Training Journal - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 05-03-2009, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 346
• Horses: 3
Training Journal

Thought maybe it would be fun if we all posted on horses we are working on at the moment

2 year old Shetland Pony filly

Stubborn, headstrong, lack of respect for all humans, food aggressive, cant be caught, cant be haltered, kicker well just about every bad habit a young horse could have

First this pony was stalled for 3 days straight and only fed and interacted with by me. Very food aggressive which was solved on day one. Upon entering the stall she would immediately show me her butt to which I would swing her hips back around and make her face me and then I would leave WITH THE FEED. Wait 1 min return to stall with feed. Repeat above about 3 times. Finally she faces me and waits for her feed. BINGO.

By doing this I have taught her that great things happen when I appear. Food appears, fresh water, brushing woohooo all the good things in life

Day 2. Bring her out and tie her and watch her learn patientce. Once she stops moving and pawing I brush her. She LOVES being brushed but is scared and somewhat shaking. Back to stall

Day 3 same thing

Day 4 She is let into the pen that is attached to her stall. She can now see horses and interact but only through the gates. She is worked about 10 mins trotting each side. The haltered and worked on leading manners. Learns to give to pressure. Tied and brush now she really loves being brushed and doesnt shake

Day 5 day of rest. she just goes out into pen and back to stall

Day 6. More work leading and haltering. Finally accepts the halter willingly now. Still balks some when leading but getting better. Tied for 30 mins today and did very well.

Day 7. More of the same but we also start working on desentizing legs. Has a huge problem with legs being touched. Made good progress with upper legs

Day 8 More of the same, round penning, leading, legs

Day 9. more of the same

Day 10. The big day. She is let out with the herd. Shes happy but intimidated and for sure is low mare in the herd. I let her play for 3 hours and go out to see if I can catch her. Much to even my suprise she comes right to me the minute she sees me. Follows me to the barn and goes to her stall. I will say this is unusual. I do think because shes low in the herd she wanted to go back to her safe place in the barn :) So that definitely helped. More importantly though this shows that she knows I am her safe leader and she know knows I will not lead her to harm.

Day 11 more of the same. She goes out with the herd for most of the day then comes in and eats then gets worked. Still working on lower legs as this seems to really be her sticking point. she reared for the first time in a long time. But I have found this to be true with most horses. After seeming to learn and go straight up hill, then tend to go backwards for a few days. No biggie

Day 12. day of rest

Day 13. Finally got to cut her bridle path worked on desentizing ears and decided to leave her feet alone for a few days

to be continued

*a whip was never used in the training of this horse and she was never hit but she was never let to think for even one second that she was the leader. When training to lead when she acted up she was IMMEDIATELY backed up in a straight line.
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post #2 of 3 Old 05-04-2009, 12:33 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 7,702
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The horse I'm working with is my lovely lady, Lacey, a 24 year old Arabian mare who believes she is the equine equivalent of Marilyn Monroe.

When I started working with her she was very overweight, flighty, had no attention span, no manners (she literally ran over me multiple times, putting me in some super scary dangerous situations), and she was herd bound. She was mildly abused by her previous owners, one person would let her get away with anything but the other people would basically beat her into submission every time they rode, so I've been trying to undo that too.

Now (9 months later) she is a healthy weight, much less flighty (nothing spooks her unless whatever it is popped completely out of the blue) and her manners are much better. She still has a ways to go but she's getting there.

When I first got her and she was super chubby I started lunging her everyday until she started breathing hard. I tried riding her at first but the saddles I had access to were too small and she didn't have much in the way of manners under saddle.

Now I ride her about twice a month but we've mainly been focusing on ground manners through the winter because she still gives me grief when I ride so I'm working on our relationship from the ground up. She has been getting much better though and I've been considering starting to ride every time I see her.

I think in her case, she had a hard time trusting people stemming from her "abuse", or whatever you wanna call it, and so she basically threw temper tantrums to get people to listen to her, which worked because they got scared and left her alone. I've just been able to listen to her and fix what she needs fixed when she shows a little discomfort and so she's begun to trust me to listen to her little cues and not force her to "yell", most of the time.

The thing that I'm the proudest of, I think, in my time with her, has been that she has started trotting up to about 10 feet from me whenever I enter her field. She wouldn't even come to the woman who had bred her, raised her, trained her and owned her her entire 24 years of life when I saw them together 9 months ago. I'm also proud that in her happiness to see me she still respects me enough to stay out of my bubble and let me approach her.

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-04-2009, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 1,284
• Horses: 4
My project this summer is a little 3 year old "something or other". We have no idea what his breeding is nor do we know anything about his history except that he was locked in a closed up barn for 4+ months without much for food or water.

Hubby does most of the horse hauling for the local SPCA and when he picked this little guy up he had a body condition score of 1.5-2. ( can't post pictures, open investigation).

He has been fostered at a facility close to our home and physically he looks 100% better, but his mental well being is another story.

He is terrified of everything and knows nothing.......

My main focus to date has been:

1) teaching to lead, which I've been doing with him behind me at a good distance. He walks when I walk and comes to a dead stop when I stop. This has also gotten the idea firmly planted into his head that he's to stay out of my space. I decided to exaggerate this step this way due to him running over top of everyone that was handling him during his recuperation. He's a dream to lead now and I am starting to bring him closer for a more traditional style of walking with a horse on a lead.

2) Introducing him to big outside world. This is a biggie for him, we don't know exactly how long he was locked in the barn but just being outside scares the death out him. We go for little walks and I'll pick "open" spaces for grooming. He loves to be brushed and he even let me trim his muzzle although the bridle path is going to take some more work.

3) I'm not lunging him , but I'm working on him doing a small walking circle around me on a 12 foot line. Going to the left he does really well going to the right has it's challenges. He is now not afraid of barrels and traffic cones, but jump standards and poles are still worrisome to him.....LOL

4) He now disengages his hind end by me just looking at it and is starting to get the idea of yielding his shoulders. Shoulders always seem to be more difficult......

Basically it's slow and steady. I go to the barn and let him show me what we need to work on. I may have a specific plan in mind but if something comes up I'll abandoned my plan and work on his.

He's a smart little guy, he figures things out pretty quick. He was quite the nipper, but after running into my elbow a few times he figured out where to keep his head. He seems to enjoy our time together, he's at the gate as soon as I call his name, so were playing it day by day for right now.
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