Where to go next? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-05-2008, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Where to go next?

Ok, I know that this is a really really dumb thing to ask, but I'm pretty much having a nervous break down.... so, my 4-H horse duke needs work, and i have to teach him a lot and i have like less than three weeks... right now I'm working on us getting along and being able to do simple stuff like transitions right and i'm working a bit on softness

here's a list of all the things i need to teach him/myself I know how, but i don't know what order i should do them in:

we have to master flying lead changes, i think he might have an idea how to do this

he has to lean NOT to change gaits

he has to learn about sliding stops, turn backs, spins

he has to be able to lope fast and slow, fast will be the hard part, he's lazy

he has to be BOMBPROOf for trail

I have to learn how to ride bareback, and he has to get used to it

he has to be able to walk, trot, lope over a log w/o touching it

he has to be able to lead well, respect my space and trot beside me

he has to learn how to go wp speed

he has to master smooth and easy transitions

soo, i know how to get him to do all of this, i'm just wanting you guys's opinions on what order i should work on them... I could figure it out if i tried really hard, but it's making me crazy right now, I'm a nervous wreck and am pretty darn rushed
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-06-2008, 01:47 AM
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I believe this is gonna be very difficult for you to accomplish all those tasks in 3 weeks, but its not impossible.

1). "he has to be able to lead well, respect my space and trot beside me"- I believe this should be the first you should tackle, I believe this should not be to hard to accomplish, i would hit this first and work your way up to the harder material.

2.) "he has to be BOMBPROOf for trail"- I believe this is also a not very difficult process because it is basically sackin out, i would work with things that are loud and scary (like things you would run into or hit on trails).

3.) "I have to learn how to ride bareback, and he has to get used to it"- I believe this can be an easy task, just becareful and go slow.

4.) "he has to lean NOT to change gaits" and "he has to master smooth and easy transitions"(if your talkin about his gaits)- I think these two go hand in hand.

The others you can decide how you would want to approach it. I do feel however this is gonna take some time for you. I hope you can spend alot of time with him each day of that 3 weeks.


I love my horse. She is the wind beneath my wings.

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-06-2008, 05:25 PM
Green Broke
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I think with a lot of really hard work you should see quite a bit of improvement in 3 weeks... but I don't know if you'll have mastered some of the harder stuff. I would start off on foundational things and pick and choose a few more difficult maneuvers to really work hard on. Fortunately, a lot of these things tie in together. For example, to get your horse to do a lead change he must be good at the foundational things, like transitions, going soft and being able to lengthen and shorten his stride! I would suggest....

1. Start off every day with some really good groundwork and lungeline training to teach him respect, bombproofing, leading, etc. All of this can run together. You can even canter him over logs on the lunge line. In fact, some horses learn to jump better by not having a rider on their back first.

2. Then I'd work on some good foundational riding skills for a "warm up". Like going different speeds, transitioning, being soft, etc.

These top 2 things you can work on every single day you ride him.

3. Then I'd work on more of the 'tricky' stuff. I don't like to work on lead changes every day, I think it's more effective to work on them every other day. So on the days you don't work on them, work on your sliding stops, spins, going over logs, etc.

4. Then as you cool off you can take your tack off and ride and relax around bareback. He'll learn that bareback is a great thing and love it!

I personally think a lot of horses are happier working on several things for shorter time periods rather then hounding them on one thing for hours. Keep it all fun for your horse and give him LOTS of praise! And be flexible to your horse's learning curve. Some of this stuff he might pick up right away so move on if he does. Some of it might take him a bit longer to understand, so don't rush him. It's more important that he is happy and confident then to get some skill 'perfected' within a certain period of time. But you'd be surprised at how quickly they can learn!
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-06-2008, 07:47 PM
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Re: Where to go next?

Well, if you know how to do it all, there's a start, but 3 weeks is a short time to teach the foundations well, let alone the high level stuff you've added in too, so I think you've got your work cut out for you even if you're a very good trainer!

May I ask why you are wanting to accomplish all this in such a short time? No offense, but I think that unless you are that great trainer looking for a challenge, you're setting yourself & your horse up for failure, putting yourselves under so much pressure. There are likely to be 'side effects' to this rush, aside from him not being very well trained at anything because you've only done a little of everything.

Originally Posted by mlkarel2010
right now I'm working on us getting along and being able to do simple stuff like transitions right and i'm working a bit on softness
That's a good place to start, if you already have a good relationship going. I would teach this on the ground at first. Do it all on his back only after you've got the behaviour solid on line. Teach him to go in a particular gait & direction on a loose rein, until you ask for a change. When riding, this is best done to start with in an arena, so you can *allow* him to go and *ask* him to stop/slow without having to *make* him because of safety issues.

The leading manners, jumping and braveness on the trail can all be combined to save time & make things more interesting, by taking him for bush walks. Have him on a long lead, so that you can drive or lead him over, around, through various obstacles and allow him to drift a bit without getting out of control.

The braveness/bombproofing - I don't know what level of braveness you want the horse, but I think this may be one of the harder things to accomplish if you're rushing. Horses are innately reactive to unfamiliar things, which they can be desensitised to, but they also need a trusted and confident leader to follow. If you're not yet his trusted, respected leader, it will make it a lot harder for him to listen to you in the face of 'dangers'. To try to force the issue could make him worse, and undermine any trust he already had in you.

we have to master flying lead changes, i think he might have an idea how to do this....
he has to learn about sliding stops, turn backs, spins....
he has to be able to lope fast and slow, fast will be the hard part, he's lazy....
I think these 'high school' type things would be better forgotten about until you've got the basics going very well. After all, that's pretty much what they are - the basics done to perfection. Get him reliably staying in gait, soft transitions & turns on the fore- or hind-quarters at slow gaits first. Do it gradually, one small step at a time, reinforcing him for the right behaviour as much as possible, until it eventually becomes a full lap on a loose rein, finally becomes a full 360 turn, etc. Once you've taught all that very well, then it's just a matter of refining it *gradually* until the turn becomes a spin, the stop becomes a slide, etc.

I have to learn how to ride bareback, and he has to get used to it...
This is a fantastic way of developing a great, independent seat. It is also usually fine for the horse, so long as they are reasonably fit and you are not terribly heavy or a bouncy, bad rider. I would start in an arena at a walk and practice your staying in gait on a loose rein exercises. Allowing him to go wherever he wants in the arena, so long as he does it at a walk is a great passenger lesson. You learn to zig when he zigs, zag when he zags, and not hassle him with the reins until he breaks gait. He learns self carriage and to be responsible for staying in the requested gait to avoid 'corrections'. Once it feels good at a walk, do the same at a trot.

All the best for you & your horse.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-06-2008, 09:13 PM
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As usual, I'm the bearer of bad news.
You can lay down a nice foundation, but if you want your horse to do it correctly, he can't do all those things you've listed in 3 weeks.
It takes muscle, not just training, and he can't build that in 3 weeks.
If you have to get ready for a show, you owe it to you and your horse to start early to give him time to build muscle, no excuses. And if you don't have the time, then you owe it to him to not over face him and expect him to do unrealistic things. Also, no excuses. If we ride because we love horses, then we must always put them first.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-06-2008, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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i'm not sure if i explained this already, but he's 12 and has an AMAZING foundation already... he's very close to bombproof, has decent ground manners (could use a bit of tuning), can do the advanced maneuvers, but i just haven't tried yet....

so, this week i'm going to get used to him and get him softer (right now he is horribly tight, ugh).... and have some fun with him while working on the basics.... he knows how to everything but side-pass, but my trainer demonstrated that it's a really easy thing to teach, so I'm not afraid, lol....

honestly, what i'm going to do is MASTER the basics and be as good as i can without over doing it on the more advanced stuff, because honestly if i even am mediocre at just the basics i will still be better than the majority of my competition...

the only thing i'm worried about is bareback... it just worries me a tad bit since it's new.... once he gets moved to my trainer's it'll be a lot easier to work with him, and sometimes I might go out even twice a day....
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-07-2008, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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i rode bareback today and worked on basics... he's starting to soften more... I'll probably keep working on that kinda stuff this week and getting him gradually in better shape... i'll prolly keep riding bareback this whole week too...

any other suggestions??
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