Training Update and suggestions needed! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-19-2009, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Training Update and suggestions needed!

So as some of you know I got a horse which is said to have been abused by his trainer by being whiped till he bled while in crossties, tied in his stall for a day or two with all his tack on with no food or water. He is underwieght/undermuscled, has rain rot, had a gash over his eye and leg, which were unexplained by his transporter, and he was afriad of the barn, crossties, whips, he hates bits, doesn't like the girth being tightened and threw a fit everytime you bring it up. Out in the pasture he is a doll and gets along with the other horses fine.

Well I have been working on his training and I am working with lots of groundwork to build his trust as well as seeing what he has for training and I'm working on some of his bad habits.

He is now longeing very well, I just point with the lead rope in my hand and raise the longe whip and he starts longeing. He does both ways very well. I then introduced cardboard to him because we just bought some new doors and I opened the cardboard and laid it down and he currently trots over it as if it wasn't there. Then today I added in a tarp. I started by laying it on the ground and shaking it, at first he shot his head up high, standing alert, but within a few minutes he was standing quietly, so then I rubbed hi down with the tarp and again he took it like a champ. I ever threw it on his back and walked him and he didn't care. And all the while whatever I do on one side I do on the other so I did it on both sides. Also I am desensitiving him with the longe whip, and even used a piece of cardboard and tapped him with it and he was quietly resting all the while.

Everytime I longe him I start by longeing, then the desensitizing, then I have him go over the cardboard and now the tarp and I plan on doing it this way for about a week but then I'm going to add something else to it. But I will keep doing the steps, is that the right thing to do? Am I doing the right stuff? What else should I do or add to my groundwork next?

He seems to have been through all this before but it's important to redo it because of his past and to help me too as well as him to have a refresher.
So any suggestions?

Also I forgot to say that he now crossties fairly quiet but I'm never letting him outta my sights while on it and I can easily saddle him up in the barn with no hesitation, he's gained wieght and muscle.

Last edited by coelh102; 11-19-2009 at 05:28 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-19-2009, 08:59 PM
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It sounds like he is coming around nicely. Keep up the great progress.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-19-2009, 09:02 PM
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Good for you for helping that poor horse! Makes me so happy to hear success stories like this!

To further his foundation on the ground, and riding, perhaps you can consider looking at completing Level 1 of the Parelli program.
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-19-2009, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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well I've been using CA on him and it seems to be working. I just am trying to figure out where I should go from here. What other things should I do with him on the ground? Any suggestions on what might be a good Idea for him to do?
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-19-2009, 10:03 PM
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do you lunge him with contact on the bit? or side reins? have you long reined him? how about lateral flexion and other exercises that increase suppleness? Am I assuming you don't ride her already?
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-20-2009, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Well I did ride him but that was before I found out about his past and I have since then stopped riding and am focusing on groundwork to see what he knew. I haven't tried long reins or side reins. I just wanted an idea of what other exercises I could do with him
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-20-2009, 11:46 AM
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wow! it sounds like you have already come a long way with him! i am glad to hear he has a home with you where he will be loved and continue to look at this thread on his progress :) i don't know of any training exercises, but do you have any pics of him?


"There is no purer love than the love of an animal"
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-20-2009, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by coelh102 View Post
he was afriad of the barn, crossties, whips, he hates bits, doesn't like the girth being tightened and threw a fit everytime you bring it up.
This is what you need to work on. If he were a horse I was training I would be saddling him every day. I wouldn't always tighten the cinch real tight and the saddle at first would only be on him as long as it took to get everything snug then I would take it back off. Same thing with the bridle and bit. Also when you are desensitizing after they stand well then walk them off a little and do it again. Sometimes a horse will mentally check out and stand but not really desensitize. When you walk them off you break the trance and then you can start over.

When you rode him how did he do? Once you get the saddle and bit issues on the mend then you could start riding him. Try not to dwell on what happened to him in the past and don't let that be an excuse for bad behavior. Just like people, abused horses can thrive with the right care and get past any abuse they suffered.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-20-2009, 02:41 PM
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i did alot of footwork with Frida on the ground, you should read "horsemanship through feel" they have tons of exercises about moving the feet and such. I set up ground poles and practice having her step one foot over, two feet over, then three feet over. this is a really good focusing exercise, also, i guide frida through mazes, like if you arrange the four ground poles for instance, and see if she can manuever her body without stepping over the poles. that was pretty fun, and you will be amazed at how tight a space you can get her to walk through! it taught me alot about how she moves. i used an umbrella as well as tarp to desensitize, because you can put it away and then unexpectedly open it, and get her used to things over her head. i'm pretty much at the same spot as you with my four year old. another exercise I have done is with the bridle and reins, i set up cones in a square, have her walk to each cone, halt, and then move her hindquarters over, and begin a straight line again. teaching her to move laterally around me in a circle was another exercise i enjoyed, though it certainly was a new way of moving for her! good luck she is beautiful.
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-21-2009, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I am not gunna worry about his past cuz it's just that, in the past! I can saddle him up without him having an issue already cuz I worked on that first to help him learn to trust me, that I'm not going to hurt him and the cinch is a good thing and nothing to fear. I have desensitized him with the lunge whip and he doesn't care about that anymore. The only thing I haven't done much with is the bit, I'm thinking of just using a hackamore on him anyway. But it would be a nice thing to try and work on the bit with him too though.

I think I'll work on his flexing next because the ground is wicked soft and he is slipping in the mud so I'll work on things as the weather allows but I think he's enjoying the work and seems to be coming along pretty well.

Also Kevin, I do move him when desensitizing. I will desensitize right at first, then lunge and work with him, then desensitize again to see what he remembers.

Seahorsey, The umbrella idea is a great one! Like you said it's unexpected and thats something that is often seen around the house and if I have visitors who use them I want him to be a good boy with it. So I will try that eventually, I'm gunna find any weird, scary object to play with. My minis are good with rakes hahah cuz the metel spines can scare even me if brought too close to my face.
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