of a girl to be ruined. I'll be posting pics, I'm sure!
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    01-06-2013, 09:31 AM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by mustbemonroe    
Thanks guys! I'm quite excited about this! I've been waiting for this from the moment she hit the dirt so I don't want to screw it up. She's too nice of a girl to be ruined. I'll be posting pics, I'm sure!
Good luck, have fun.
You've gotten some excellent advice here.
I'm a bit jealous. I LOVE starting the young ones. Started my last one nine years ago and guess that will be the last one for me...at 72 it's probably time to give it up.

Keep us updated and let us enjoy the experience through you.
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    01-06-2013, 02:13 PM
  #8
Started
Do you have anyone helping you? We always start colts with two people. A rider and a leader. When we get to the point where we start climbing around on them, we will go halfway and lead around. Get off. Halfway and lead around. Get off. Etc. It is one thing that she will accep the rider, and another that she will move with the rider. The person on the ground is there to lead, and protect the rider. If the horse freaks, the leader has to have a known plan("I'll turn him to the left.") and keep the horse in control if he objects to the rider, so that the rider can stay or bail and only worry about himself. It just breaks up the worry. Leader worries about the horse. The rider worries about the rider.

What bugs me when I am getting on babies is that moment where you swing your leg over. If they move or jump web your leg is over their rump, you are screwed. Plus, the image of a leg coming down on the other side is new, and what if you bump his rump. It is unnerving sometimes. Our solution is pair of of stuffed jeans. We get the visual aspect of it out of the way, it calms our mind. Whether or not the horse gets any benefit from it, it sure helps our mind. Once we are confident they won't kill us when we throw a leg over, we throw a leg over and sit. Then we get off. Then we do that a few more times, and lead off and around. And we progress from here.

We do baby steps. Take our time. Keep sessions short. End on a good note. Good luck!
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    01-06-2013, 02:23 PM
  #9
Started
Let us know how it goes when you get on!
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    01-06-2013, 08:48 PM
  #10
Weanling
Are you training western or English? A western saddle gives you a little more to hang onto if the horse decides he doesn't like you there on top of him.

If it is western, there is a proper and safe way to mount that is becoming less and less known nowadays. It was developed and practiced by old-time cowboys who, often as not, rode half-broke broncs on a daily basis.

When you mount, take the reins in your left hand. Snug them up so you have some control. Some like to pull the horse's head toward you a little - shorten the left rein - so the horse doesn't have the freedom to pull his head down and get his hindquarters engaged to buck.

Now take up a big, solid handful of mane with your reins hand (left) just ahead of the withers a little...maybe a foot ahead of the saddle.

Stand by the horse's left front leg facing the rear (to keep from getting a cowkick in the pants) and put your left foot in the stirrup. You have to twist it around with your right hand.

Face the horse and grab the HORN, not the cantle, with your right hand and pull yourself straight up in the stirrup (this is after all your testing and you are really going to mount). Use the hand with the mane hold to pull a lot of the weight, so as not to pull the saddle over.

Now, swing your leg over and sit in the seat.

Mounting in this way makes it so that if the horse decides to bolt or buck while you are mounting, you can still continue into the saddle or you can stand in the stirrup, holding the horn with your right hand, let go of the mane and pull the reins with your left. It gives you the option of continuing into the saddle, staying in one stirrup, or stepping back to the ground.

If you mount with a hand on the cantle, you cannot continue into the saddle without letting go and you are left hanging onto the side of the saddle until it slips off to the side and dumps you on the ground, or the horse rubs you off on a post, possibly with a foot still in a stirrup. The only safe thing you can do in that case is dismount. Horse wins.

For a great look at what it looks like, watch any John Wayne or Tom Selleck western.
     

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