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Where to go from here ?

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  • my foal leans on me whilst leading him

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    05-08-2012, 03:22 AM
  #1
Foal
Where to go from here ?

Hello ! Its been a few months since my last post and I finally have my first horse.
He's a 4 year old Shire gelding.
So far this is quite the learning experience !
I read a lot of books and talk to a lot of horse owners and trainers in my area for advice.
As far as training goes, when I got him 2-3 months ago he is trained to pull carts in parades but has not had anybody ride him.
He knows how to back up and I can lead him from the ground no problem.

Im not sure how to make him stand untied and stay.
I am currently waiting on a saddle for him.
I can sit on him bareback no problem and have somebody lead him around and I can dismount without disturbing him at all.

For the first few weeks he challenged me constantly. He's around 19 hands tall and for the first while I was a bit intimidated by him and im sure he knew it.
When I tried to lead him or work with him he would just look at me as if I was joking and usually step on me.
It didnt take long for me to remember im bigger than him and he knows it too now. Over time he's got better and better at listening to me. Now he gives me little to no trouble at all.

This post is because I need some advice on where to go with his training from here.
I believe he's had most of the typical ground work from his previous owner.
And as I've stated I can sit on him with no issues.
So now... should I be teaching him from the saddle position ? And how do I teach him ? Do I just get on him with the reigns and go ?
How do I teach him to stop and go and turn left and right from the saddle ?

I was also wondering what the list of commands are for a horse ?
I use whoa to get him to stop... I use back to get him to back up... but should that be back or back-up ? Im assuming that 'up' is a whole other command.

The training is going good I would say but I would like as much advice as I can get from the experienced horse trainers around here.
Especially anything related to Shires in general.

BTW: for food he has free hay and all the grazing he wants.
He was on 2 pounds oats 2 pounds barley per day on top of that per his previous owners suggestion but I found with barley he was getting quite wild so now he's just on his oats plus apples and carrots and such as treats.

One final thing I have found... when leading from the ground he sometimes gets a bit snorty especially if its a windy day or something startles him and he leans on me and whips his head, stomps (my foot) and generally drags me all over. To deal with it I usually tie him to the nearest post and let him cool off.
It seems to work... is this the right idea ?

Thanks !
     
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    05-08-2012, 03:49 AM
  #2
Showing
I think you need to find a trainer to help you. A horse is a handful, especially when you don't have any training experience... let alone a "19 hand 4 year old Shire" who "generally drags me all over."

You'll learn too as he learns and it'll be overall easier and safer and clearer for both him and you.
     
    05-08-2012, 07:53 AM
  #3
Foal
I would recommend a trainer to start. And also do a lot of groundwork. You can add a saddle to him while you're doing groundwork, so he can begin to get a feel for longing with a saddle and moving with a saddle since he's never worn one. You can start working on voice commands during groundwork (walk, trot, back, whoa, etc). I usually tell my horse "trot" or cluck to her for the trot and make a kiss sound for canter (along with leg/seat) cues. Best of luck to you both and congrats!
     
    05-08-2012, 08:04 AM
  #4
Foal
Can you honestly handle a 4 y/o 19hh shire as your FIRST horse? The FIRST horse your ging to break to saddle?? Are you going to be able to be the BOSS of this HUGE horse, he's no small animal and he WILL take full advantage of that, I even feel myself, having owned horses for 2 years and been around them all my life, inadequate to own a horse of such size 17hh is even too much for me they are big and strong, very very big powerful, entire muscle, have a higher leverage point against us, if they're going they are going.

When I first read this I instantly thought "sell it and get something more your cup of tea"

You NEED a different horse.
You NEED a trainer.
You NEED to be taught the "commands" for horses? You are asking an online forum for advice, we can't train you or your horse.
     
    05-08-2012, 08:12 AM
  #5
Foal
Im not sure how to make him stand untied and stay.
I am currently waiting on a saddle for him.
I can sit on him bareback no problem and have somebody lead him around and I can dismount without disturbing him at all.
When you reak him it wont be all that different, he had a cart on, he's had you sit, but you've never had the saddle strapped on and instructed him like a rider would. He may buck rear bolt you don't know. He might not, he might be an angel, but you will have to train him how to walk/trot/canter, stop/back turn/flex/bend/balance ect.


This post is because I need some advice on where to go with his training from here.
I believe he's had most of the typical ground work from his previous owner.
And as I've stated I can sit on him with no issues.
So now... should I be teaching him from the saddle position ? And how do I teach him ? Do I just get on him with the reigns and go ?
How do I teach him to stop and go and turn left and right from the saddle ?

Ahm, have you ever ridden horses before? Do you know hwo to get on a broke horse and walk/trot/canter, backup/stop turn ect?

I was also wondering what the list of commands are for a horse ?
I use whoa to get him to stop... I use back to get him to back up... but should that be back or back-up ? Im assuming that 'up' is a whole other command.

Decide what you want, normally "walk for walk, trot for trot, canter for canter, back up for back up" These are the VERBAl cues, but there is also body language if you are working him on the ground and cues from your hands, seat, body weight, position, legs, when you are riding.


One final thing I have found... when leading from the ground he sometimes gets a bit snorty especially if its a windy day or something startles him and he leans on me and whips his head, stomps (my foot) and generally drags me all over. To deal with it I usually tie him to the nearest post and let him cool off.
It seems to work... is this the right idea ?


No do not tie him up, he is winning ,he's getting out of what ever is getting to him, the pressure is off he will associate "If I blow up and get worked up, step on her and be silly, she'll tie me up and I get left alone = no work and no worry"

Why why WHY are you letting him step on you??? He is IN your space, in other words, his hoof is near enough to step on you, mind you a DINNER plate sized hoof, tell him to get away get a whip get the lead and you tell him to get out off your space, your horse should not be within range of stepping on you, he should be respecting you enough to keep off your space, he should know that that is NOT acceptable, pushing him/slapping his neck/shoulder is NOT going to tell him off either.

This will escalate too, he will go from "Imma step no you, to you don't exist, you want protect me and he will go from dragging to bolting off and he wont care for you."

/im so sorry if this sounds harsh, but from what I read you need a trainer to properly show you the ropes, and a 4 y/o will not have the correct mindset for teaching he needs a teacher himself.
     
    05-08-2012, 09:54 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
I am sorry, but you and your horse are a wreck looking for a place to happen. You would be one even if your horse was half this one's size, but even a small wreck with this size untrained horse could be catastrophic.

Would buy an airplane and go to a forum to ask how to fly it? That is equivalent to what you are doing now.

This is the wrong horse in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sell this big boy and get a solid older really 'broke' SADDLE-HORSE than can forgive your mistakes and compensate for your lack of knowledge and experience. Get a trainer or instructor that can teach you how to successfully communicate with and safely ride and handle a really broke horse. Do not try to invent it over. Neither your mind nor body will be able to take the wrecks that are coming with this horse.
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    05-08-2012, 03:41 PM
  #7
Foal
There are two trainers that work with him but they are the only trainers anywhere in the area and they can only get out once every month or so for a day. That kind of kills that idea. When they come by they show me the basics and check out the progress. Theres not a big enough population out here to really get any other help. Its about a 40 minute drive to even the slightest sign of civilization. My nearest neighbor is well over a mile away.

As for the words being harsh I don't mind im VERY used too it. I just ignore all the harsh. I find horse people tend to be 'neigh' sayers hehe no pun intended. Most tell me what I can't do rather than how to do but this is how I learn in the first place by asking and reading and doing. There really is no other way around here.
Yes I am the type to fly a plane first then ask for pointers.

Im not the least bit worried about the size of the horse, im literally almost his size myself and plenty stubborn.
I may not know all the basics but I do know a fair bit. I've had hundreds of hours in the saddle with other peoples horses over the years and read countless books on the subject. Its been a long time since I have read or heard any information that I havent heard countless times before.
If he was an airplane im basically finishing the pre-flight checks as far as his ground work goes and before I get in the saddle and start the next phase of his training I just want to double check that im not overlooking anything.

'One final thing I have found... when leading from the ground he sometimes gets a bit snorty especially if its a windy day or something startles him and he leans on me and whips his head, stomps (my foot) and generally drags me all over. To deal with it I usually tie him to the nearest post and let him cool off.
It seems to work... is this the right idea ?


No do not tie him up, he is winning ,he's getting out of what ever is getting to him, the pressure is off he will associate "If I blow up and get worked up, step on her and be silly, she'll tie me up and I get left alone = no work and no worry"

That's sort of what I was wondering here. However in this case he would much rather be working than tied up. He really prefers to be working because then he's the center of attention. His least favorite thing is to be tied up and ignored. This actually made him behave right away.

Why why WHY are you letting him step on you??? He is IN your space, in other words, his hoof is near enough to step on you, mind you a DINNER plate sized hoof, tell him to get away get a whip get the lead and you tell him to get out off your space, your horse should not be within range of stepping on you, he should be respecting you enough to keep off your space, he should know that that is NOT acceptable, pushing him/slapping his neck/shoulder is NOT going to tell him off either.

This will escalate too, he will go from "Imma step no you, to you don't exist, you want protect me and he will go from dragging to bolting off and he wont care for you."

This is what I was wondering. You are right he doesnt respond when I elbow him in the side to get off my foot. So then I guess Ill be using the crop when he does this. It is however getting better and not worse. Much better in fact. I don't let him in my space but when he gets in it that's when its time for a lesson about boundaries. Now im told that horses know when they step on you and they always know where their feet are. Imo I don't buy that in the least. Nobodies perfect and horses are definitely no accept ion to that rule. I have seen him stumble over his feet unintentionally on many occasions. When he steps on mine its the same thing, not watching where he's going he seems to daydream when being led. When he does land on me its a quick elbow to the side. It moves him because he does back up easily to pressure.
Ok so the commands are good and from what is being said here I should be doing more verbal commands from the ground.
I would like to be able to longe him properly the way his trainer does but when I try to do what she does I think im sending him mixed signals and he just gets confused and upset. Im going to have her review that process with me again. Im mostly going with the natural horseman concept and lateral longing but im still trying to figure out just what lateral longing is. I've read a fair bit about it recently but strangely nothing about how to do it or just what it is. I find a lot of info about what its good for. Youtube is a very useful tool.
     
    05-08-2012, 07:24 PM
  #8
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat    
There are two trainers that work with him but they are the only trainers anywhere in the area and they can only get out once every month or so for a day.

As for the words being harsh I don't mind im VERY used too it. I just ignore all the harsh.


Youtube is a very useful tool.
If you got a horse, you're going to need a trailer.. and that will solve the issue of no one around to help. Borrow one or buy one.

Training a horse is a serious commitment that involves a lot of experience, patience, timing, and most importantly a level head.. there is no aggression unless he starts it first but if you're doing everything right then there should be no need for him to get aggressive.

The way you're lunging already sounds like he has no respect for you when you say he's "getting upset."

You should NOT ignore the harsh. We aren't calling you names or making you feel inferior, we're potentially saving your hide. It would do you good to listen.

Do NOT just go off of youtube, or books.. you need a teacher. A flesh and blood teacher. Go to a clinic and lug him along. You cannot just say "oh there's no one to help" because what happens if he starts rearing on you and charging at you or trying to bite your shoulder or stomping on your feet and your method of elbow in the side doesn't work? Oh you'll look on youtube and you'll see people doing all sorts of not-okay things and try those and you'll get into a LOT of trouble.

Again, FIND some help. Horses are not dogs, and they're not children. They're 1000lb+ flight animals that already initially think humans are predators, not friend.

You can train your horse WITH THE HELP OF A TRAINER.

Now if he was a been there done that really really broke horse, then this would be different. But he's not respectful and he's still very young.. plus he's 19hh and a Shire. I think you went a little over your head in terms of matching experience when picking a horse.

And that's okay, as long as you don't do this alone and have real live help.

Exactly where are you located?
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    05-08-2012, 09:41 PM
  #9
Trained
Wow....

Ok, OP, the thing about the 'nay sayers' in this thread, is that they're looking out for your saftey, and for the horse's future as a riding horse. Being 4 years old, he will soak every bit of training your do with him, like a sponge. Now, this is great, if you're teaching him the right thing. But he'll also pick up the bad habits very readily. You have already taught him to walk all over you. Very, VERY bad idea.

Now, it is a commendable trait to be able to look past any negative feedback and not be offended by it, but ignoring genuine, honest and very relevant feedback is something that will drive people away from you. You end up with no one that wants to help, and you're left on your own to deal with a problem that could very, VERY easily kill or severely injure you. So may I suggest, for the sake of you and your horse, put the pride and stubborness away and listen to what others have to say. It may not be all rianbows and butterflies, but it is absolutely relevant.
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    05-08-2012, 10:24 PM
  #10
Foal
Sorry I didnt intend to come across as offensive.
I just woke up and wasnt choosing my words well.
I will have a horse trailer in time.
My nearest neighbours are both horse breeders including the one who sold him too me. Nobody who knows me in person believes I will have any issue with this horse and im not. He's actually coming along in leaps and bounds. I didnt teach him to step on me he's testing me still to see what I will do and I don't let him get away with anything.
As for taking him to find a trainer... that's not impossible but not likely either. I really am VERY far from any sort of civilization. It would involve probably travelling several hours and leaving him with the trainer. Still not a bad idea, however the trainer he has is a draft horse trainer and his farrier and she's been working with him his whole life. She can't get out often but between the ground work he has and her visits im managing just fine. I should also have rephrased the longing part, he's not really getting upset... more like frustrated. I attempted the longing and he didnt know which way to go or what to do so he just ran around snorting. He did try but he was just as confused as I was. So we put that on hold.

The earlier point about not jumping on a plane and flying before knowing how too... funny that was mentioned actually. As my roomate reminded me I actually did that back when I was 16 lol.
Im not ignoring the advice, just not letting myself be bothered by it. I know I've bit off a lot to chew but that's life, we live we learn we move forward.
It just gets a little, I don't know exhausting. I pretty much only have whats written in books and online to learn from and the support of the few people I know. Whenever I have a simple question like 'whats next' I get almost exclusively 'dont, and you cant/shouldnt' Bottom line I know its not easy but im going to do it. So I will either do the best I can teaching myself or ask for clarification and training advice. Advice to quite isnt something I need, its not even part of my volcabulary.
I knew EXACTLY what I was getting into with this breed. I've spent countless monthes even years reading and re-reading books on this breed and horses in general. I set out to find this specific horse. Im sure half the people who read this are thinking its going to end in doom and gloom because I wasnt born into this. Its going along according to plan and theres no reason to think things should suddenly go bad... and if they do im prepared for that too. Its a horse, not rocket science, or some boogey monster waiting to get me. I have been around horses most of my life and been on many. I've just never trained one myself.
Anyway *rant off*
I guess this means, more ground work with verbal commands, that's never a bad thing. Then some work with just the saddle. From there ill have somebody lead him around a few times with a rider. Then start directing him from the saddle.
Meanwhile getting the hang of this longing thing.
I take it that's what the order of training is right now.
BTW from pulling carts in parades he knows things like whoa and walk, left and right. The trainer did test him with a small saddle on his back cinched up and he didnt really mind at all. He doesnt spook easily in general.
The more he figures me out the more he obeys, he is realizing im the lead horse in this heard.
To answer the question im in Northern BC Canada. Middle of the Rocky mountains.
Figure id add this one last point...
I guess what im trying to say is... what is going to happen is going to happen. He may get bad habits one way or another but if people would rather tell me the same old 'wrong horse wrong trainer not enough experience... rather than helping me gain some experience and help me understand how to train him then yes... we are both more likely to end up with some bad habits.
     

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