Young/Green horses attention span?
 
 

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Young/Green horses attention span?

This is a discussion on Young/Green horses attention span? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Training a young green horse
  • It doesn't seem like i have my young horse's attention

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  • 2 Post By boots
  • 2 Post By Cherie

 
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    07-08-2013, 12:03 AM
  #1
Weanling
Young/Green horses attention span?

Okay, so I've been riding my boyfriend's horse for him for awhile now because my boyfriend is to busy working etc and his horse being green (he is a 4 year old quarter horse) he needs that consistent work, more than the less than once a month his owner could give him . I ride him probably twice-three times a week, still not COMPLETELY ideal but better.

Anyways, he is a well behaved horse, has a lot of try, loves people etc. but I've noticed that after about 45 minutes to an hour of riding, and anything past that (and less on a hot day, for instance I rode him in approximately 85-90 degree weather today for 30 minutes) his attention span is gone, it's almost like he shorts out and doesn't want to walk, very very unsure suddenly and just seems like he CAN'T ride anymore, and although he's normally a horse who wants to put effort in, his try is...gone? As a note, its hard to explain in text but riding him, its not a health issue but very clearly a "attention span wall hitting" issue.

Now my question is, should I push him past this and make him continue to work, or cool him out and let him be done? I'm wondering because if I keep him going he may not focus but instead get mad and then stop learning, but if I let him be done for the day he won't build any stamina correct? So if the correct solution is to keep him working past his "I'M DONE" line, for how long? One more exercise, slowly increasing each individual time we work him past the "wall"? Answers? I hope this made sense.



Some notes: I am not "training" this horse alone, he has been to a real trainer twice (once for training once for a tuneup after a winter pretty much off).

He does not have discipline problems presently, he has not lashed out once he hits the "wall" I described he just loses interest, gets unsure, stops taking cues as easily/being as willing.

And an example of when this happened: after a walk trot lope trail ride that was probably oh an 2 hour, six mile trail ride. (p.s totally guessing about length )

Sorry for the length. Thank you guys.
     
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    07-08-2013, 12:14 AM
  #2
Weanling
I hate to push a young horse to much. I go by what I am trying to get out of him. Lets say I am looking for a good left lead canter that the horse is not fighting me on. After getting what I want a few times I would quit. After my normal work out. Walking, trot...etc. It mostly what you need to get done that day. Even if you get it twice the horse is learning. You stopped on a good note and that's how it should be.
     
    07-08-2013, 12:20 AM
  #3
Weanling
Thank you, that is a good way to look at it. For instance today I think I achieved that because I saddled him up with the goal of working on circles, so warmed up, worked on bending, circles, figure eights with fluidity and by that point he was tired and had a good workout so called it a day.
I like that way of approaching it not based on length but what he learned, because that learning will go much farther to a solid horse than how long he can just ride along, and it seems the stamina would come in time with that as they learn more complicated things as they grow undersaddle.
Thank you, that makes sense to me, I will approach our rides with that in mind for sure!

And one more note, although he is already 4 (although to me that is still young) he has not had a lot of ride time, especially consistently, he was ridden for awhile (probably a little over a couple months but it could have been a bit more, my memory's terrible), then went to training, then ridden just a tiny bit on trails, then left out for awhile (late fall-all of winter), given a tuneup, only ridden on trails sporadically again all of spring then I started riding him late spring early summer. So he hasnt been ridden TONS so I just wanted to make the note he is GREEN but with pro. Training so besides this issue handles himself well but without a high number of consistent rides under him.
     
    07-08-2013, 12:30 AM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by paintsrule    
Thank you, that is a good way to look at it. For instance today I think I achieved that because I saddled him up with the goal of working on circles, so warmed up, worked on bending, circles, figure eights with fluidity and by that point he was tired and had a good workout so called it a day.
I like that way of approaching it not based on length but what he learned, because that learning will go much farther to a solid horse than how long he can just ride along, and it seems the stamina would come in time with that as they learn more complicated things as they grow undersaddle.
Thank you, that makes sense to me, I will approach our rides with that in mind for sure!

And one more note, although he is already 4 (although to me that is still young) he has not had a lot of ride time, especially consistently, he was ridden for awhile (probably a little over a couple months but it could have been a bit more, my memory's terrible), then went to training, then ridden just a tiny bit on trails, then left out for awhile (late fall-all of winter), given a tuneup, only ridden on trails sporadically again all of spring then I started riding him late spring early summer. So he hasnt been ridden TONS so I just wanted to make the note he is GREEN but with pro. Training so besides this issue handles himself well but without a high number of consistent rides under him.

I have all ways thought about working with young horses like this. A young horse is still learning. He is going though his mind looking for the answer that we showed them. If there is none, the horses will look for one. Say we ask for a side step. The horse has no clue what we want. So he starts to go forward, we say no. He goes well that strange. We ask again and he get the same response. His mind is turning, looking for the answer. After going through every thing he can think off he may just move over. Then when you stop reward and try again. After a few times the horse goes. Oh that's what they want. Then that when you stop. Young horses have vary limited mind and what they can take.


About the green broke thing. A horse is green broke till he no longer fights what is being asked. He under stands what is given and thought out from his rider. He is willing to move forward and moves out when asked. Wet saddle pads is what cures a green horse. A lot of people think a green horse is done being green when he understands things. But it's not. He must be able to take the load given and be ready to go to work when needed.
     
    07-08-2013, 12:41 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Four year olds work four to six hour days four or five days a week here. They go longer when occasionally necessary with no ill effects. I would never school one on a new skill that long (like roll backs or side passing), of course, but they can go.

Are you sure this horse isn't just sulking because then you stop? Because you think he's had too much? That can become a habit that is difficult to eliminate.
smrobs and Cherie like this.
     
    07-08-2013, 07:00 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
He sounds like he has not worked hard enough and steady enough to develop a good work ethic. The last thing I would do is quit when HE wants to quit. Always quit when he is moving out freely and willingly. I would ask more out of him but not repetitive drilling. Then, when he gives a good effort, ride easy for a while and cool him out. You want to quit when your ahead and never when the horse wants to quit.
smrobs and boots like this.
     
    07-08-2013, 08:54 PM
  #7
Weanling
Thank you, that's normally what I do, warm him up, work on what I intended, walk and trot around some more etc then cool out. He normally only gets ridden for approx. An hour but the ride times do vary based on what we are doing (like arena vs trail) and I WILL keep him going based on what I want to do, he doesn't decide but I will listen to how "focused"/tired he is to help decide how much longer we SHOULD keep going.
     

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