01-22-2013, 07:56 PM
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What I like to do with the little ones is get them doing most things I will eventually want from them and then wait till they are big enough to ride before riding them.
For example, first day of training I will usually just get them walking up to me, this will usually take all morning, I take it pretty slow and give them plenty of time off. By the afternoon I’ll usually have a hand on them and give them a rub on the nose. If they do well, I’ll leave it at that. I like to finish on a good note and not push them too far (took me a while to learn not to be too demanding, but it was a good lesson).
The next day will be to get them to actually follow me around. They will usually start doing it the day before, but the next day I like to walk around a bigger yard and have them follow me, walk through gates etc with them following. Again, that will usually take the morning. In the afternoon, usually I’ll start handling them. Start rubbing down their face and around their ears and gradually make my way down their neck. Since I start them little I’m usually strong enough to push them about if they get a little pushy so I don’t halter them till I can usually handle them back to about their hips. (In doing this you have to be very careful and be watching them all the time and reading them, because they will have a kick at you, so if you don’t feel confident about that I wouldn’t recommend doing it that way). If I get one I can’t unbalance with a shove if they look like kicking, I will halter them first for safety sake.
Once I put the halter on I get them giving to it, which is usually pretty easy since they already follow me around. I use the procedure of pick up slack from the lead rope-soft pull- then release of pressure when I get what I want (soft pull is the default position, really it can go to whatever it takes to get the job done, no more, no less) & (I might modify that depending on the horse). I’ll get them to a stage where they can walk right round in a circle pivoting on a back foot, more or less, again depending on the horse. This bit often I’ll give maybe a whole day to work on; small doses throughout the day, lots of time off.
Once I’m happy with how soft they are I start handling them again. Ill usually take another day or two to get all the way over their body and maybe beginning to pick up their feet. I also like to have them to a stage where I can pick up their tail and play about with it. By this stage Ill put the halter on them every time.
Once I judge them to be relaxed enough for me to wander about and handle them all over, I start getting them to yield their front and back ends. After two to three days of that, I will have them where I can get them to do full circles front and back on both sides pivoting on a foot. I’ll also start getting them to back up to by placing my hand over the bridge of their nose. If I get them to that stage I’ll often give them a day off.
When I come back I start working on side passing them, usually spend a morning on that.
Once I get the basics of all that down I spend a little time refining all of them gradually. Once I’m satisfied with how they are going with it all Ill start thinking about working them on the lead rope, I use Parelli’s lateral lunging gear; But I have already written a book here so I’ll leave that out.
Hopefully that might give you some ideas of things you can work on. It’s just the way I do it, might not be the best way, but I’ve done alright with that method.