What should a horse know before being started?

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What should a horse know before being started?

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    09-14-2011, 02:39 PM
Green Broke
What should a horse know before being started?

I have finally given in and arranged for Sunny to have 30 days professional training. Yes, 30 days isn't much, but I just want her to get down the very basics.

For those trainers out there, or those who train their own, what do you like for a horse to know before you start them?

As of now Sunny saddles, has the basics of lunging, and can yield her hindquarters with a finger poke on the hip. She is used to carrying a rider at a walk while being led.
She leads fine, but can sometimes be a brat when she's tied.

The tying issue is what I'm working on the most right now, as well as learning how to stand patiently in general.

She "goes" in two weeks(goes in quotes because it's an on-site trainer), so what can I be working on until then?

Any ideas appreciated!
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    09-14-2011, 02:49 PM
Green Broke
I really like , Julie Goodnight's " Lead Line Leadership. I think too many horses get broke instead of trained. The basics of send left send right, back up, follow, stand like a statue and ground tie should be well ingrained before you even think about riding one. By the time you get through those your horse will be looking at you as the herd leader and will be much easier to introduce new things.
    09-14-2011, 02:50 PM
I like my horses to be ANGELS on the ground before I get on them. A problem on the ground can easily translate to the saddle. That being said, my horses have to do a few things:

1. Respect, absolutely no signs of disrespect, whether saddled or not.
2. Calm with a saddle on, I won't get on a horse that isn't calm.
3. Flexing and bending. I teach the horse to give their heads before I try to ride them. They must bend and flex in many ways before I get on.
4. Disengaging their hind quarters on the lead (sounds like she may already have this one down)
5. Disengaging front end on the ground.
5. A good stop on the ground, and a good back.
6. Good with ears, and with having objects above her head, or over her in general. (whips, crops, paper bags, saddle blankets, saddle, people, etc)
7. SACKED OUT COMPLETELY!!!! This one is very important to me. I don't want a horse to freak if a rein touches them wrong, or if a piece of equipment breaks, or if a stirrup falls hard (etc).
8. Horse is as light as possible in all cues, especially giving the head.
9. Ground driving, or similar techniques. I usually do this one with a rope halter, hackamore, or bridle.
10. Taught the "fear lesson" that I use. Basically teaches a horse to control their flight response.

Sorry that was long, I'm sure there is more I could add, but those are my basics. I waited almost 2 months to ride my newest gelding because his ground manners were awful. He rode good when I tried him before I bought him, but I will not regularly ride a horse that is pushy on the ground.
    09-14-2011, 03:40 PM
Green Broke
Thanks, guys!

The trainer actually does the groundwork training if necessary, but I want the thirty days to be focused on under saddle work more than anything since it's all I can afford! So I want her to be as good on the ground as I can.

I have been working on bending her head, actually.
I think Sunny's biggest issue is impatience, which is why I've been working so hard on teaching her to tie and stand still.
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    09-14-2011, 03:45 PM
Originally Posted by Sunny    
I think Sunny's biggest issue is impatience, which is why I've been working so hard on teaching her to tie and stand still.
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Well I haven't met very many patient 3 year olds, horse or human
She'll get there, just keep up the good work. She seems very well rounded for a 3 year old.
    09-14-2011, 03:56 PM
Green Broke
Very true, very true.

Thank you for the kind words!
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