Helping The Horses At HHH - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-11-2011, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 478
• Horses: 2
Helping The Horses At HHH

Ok I am taking on a BIG project. I am going to be volunteering at a local horse rescue with retraining, and starting a whole lotta horses...We are talking a HUGE project but it is going to be so worthwhile to know that in the end horses that are unadoptable are going to go on to live out nice lives being cared for one on one by a human being who will appreciate the foundation we lay down over the upcoming weeks...soooooo...I thought it would be a good time to get organized because organization is going to be key in keeping track of progress in each horse AND looking at the big picture so we can plan out a time efficient strategy to get them done in the "right" way with out skipping over key spots in training just to get them adopted...we are in a way determining their future just as our teachers in school did for us.

So in my head I know what a horse needs to know to be well mannered and a pleasure to be around and easy to enjoy. That is the real key in a horse surviving and thriving in the human world. They need to be pleasant and enjoyable to be around. The better "get along" they have the more options they will have at surviving and not ending up on the dinner plate somewhere in Europe or being neglected because their owner fears here goes the list of every skill each and every horse should have...and each skill should apply to both sides of the horse (saving myself some time by not having to type it saying right & left)

1. Should be pleasant to be around in general and display no aggression towards people entering it's areas..(ex.pasture,barn stall, it's own personal space)
2. Catches easily: If you have to run after a horse everyday it makes it hard to enjoy it at all.
3. Can be haltered with ease.
4. Can be lead easily. No one enjoys being jerked around or feeling like they are connected to a powderkeg about to explode.
5. Can be handled easily for daily tasks like grooming.
6. Can be tied without fidgeting around or pawing, jerking, or circling.
7. Can be bathed without fear.
8. Can be sprayed with flyspray or other necessary horse maintenance articles.
9. Can have all 4 feet picked up easily and worked on without threat of bodily injury or herking jerking fits.
10. Can stand quietly when asked to do so.
11. Halts smoothly and easily.
12. Respects your space and does not push itself into yours.
13. Can move backwards as easily as frontwards.
14. Can be lunged at a walk, trot, & canter.
15. Can be halted on the lunge without coming in.
16. Can reverse on the lunge easily.
17. Stands quiety while saddle & blankets are applied.
18. Lowers head for bridle.
19. Stands quietly for mounting. Displays no forward or backward movement.
20. Moves out on cue.Moves at a walk/trot/canter easily on cue.
21. Stops on cue.
22.Turns left/right with only gentle pressure.

That pretty much is the basics every horse should know when "finished" enough to be a pleasure to be around. There are of course a HUGE list of things that a horse can go onto to be finished to the fullest...neck reigning, dressage work, collection, all kinds of higher levels of training. But these are a good start to having a horse people can ride & enjoy. Of course this little list is no small task. And along the way I will get NONE of the things listed above without trust and those two things are the beginning to getting everything accomplished. Since I am going to be working with animals that have been exposed to the absolute worst examples of human beings in the world, my task becomes even harder. Tonight walking around the pasture there were so many scars and old wounds on these horses that stand as a reminder that these horses have had a pretty rough start on life and their experiences have been nothing less than horrific. So that's first priority gain their trust and earn their respect.

So lets see how this story goes....
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-12-2011, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ravenna, OH
Posts: 53
• Horses: 3
Sounds like you know exactly what you are doing! I think with a little trust from you, they will catch on quickly! Good luck! Sound's like funn.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-12-2011, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 478
• Horses: 2
K day one and it didn't go so great at allllll...:( Well it wasn't bad it just wasn't good. I worked with two horses today. Mick & Milo. Mick is a 3 year old quarter horse very anxious, timid type. I had no issue in getting him to go out on the rail but not an ounce of join up. He walked for me, backed for me, just has no idea as to what his role with humans is...he still wants to be out in the herd. I do feel he is going to be a good horse for someone...really pretty little bay. I got him to calm down to the ropes and whatnot...had trouble is catching him...ahhh but I did get him to move...then enters Milo...Milo refuses to move but can turn on one foot around and around and around to avoid moving out. He is like a brick house...NOTHING motivates him...He did show us he can clear the gate as he jumped it an left the round pen on his first attempt at work. Once we got him back well then he just did nothing at all except make me look like a blabbering oh well at least we all got some excercise huh :) So we put the riding block in there to just see what Milo would do if I laid across his back and guess what he moves ALOT when pressure & weight go on his back so he can move but just refuses to do when he doesn't want to...I WILL GET TO HIM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-02-2011, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 478
• Horses: 2

Last night we went out to HHH to ride Dallas. He was in a lovely mood when caught and seemed rather perturbed by the inconvenience of having to deal with us rather than graze with his herd mates. Thats just typical horse behavior though. He is a strapping young man, bulked up, with a neck like a body builder. He is tough stuff. Got him the round pen and did some free lunging. He is rather laid back. Once his buddies moved off into the distant pasture he was more "giving" in his efforts and a little less distracted. Again just typical "I am horse who hasn't been messed with much lately" behavior. So the moment of truth finally presented itself as I swung up on him from the mounting block. He stood like a champ and didn't move off. I gave him a moment to collect his thoughts and understand I was up there and then asked him to move off. I am not from the school of "kicking" a horse. I do not believe you have to kick a horse for it to understand the cue to move. I gave him some squeezes, rocked my bottom and asked with a kiss. Eventually we rolled out at a very slow lazy pace. Being this was the first time I was on him he was a gentleman, a lazy gentlemen, BUT I will take that over a fired up fruit loop any day. We used a full cheek snaffle on him and at first he had some difficulty in giving into it as it is probably a lot gentler than what he is used to if he has had prior training. They lack the squeezing leverage pressure of say a curb or worse a tom thumb. He does need to loosen up his neck and gain some flexion. His body is stiff and rigid. He does understand the move cue, he did get into a trot for a short spurt with the added pressure of Jeannie working him from the center of the pen. We unsaddled him and I got up on him bareback and he followed his leader "Jeannie" around not caring to much at all I was up there. All in all it was a pretty easy session.
So here is my critique of this horse:
Disposition: Quiet & complacent. He may be big & bulky but he has a soft demeanor.
Behavior Issues: None to note thus far. He is a little lazy which can be a sign of him dominating his rider but in this case I think t is more just a horse that has grown to like not working. Again that is very typical. I walked behind him, no kicking. No biting, he respected my space and followed willingly.
Riding Skill : He has a very comfortable walk, trot is a little bumpy, and haven't made it to canter yet. It is still a little early to call this horse a beginners horse BUT if nothing changes he would be excellent for anyone who just wants to meander around on trails or have a nice horse to saddle up and enjoy for the afternoon.
Game Plan: Since last night was kinda like an "orientation" it stayed at a relaxed pace. It was more for observation purposes and to see how much he already knows. Wednesday I will go back out and on that day it will be more about pushing his buttons a little and making him do stuff he may not feel like doing. Once I start pushing those buttons we will know for sure how complacent & broke he is. He kinda got to run the show last night but on Wednesday he is going to be asked to listen and do some basic things like walk, trot, canter, whoa, in both directions.

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-05-2011, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 478
• Horses: 2
Dallas & Jasmine

Last night I had two wonderful experiences on these horses! First I rode Dallas in the arena at a walk mostly, I did get him to trot for a bit on my own but Jeannie had to come in and put pressure on him from the center of the pen...he is just REALLY lazy in the round pen. He is a very bumpy trot. Later I left the pen and went to to the pasture with him since all his buddies were off in a different pasture. I hopped on and he started to go towards the gait to the buddies pasture and Glen quickly shut it...he paced up and down the gate I turned him around and we went for a nice gallop along the fence. And just when I though it was his all...he showed me he can move even faster...but guess what it was like sitting was the smoothest gallop I have ever ridden...he does NOT respond to well to the snaffle bit, probably used to the more popular western style bits of tomb thumbs,curbs, or something with shanks. But all in all it went fine. And guess what NO BUCKING at any was nice!

So then we decide that went well so why not catch Miss Jasmine and take a try at her. A little background on this horse. Well first off she is a sweetie :) Second off she is not broke. Last year Jeannie started to work her and she bucked her a couple times, and the last bucking fit left poor Jeannie unconcious and then training was Jeannie snatches her from the pasture and she goes into the round pen. She is a little afraid, jumps a bit at the rope, so I take a moment to just calm her down. I precede to just saddle her up like it has been done everyday for the past year or so and she does great. Same goes for bridling her. I can tell she is nervous a tad but nothing out of the ordinary so I decide to just go with her energy. I don't do any groundwork as far as free lunge because I don't want to build up her anxiety level. Some horses are best just left calm and relaxed. She didn't show any disrespect towards me, she was just a little nervous. So I jump up there and just sit for a moment and reassure her and then instead of kicking her or squeezing her I rock to kinda knock her off balance and make her move...she starts out and I give her a few minutes to realize I am up there before asking her to turn and she does great! I went to dismount and I think I must have hit her rump with my foot as I was coming off and she jumped forward out of fear but I quickly regained my seat and she did do one attempt at a buck...I pulled her head up with my trusty leadrope attached to her halter and then it was over and off we went again. Nothing more bad fact it was a very enjoyable pleasant ride. Her bucking is out of fear, nothing as long as her little rides remain calm, pleasant and enjoyable her confidence in the situation will increase and her fear will disappear. I think she is going to be fairly easy to break...
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