Where to start with a horse I know nothing about?
 
 

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Where to start with a horse I know nothing about?

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    01-29-2009, 01:43 AM
  #1
Started
Where to start with a horse I know nothing about?

Hello all,

I'm going to be spending the summer away from my most beloved horses here in Washington State. I'll be with my grandad in Alabama. He's got 300 acres of land, an intoxicating thing for one who rides horses. Ever seeking to get my horse-fix, I have made contact with one of his neighbors who has horses. She just recieved two horses free of charge. One is an older mare, and the other is her colt... who by the sound of things has clubfoot. Being free, these horses either haven't been started at all or it's been quite a while since they were ridden. This said, she has agreed to loan me one of the two to play with the entire summer.

My question is, where should I start with this informal training and how far should I go? I'm familiar with tons of groundwork and desensitizing games and would like the opportunity to work on my lunging and long lining techniques. Unfortunately, I won't have an actual arena or round pen to work in. Should I even consider eventually backing one of them? I am assuming that a great deal of this will be based on what I discover about the training they may have already had and their temperaments.
     
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    01-29-2009, 07:07 AM
  #2
Foal
There is no reason that you can't back one of them. How older is this mare? If she is a lot older in might be harder to train her, and maybe not worth it, either that or she is probably broken. A lot of it will depend on the soundness of both of them. If I was you I would go there and look at them, evaluate how good they are with people, if they look physically okay to start training maybe pick one and start taking out too feed it, give it some brushing. Once its reasonably used to you take it for little walks around. In the first few days you will get an idea of how much handling they have had. Like how well they respond to the lead, if they instinctively turn round a gate, or yield a little when you lean on them.

As far as teaching to lunge, if the horse is calm a corner of a paddock should be fine but if you maybe be better of lunging with a bridle and definitely gloves. I imagine you would know pretty soon if they have done it before. Otherwise start of on a shorter rein and work out, so you have control.

Long reining - I would be hesitant. A lot of people do it, but a lot of people screw it up. Things can go very wrong if you don't know what you are doing. Practice on a trained horse first. I don't long rein, but its something to think on.

Keep going as long as the horse is okay. Once you know them you should know that they are ready to go further or if their not. Use your judgment.

Have fun with it though, and don't try to rush.
     
    01-29-2009, 08:24 AM
  #3
Started
Thanks! I definitely intend for the whole summer to be no pressure, just fiddling around seeing what I can work on and how far I can progress with the horse. That's what it's all about ;D. I'll probably spend just as much time grooming and doting on them as I will actually trying to "train" them.

Good tips for finding out how much they've been handled. I never really considered how a horse that's been handled more knows how better to maneuver around a gate, but now I think about it that's a very clever way to gauge some of what they're used to.
     

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