Training help please?? Not sure how to adjust to this horse?? Thank you! :)
 
 

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Training help please?? Not sure how to adjust to this horse?? Thank you! :)

This is a discussion on Training help please?? Not sure how to adjust to this horse?? Thank you! :) within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    • 4 Post By usandpets
    • 1 Post By loosie
    • 1 Post By usandpets
    • 1 Post By franknbeans
    • 1 Post By soph
    • 1 Post By soph

     
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        05-19-2013, 03:42 AM
      #1
    Foal
    Training help please?? Not sure how to adjust to this horse?? Thank you! :)

    Hi, I'm new here ;)

    I would really appreciate any and all opinions!!

    I've only ever ridden rushy, hot horses, but I started a lease on a new horse last week. He will be a good challenge for me, but I could definitely use some help from you all!

    He's a huge thoroughbred-welsh cross, but he's pokey and not very responsive to leg. Without encouragement, he has a little pony gait at the trot, and I need to negotiate with him to pick up the canter. He goes on the bit nicely, and I have him in a fairly mild 3 ring instead of his pellum because I thought it got him even more behind my leg. It's not that he's out of shape, or old, he's very capable, and jumping 3 feet with me...he just isn't a hot horse.
    That's only part of the problem...he is a big coward and spooks at loud noises and silly things (he bolted because of baby bunny the other day!). Not dangerously or often, but it will create problems at shows. (He is not dangerous or mean at all, he's a totally puppydog who is just easily scared and overreacts).
    This horse is owned by a girl that is unhappy with him and she intimidated and scared him. He misses her though, and I'm trying to figure out how to bond quickly with him.

    What I need help with: (feel free to offer opinions or your experiences for any or all of these!!)
    1. What are some aids I can use to get him forward without scaring him too much? (I've never used spurs before because I've only ridden hot horses...If you recommend them, do you have any tips for using them?)
    2. What are some good ways to prevent spooks?
    3. How can I build his confidence?
    4. How can I get him to pick up his canter briskly?
    5. How should I punish/correct him when he does spook?
    6. What are some training methods to get him more bombproof?
    7. How do I get him forward and off my leg quickly for a jumping round?
    8. How do I bond faster with him?
    9. The girl is selling him by winter, and I need to help him learn some skills so he can be worth more...What are good things to work on with him that you look for in a horse?
    10. He hates having his ears touched (makes it hard to bridle sometimes), how do I get him over this?
         
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        05-19-2013, 04:53 AM
      #2
    Green Broke
    1: Since you haven't used spurs before and probably don't know how, don't use them. Use a crop instead. Ask with your leg and if he doesn't respond, tap his rear with the crop. If still no response, keep tapping and increase how hard you tap until he moves or responds.

    2: Put time and miles under his feet. This is with both ground work and under saddle. You are new to each other and he is unsure if he can be safe with you.

    3: See number 2

    4: See number 1 and practice

    5: You don't want to punish him. His energy is already elevated. You don't want to add more energy to that. Stay relaxed (as best as you can) and give him direction. By that I mean for you to get his focus back on you. Give him a job: circles, figure 8's, backing, flexing, etc. Once he starts listening again, let him stop, stand and rest.

    6: Number 2 again and desensitizing.

    7: I'm not a jumping person but I would think if you get number one fixed, this should be fixed.

    8: Don't think of it as a bond but as you being his leader. Ground work, time and structure. Ground work shows him that you can control his feet which makes you higher than him in the pecking order and gives you his respect. Time will get you his trust. Structure is setting boundaries of acceptable behavior. Be firm and consistent of what you expect but be fair when correcting, don't over do your correction. Keep any anger in check. If you get frustrated, take a step back, try something else and come back to what you were trying to do.

    9: Are you getting anything from creating value in her horse? Unless you are getting paid for it or getting a deal on the lease for it, it is not your concern. Work on things that will benefit you.

    10: is he fine with having his face and neck being touched? If so, rub his neck, slide your hand quickly over his head and rub his face. He'll probably pop his head up a little so just keep rubbing his face. Quickly slide your hand back over his head and rub his neck again. Rinse and repeat. When he stops trying to pop his head up, start slowing your hand going over his head. Soon he won't care about your hand going over his head. Tip: do not look at the top of his head. Look at his muzzle when bringing your hand forward. Look at his shoulder when you bring your hand back. Looking at his ears gives away what you're doing and he will shy away.

    Edit: By the way, welcome to the forum.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    loosie, Cat, jannette and 1 others like this.
         
        05-19-2013, 10:28 PM
      #3
    Trained
    Hi & welcome,

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by soph    
    1. What are some aids I can use to get him forward without scaring him too much? (I've never used spurs before because I've only ridden hot horses...If you recommend them, do you have any tips for using them?)
    You shouldn't be scaring him with any of your 'aids' at all, not just not too much. If that's the case, sounds like you should take everything back to the very basics. If you are new to the horse & especially if he's nervy(could also be that his 'lack of forwardness' is due to fear too) & you're not experienced with training, I'd be working on building your relationship on the ground first, earning his trust & respect.

    I wouldn't tend to use spurs, but if you do, get him used to the feel of them & *responding without reacting* to them on the ground first. Whatever aids you use, you need to be consistent & effective - make things as clear & easy for him to get right as possible, 'ask' with a little pressure, then build it(not past discomfort) if he doesn't respond, and keep it up until you get something. The instant you get it - no matter how small his 'try' to begin with, negatively reinforce it by releasing the pressure.

    Quote:
    2. What are some good ways to prevent spooks?
    Gain his trust & respect so he is confident to take your lead. Lots of experience with different things & places.

    Quote:
    3. How can I build his confidence?
    See 2

    Quote:
    4. How can I get him to pick up his canter briskly?
    See 1. I'd be getting him willingly responsive at the walk & trot first before starting with canter.

    Quote:
    5. How should I punish/correct him when he does spook?
    You shouldn't. Do you think it would be fair & help you get over your fears if someone punished you every time you were frightened? Don't react or make a big deal out of it yourself so he can follow your lead.

    Quote:
    6. What are some training methods to get him more bombproof?
    See 2.

    Quote:
    7. How do I get him forward and off my leg quickly for a jumping round?
    See 4.

    Quote:
    8. How do I bond faster with him?
    Faster than what? See 1.

    Quote:
    9. The girl is selling him by winter, and I need to help him learn some skills so he can be worth more...What are good things to work on with him that you look for in a horse?
    I don't get the first comment. Are you taking him on to turn a profit? Sounds like you have your work cut out for you establishing the basics. Also really sounds like you need some good, experienced hands on help, with all these questions. Any good trainers/instructors in your realm?

    Quote:
    10. He hates having his ears touched (makes it hard to bridle sometimes), how do I get him over this?
    Agree with using 'approach & retreat' as Usandpets described.

    And to be difficult as usual...
    Quote:
    Ground work shows him that you can control his feet which makes you higher than him in the pecking order and gives you his respect.
    Fully agree with groundwork & learning how to be effective with him on the ground first. Agree with teaching him that when you ask, he needs to move his feet. But I don't pay too much heed to 'dominance theories' & don't believe it gives you the horse's respect. It is a necessary *ingredient* of respect, but... a cup of flour don't make a cake. Depending on how you do it, how you're perceived, chasing a horse around on the ground, making him get out of your way can be a good way to ruin any trust or respect. Keeping in mind that you're the teacher, wanting to support your horse & reinforce him for wanting & trying to do as you ask, rather than seeing yourself as The Boss that Must Be Obeyed will help you keep the right mindset.
    jannette likes this.
         
        05-19-2013, 11:53 PM
      #4
    Foal
    Thank you both!! Very helpful!

    I'm already doing a few of your suggestions, which is really good reinforcement for me :)

    And I really agree with the making him work after a spook, it gets him focused and it's not directly punishing him, but I'm not letting him get away with it.

    Oh my gosh, the ear thing you told me is so helpful! I will keep that in mind when I go back to the barn :)

    And I probably should have mentioned why I want to school him to increase his value...I'm getting a full lease on him for the price of a half lease because I'm a student, and I'm grateful for that and would like to work on things that will help him be sold and appreciated by the new owner. I don't have to, but I thought it would be a nice thing to do, and it would give me some extra goals to reach by the year's end.
         
        05-20-2013, 03:48 AM
      #5
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by loosie    
    And to be difficult as usual...


    Fully agree with groundwork & learning how to be effective with him on the ground first. Agree with teaching him that when you ask, he needs to move his feet. But I don't pay too much heed to 'dominance theories' & don't believe it gives you the horse's respect. It is a necessary *ingredient* of respect, but... a cup of flour don't make a cake. Depending on how you do it, how you're perceived, chasing a horse around on the ground, making him get out of your way can be a good way to ruin any trust or respect. Keeping in mind that you're the teacher, wanting to support your horse & reinforce him for wanting & trying to do as you ask, rather than seeing yourself as The Boss that Must Be Obeyed will help you keep the right mindset.
    Whether you want to think boss, leader, teacher, alpha or such, they all have the same thing in common. Being higher up. That doesn't mean dominance. Getting them to move their feet when and where doesn't mean dominance either.

    Being dominant can be similar though. At least to me, dominance is based on fear. I may use their fear to my advantage when first starting a horse but I don't want the horse or its training based on fear or be fearful of me.

    If you don't want to think of being higher or lower, then you think of your horse as a partner, friend, buddy, or peer. The only problem is that horses don't think like that. If you're not higher, then they will be. There is no equal in the horses mind.

    Not saying you're wrong, just this is how I think of it. Different terms but same meaning.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    loosie likes this.
         
        05-20-2013, 06:39 AM
      #6
    Trained
    You have gotten great advice here-just one note-spurs are not for speed. They are for refining cues. THey actually have the opposite affect many times and slow a horse down, so use the crop. When you want a transition-ask-tell-DEMAND. In other words, cue softly with your leg, if no response cue harder with your leg, and if still no response-smack him with the crop.
    loosie likes this.
         
        05-22-2013, 10:53 PM
      #7
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by usandpets    
    Not saying you're wrong, just this is how I think of it. Different terms but same meaning.
    Ezacily! & I should have said the same when replying ~ I agree with you fully, but different people understand terms like 'dominance' & 'respect' in... some pretty different ways, so I was trying to clarify... but probably further blurred it. No matter, either way, hopefully it'll get OP thinking about these things & not just accepting...
         
        05-23-2013, 11:53 PM
      #8
    Foal
    Thanks franknbeans that really helped in my lesson today!! Decided not to go with spurs, and tried your tips for transitions...worked great! He did some wonderful flying changes!
    Skyseternalangel likes this.
         
        06-03-2013, 09:34 PM
      #9
    Foal
    Yay, thanks to you guys, and lots of practice, we had our first show yesterday and he blew everyone away! We won 4 of our classes, including the medal, and reserve high point. I am so proud of him!
    Thank you everyone :)
    loosie likes this.
         
        06-04-2013, 03:22 AM
      #10
    Green Broke
    Congrats! Glad it worked out.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         

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    new horse, spooking

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