I have been working at a barn for the past month, but it has become too much for me (cleaning stalls) so I'm not doing that anymore. Not to mention I had zero time for my horses during the week because I was so exhausted afterwards.
So now that I have time again, I would like to get into some sort of training/exercise schedule for all 3 of my horses. All but 1 of them has some problems that I'd like to get fixed.
Gem-9 year old app gelding. Has athritis in his hocks and right knee as well as some bone spurs in/around his hoof bones (i believe p1 to p2 though I'm not certain) He has been out for work for almost 2 years, except for the occasional get on and walk for 10-15 min. (that was my vet's recommendation after he coliced and for getting him back into work with his conditions)
I have not ridden him in a while and would like to get him fit again. I had him worked up to be able to be ridden for 20-25 min, mostly walk with about 5 min of trot work. Should I just do what I did in the beginning? Maybe get him to where we can ride for 30 min or so? Also, we will not be doing any canter work until the spring.
Vega- 5 year old app mare. We had some problems, actually quite a few problems. I had decided to sell her, but then decided to keep her. My fiance said he was going to work with her, but he's been uber busy and just doesn't have the time. I've been having an itch to ride her, but I'm not sure how to go about it.
Whenever I would get on her, she would try to trot and then break into a canter, she would spook at a tree and would just be a pain. I'm thinking, now that I've had time away from her, that I should start slowly with her and see how it goes. She has also mellowed down a lot and is not as bossy as she once was. Any ideas as to what I should do with her (no groundwork please) and how long our sessions should be?
Montana- 15 year old qh gelding. He has some issues with arena work. He's fine walking around, but when I ask for a trot, he'll constantly be trying to break down into a walk, unless I keep bumping him to move. The idea of spurs (some really short dull ones) popped into my mind, but I have NO idea how he would react to them. I also thought about carrying around a short crop and when he does break into a walk, I'll squeeze, then bump then smack with a crop (Ask, tell, demand method) Should I try that out and see how he does?
He will also, no matter how loose the reins are, pull his head to the ground, to get more slack. My BO has a call into the equine dentist. I am using a myler low port comfort snaffle on him and he is doing well in it. Do you think he's just protesting being in the ring? He doesn't do this on a trail. Not sure if this matters, but he was primarily ridden western before I got him.
Another thing he does, is when I ask for a canter in the arena, he'll go into it fine, but a few strides in, he'll give a bunny hop and then continue on. He'll only do a bunny hop once, even if we change directions. I was told by his previous owner that he does that, but I would like a way to fix it. When he does do it, I bump him with my legs and drive him forward. Not sure how good that is, but that's what I do.
I'm thinking to just drop down to walk/trot work and don't even think about cantering him until I have his trot down pat. Sound good? What are some things I can do to show him that arena work isn't bad? I've tried just hopping on him and doing absolutely nothing on him, but it didn't make a difference.
Ok, I think that's it. If you want more information on a particular horse, let me know