Training tips for a green horse
   

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Training tips for a green horse

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  • Training green horse tips
  • Schooling tips for a green horse

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    09-05-2011, 08:31 AM
  #1
Weanling
Question Training tips for a green horse

I have just started to lease a new horse that I am planning on buying at the end of the year if I feel we are a good match. Her name is Mystic, she is a 17hh, 6 year old Thoroughbred. Mystic was rescued from an abandoned racing yard and has since been backed and lightly hacked. She never raced.

Now that the arena has been closed in it will make schooling a lot easier because up until now it was an open arena in an open yard and that made training almost impossible with other ponies wandering in and out and the option to gallop off at any stage.

She hacks out well in company and Im only now strating to take her out baby steps at a time on her own. She is a gentle giant but at that size she is also potentially very strong and capable of almost anything so we are working slowly!

I have ridden most my life and I own 2 Anglo Arabs as well that are used full time for competition with younger children so I do not ride them anymore. I had to re-home them a few years ago due to them being isolated on our farm and not getting the attention they needed so although I legally own them I have distanced myself on purpose so that they can continue the new bond they have with their new riders. However, this is the first time I have been thrown in the deep end and had to face the schooling process alone. I am looking for some tips on how to get started with her. I plan on having a few lessons every month for my own sake as well as some guidance for her. I am hoping to use someone's lunge arena and teach her the lunge but right now our yard does not have one which makes my job that much harder.

I want to only make positive progress with her and teach her correctly from the start. Please,any tips are welsome at this point!

She is a sensitive soul and I want her to see people (especially me) in a positive way after the way she has been treated in the past.
     
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    09-05-2011, 08:52 AM
  #2
Green Broke
Keep doing what your doing. Go slow and figure her out. Make mental notes on what she has trouble with.

I want you to know that wanting only positive progress is a great attitude but don't set yourself up. We learn from the negative and there will be negative. But how we deal with the negative is the key to success. Always ending your sessions in a positive way. Is there anything specific that you feel you need help on?
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    09-05-2011, 09:30 AM
  #3
Weanling
Well I hacked her out alone on Saturday for the first time. Granted she has had 2 weeks off work because my brother had been in a car accident and I have been unable to ride due to the weather. The farrier had been (she is barefoot) and hurt her. Im not sure if he has trimmed her too short or forced her to hold her leg up against her will. So she was slightly tender and very nervous. But she is always a well behaved nervous, she doesnt bolt and seems to put her trust in me to guide her through things that worry her. I simply turned her around when I felt like she had done enough and took her home so that she had ended on a good note. Next time I hope to get her right around the block and so on. Hacking out in company she is 100%.

Arena work is challenging. Without someone on the ground to guide me and without fences it gets difficult!! I would like to start teaching her come down on the bit a little and work her hindquarters more and find some shape. Someone suggested a neck stretcher and I bought one but from what I read it should only be used short term and that it often teaches them incorrectly. And I refuse to teach things I can't unteach and I don't believe in forcing them to do something unnaturally. I know lunging would be a good thing for her but without a lunge ring I know this will be a challenge. So some lunging tips would be REALLY helpful. How to get her started and what tools and kit to use when doing so. I have the basics: surcingle, side reins, running reins, a neck stretcher and I have ordered a proper lunge cavesson but im not sure which (if any) of these would work best for her.

She has done a little arena work with the actual owner when they backed her and they took her over a few ground poles so she made a start but hsant worked since. I want to use this as an opportunity to start new.
     
    09-05-2011, 11:22 AM
  #4
Green Broke
I suggest you not take her out on trails until you ahve a better working horse in the arena. If things go wrong on the trail, does this horse ahve enough balance and education to stop and turn if she panics? No need to get yourself or her or both of you in a wreck.

Start slow. Work on serpentines at the walk and trot. Do figure 8's (two crcles touching, not a figure 8 wih an X in the middle). Do circles at the walk and trot spriral in and then out. A horse this tall is going to need time to learn how to balance with a rider up.. and she is going to need time to build the muscles to do that.

Use Caveletti (ground poles). The object is to teach her to balance and to be able to transistion smoothly IN a gait as well as BETWEEN gaits. I will bet she is rough going from the trot to a walk (based on size and inexperience).

You have a lot of work ahead of you. Enjoy!!! :)
     
    09-05-2011, 03:14 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Biggest tip I can give you, as others have already said, is go SLOW.

Another bit of advice is to not always expect positive results from her (that's just not always going to happen), but do always end the lesson on a positive note. Also, it is a very common training trend for a horse to learn by leaps and bounds, and then all of a sudden weeks later act like your've never taught them a thing. Don't get discouraged if that happens, as it probably will. That's just the learning curve for horses.

Always ask for baby steps first, before expecting big correct responses. For example, if you got on her saddled for the very first time and want to ask her to walk while being ridden (of course, we've prepared her on the ground first before this point), she probably won't know what to do when you apply pressure to her sides to ask her to walk. The very instant she takes a teeny step forward with any of her legs, you need to stop the leg pressure as her reward. And allow her to stand and rest. That's the tiny baby steps. Once she is consistent with taking a teeny step when you ask her to go forward, do not release the pressure of your legs until she gives you one normal size step. Again, keep working on that until she is consistent. Then start asking for two normal sized steps. And so on. This may take one minute or it may take 30 minutes. All horses learn differently. But that's the point of training in baby steps.

And that also points out always ending the lesson on a positive note. If you apply leg pressure to ask her to go forward, NEVER release that pressure until she responds correctly, even if it is the smallest response of a forward step. For teaching some things, you may literally have to hold your cue steady for minutes, until you get a correct response. But when the horse does give you the right answer, you need to immediately stop asking and release the pressure (which is their reward).

Definitely get in as many training sessions as you can with an actual trainer who has started a young horse before.

As far as the lunging, a round pen is not necessary at all. Yes, it is easier, but I think every horse should be able to be free lunged. It's just another training tool and training lesson. When I lunge a horse, I basically just use the lunge line and a long lunge whip. I never need to actually "whip" the horse, but the whip serves as making my arm longer. I can point it at their shoulder if they need to move out and make the circle larger. I can wave it at their hindquarters if I want them to speed up. I can move it in front of them so they turn around to go the other way on the line (always putting their hindquarters away from me on the outside of the circle. It's a respect issue. You never allow your horse to turn their hindquarters toward you.). Make sure you keep your body positioned behind their midline, if you want them to continue to move forward. If you want them to stop or to turn, then you step so you are in front of their midline. Body position is key, to lunging.

Make sure you start with a small lunging circle at the walk, to train her to free lunge first. Once you can do that, then you can work on making your circle larger while still being in control, at all gaits.
     
    09-06-2011, 02:51 AM
  #6
Weanling
That is really helpful advice :) Thank you so much! I train dogs in agility so I have a good understanding on rewarding positive small progress. Im sure if I apply the same compassion and positive thinking I will succeed :) Im going to ask a friend who instructs to assist me with getting going and to point me in the right direction.

Hopefully the arena fence will be up by this weekend and I know that is going to help a lot! It's hard training a new horse in an open space.

On hacks she is quite good. But the last one she was rather fresh and did a huge buck out of pure joy and at 17hh plus that extra air it was like being 2 storeys up! I want her to start getting the schooling part right before we attempt that again!

Great help, thank you guys! I will more than likely be asking more questions as I go along if that is ok?
     
    09-06-2011, 06:52 AM
  #7
Green Broke
The more questions you have the more you'll learn. No shame in that. Made me giggle at the "being two stories up". A long road ahead but if you stay consistent you will eventually see results. You will make a mistake. Just keep moving forward as best as you can. I'm glad you want to stay positive. Good attitude. But like I said, don't get down on yourself if it isn't always positive. I think you'll be fine. Keep us updated and ask away if you need to.
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    09-06-2011, 07:38 AM
  #8
Weanling
Ha ha! When she bucked I just remember looking down from a dizzy height and saying a few rude words, stopping her and bursting into hysterical laughter! The lady behind me was a very conservative 60 something year old lady who just likes a calm walk through the bush and her eyes were as big as saucers! She asked me if I had velcro on my seat because she doesnt know how I stayed on!

If I have learned one thing over the years it's that there are ALWAYS bad days. We have bad days and so do our horses. When my dad bought me my first horse I was 13 and he was a 15.3hh 3 year old and I was terrified! I cried more than I rode but with time we became inseperable. That's what Im aiming for now, I want a good bond with this new mare and a future of good and bad days just to keep me on my toes!

I like to think of myself as an experienced rider...but im an out of practice experienced rider so it's back to the basics for me and Im starting lessons soon.

I also had some training back in the day with Parelli Natural Horsemanship so I might try and encorporate some of that into my time with her.

Thanks for the positive encouragement, JUST what I needed!

PS: mbender, your horse is gorgeous!
     
    09-06-2011, 08:00 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Thanks Mystic. She is out of good breeding and her color and conformation is wonderful to me. I'm glad you have a sense of humor when something doesn't go so well. I do the same thing when I'm training. Laugh. It helps to keep the stress level down. Good luck and stay safe.
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    09-06-2011, 10:25 AM
  #10
Weanling
I wouldnt have been laughing if I had fallen though!
     

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