When to finally get on my horse~ Can't decide, need imput - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-05-2009, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western US
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When to finally get on my horse~ Can't decide, need imput

Hey all,

As some may know I have been working hard with my horse on the ground. We have finally gained some ground with the lounging and "ho"

My horse was in pasture an not ridden for a few years. Since the end of May this summer I have been working on getting his feet better and now that this is better we have been working on the lounging.

The dressage trainer at my barn gave us a groundwork lesson and told me that my horse needs more muscle along the topline. She said she would not get on him for a while.

My riding instructor (at another barn) told me that it's not like my horse has "never" been ridden and I should put a saddle on him and let him get used to the stirrups hanging etc. and get on him before the weather goes south and it becomes to cold and wet.

Now, I understand where both of these people are coming from.
I had decided to start training Tiny from scratch because I am not sure what all this woman my Dad had sent him too really did. He was there for 3 months when I could not ride and Dad says she rode him all the time.

I did however ride him in one of my Dad's pastures for about 20 min on two occasions before I had my car accident

So what would you all think?
Should I or shouldn't I get on him???

Now I would not be getting on and doing anything to over board. Walking mainly.


How long do I need to do the lounge work before I get on if that is what you think should happen???

I do not own a saddle but my riding instructor has a ton of saddles and I am sure we can find one that fits.

HalfPass is offline  
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-05-2009, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
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The process is not supposed to be a rodeo so if I could ask a few questions.

Can you approach the horse and saddle him with NO complaint from him?
That means walking around him with the saddle and blanket,maybe dropping the saddle and blanket?

Can you quietly pick up all four feet while saddled?
Can you move him away from you while he is saddled?
Can you move his front end,back end?
Will we walk,trot,and lope in a round pen and respond to "WHOA" voice command?
Do you know what to do if he starts to fall apart mentally?
Will he back up when asked from the ground?
Do you have a spotter that will help you?
Do you have a helmet?
Are you an experienced rider and know how to ride out a buck?

If the answer to all of the questions are yes,then you may be ready.
Marecare is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 09-05-2009, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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First off, how lacking is the muscle on his topline? Is it to the point that saddling or riding would be uncomfortable for him? If not, then me personally, I would lunge him until he was relaxed with the saddle on then climb aboard. If he has been ridden before (enough to be considered broke) and didn't have any issues with bucking or bolting then, I seriously doubt that he will have a problem now. Just make sure that you have complete control of his head and he is supple so that you can turn his head to the side on the off chance that he does decide to buck a bit.

Just make sure that he can comfortably be ridden health wise and past that, I would be riding the crap out of him.
smrobs is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 09-05-2009, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sonoran desert
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If all health issues are ruled out, and YOU feel confident enough to get on top of him, then go for it. The key to riding/training a horse is confidence. If you're not confident the horse won't be. Only do what you're comfortable with. If you're not ready to jump on him yet, then don't. Maybe as new part of your ground routine you could saddle him up and longue him with the saddle on? See how he reacts to that and go from there. And it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to have a trainer/experience horse person there when you do get on him for the first time (as Marecare suggested).


dashygirl is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 09-05-2009, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western US
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Hey thanks folks...

Unfortunately when I went to work with him today I detected some soreness in the left hind. :(
I am totally bummed out!
I stopped what we were doing immediately and walked him out and put him away.
He had his shoes done yesterday. But sadly I do not think this is the issue. He has artritis in the hind end and when he does not get out and move around he pays the price.

So ~ We are now in a holding pattern. I am following the vets instructions she gave a while back if he were to have a flare up.
It could just be from the farrier holding his hinds up and trimming but, I am grasping at straws here.

If persay there was not an issue I would totally be fine to get on him. He is not a bolter or anything like that. I never use the words bomb proof because a horse is a horse and my experience with livestock is they are subject to be animals! That is what they do.

Last week we worked really hard lounging. Longer sessions were needed before he would respond to "Ho" from the ground. We actually had made much progress and he was stopping out on the circle. But college started back up for me and I was unable to lounge him on two of the days I normally would have. Instead we did a short round penning ecercise.
I since decided to drop a class which will now enable me to go to him every day other than 1 day a week.
So we will now have to scale down and see how things go and hold off getting on him for a bit.
Totally bummed!
Sometimes I wonder if just getting on him and walking around would be better but then again I have never had to deal with these sorts of issues in a fairly young horse.
I do not have any really good shots of him but I can try to find a recent one.
The last few weeks people at the barn were actually commenting on how good he looks! In fact today when I asked one of the dressage trainers to look while I trotted him out for her, she said wow! he is really muscling up! He looks good. Her conclusion was that it may just be the way he travels. But when we were lounging he did not even want to trot that direction.
Now I will play the waiting game to try and see how things go!

Smorbs, he was at the race track for about a year or so and then at my parents ranch for a long while. I have not ridden him for about 3 years. Due to injuries I had. So I understand everything your saying.
I will have to see if we can get things under control and go from there. I totally did not expect this today so I am saying a prayer for him!
Half Pass....
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-05-2009, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western US
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I am trying to put his picture in here but I am challenged person when it comes to this sort of thing!! LOL
Yay it worked. This is a ew weeks ago and I know he is not square.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg TNT_1.jpg (81.3 KB, 91 views)
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-06-2009, 02:31 AM
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His topline doesn't look that bad to me. He definitely needs more but that will come with work. IMHO, it would be safe to start riding him for short periods of time because it will be easier to work him in frame from his back than from the ground, given the arthritis calms down anyway . Just keep a close eye on him and make sure that nothing is rubbing or putting pressure on the wrong spots on his back. Watch for any signs of pain from being ridden and go from there.

He is a very pretty boy btw. ;p Love his neck.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-06-2009, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Smrobs
I will see how things are today and if we can get over whatever this hump is I will see if my trainer will come over to my barn with some of her saddles.

Thanks for the compliment on his neck!!

Yesterday when I was brushing him I actually noticed his neck was a bit more muscular. Nothing compares to themuscle he had when he came off the track! He was so bulky!

I am not hoping for any major show horse here but I really would like him to just be happy and keep him brain stimulated...hehe and of course be able to ride. It has been a long long summer to even get this point so I am proud of him.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-06-2009, 10:11 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: NE PA
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My opinion is to start with the saddle and lunge him etc. with that on. Then ease in to things. Put one foot in the stirrup - make sure he stands still and does not try and move away. Do it on both sides. Then move to standing in the stirrup - both sides. Then lean your weight over and sort of lay on him - is he OK with that? Do that a few times, and before you know it you will feel good about throwing your other leg over and getting on. If you are short and cannot get up 1/2 way stand near a mounting block or fence. It should be a non-event when you do finally sit in the saddle. It is not a bad idea to have someone stand near you when you do it - maybe holding a lead while you hold the reins. Good luck!
RidinPepp is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 09-06-2009, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Thank goodness he was better today.
I am going to take it easy over the next week and the re-acess things.

If we are still doing well in the next few weeks I will plan some time with my riding instructer to come and help me fit him with one of her saddles.

I totally appreciate all the comments.

I wont just hop on, I also believe he should have a saddle on with no rider for a while before getting on him.

Thats the plan.
HalfPass is offline  

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