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Training my own Horse

This is a discussion on Training my own Horse within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        07-08-2009, 11:39 AM
    Unless he doesn't respond to your leg, you don't need to rush out and get spurs or a crop. If you do need to reinforce your leg, I would use a crop. Spurs can be extremely counterproductive unless you have an extremely stable leg position.

    As far as other training tack, my only suggestion beyond a saddle that fits both of you well would be a snaffle bridle with loop reins. If you ride English, that's easy enough. If you ride western, you could use longer than average barrel reins, or invest in a set of mecate reins with slobber straps. Split reins are fine, but its not fun to drop one, and if you're doing "official" training (all interaction is, in effect, training), you don't want to be concerned about handling long reins. Just my preference and experience.

    A natural horsemanship style cue stick (Carrot Stick, Handy Stick, whatever. Buy third party and save a bundle), rope halter, and long (15 ft.-ish) lead/lunge rope are helpful whether you're into NH or not.

    If you don't already have one, an up-to-date helmet is always a good idea. Even the calmest of horses can be unpredictable.

    Good luck with Romeo, I hope he works out for you! Can't wait to see pics!
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        07-08-2009, 04:50 PM
    Thanks a million!!! ^^

    That's incredibly helpful! :)
        07-08-2009, 09:57 PM
    I think being too gentle is completely different from being lazy, slow or not having the drive/competitiveness to do something.

    If you have a trainer that could help you on and off, the time and the money, I'd say go for it.
        07-09-2009, 12:51 PM
    Dear RidingBareback, this is going to be a very long reply, so get ready.

    Firstoff, I noticed you had posted a comment saying "how do show the HORSE you are the boss?" And I am so glad you asked! Many people overlook it, and actually, with Lily after lessons she's been taking like 20 minutes or so to give me the kind of advice you're asking, instead for Lefty. And we were just working on building a relationship where you two are both companions but he understands you are of higher rank and he must respect that. All horses are different. With Continent (a horse I frequently ride and care for), if you just scold him and say "NO!" he feels very guilty and will usually quit it. But you must be careful not to be too hard on him or it will ruin his day. He's very sensitive. But with Prestige, its more tricky. He's a smart little pony, but not as smart as you, IF YOU KNOW WHAT/WHY he's doing it. For example, the other week, there were a bunch of white barrels at the end of the ring he kept spooking at, so I tried to calm him down. But Lily (my trainer) knew him better and knew he was faking it and trying to get away with it, so now I knew I must push him past it. So with a smart, tricky horse like that, if he, let's say, if he nips at you once you firmly say "NO." Try to make your voice deeper and more manly, as this it is proven horses find this scarier and more dominant. The next time he bites at you, whack him, HARD. Or, you take a bit of loose skin on his neck, and pinch it. It wont hurt him, horses have 16 layers of skin. But he'll get the message. So as you can see it really depends on the horse. You have to know exactly WHAT and WHY he spooks at something. **TIP. If you are trying to put on a bridle and the horse lifts his head real high, OR if you're trying to get on a bit and he closes his mouth, put your fingers and press his nostrils. He will have to open his mouth for air.

        07-09-2009, 10:24 PM
    Thanks so much! I do that too, with the bridle, but I press the corners of his mouth. I'll try that, definitely! I don't think he'll really spook, though... he's been "bomb-proofed" and I lead him around-- didn't seem scared of anything... but you still never know. I think he'll be stubborn. I got a pair of really gentle spurs, a crop, a training/lunge whip. I want to let him know I'm the boss without hurting him.

    His previous owner called him "a spoiled brat". He compared Romeo to a fearless little four year old who's never been asked to share his toys. I really trust him though, and don't expect him to run off with me-- instead refuse to move.

    I know you do a lot of jumping, LeftyLoverX0X0, and if he knows all of his basics I'll want to get him started, lunging him over cavalettis(sp?), riding over cavalettis(sp?), lunging over cross-rails, riding over cross-rails, etc.... when it gets to that. Have any tips???

    The man who probably knows Romeo second best to Romeo's owner, would be their next door neighbor, and horse trainer. He says Romeo could be an excellent barrel racer-- that he has it all. Any good ideas of how to start training for that?

    Tomorrow he's arriving! Yay! I'll post pictures! First I'm lunging him in our round pen, then I'm going to get on and see what he knows.

    Wish me good luck, everybody!!!

    Thanks for the amazing advice!!!

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