Also not sure where to start.

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Also not sure where to start.

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    01-06-2011, 12:08 PM
Green Broke
Also not sure where to start.

I recently adopted a horse, and I was told he has not been ridden in 3ish years. He is overweight and out of shape! According to the adoption agency he was an excellent, quiet trail horse.

He is a 16 year old gelding, his ground manners have been great so far, aside from some resistance to the bit. I posted about this in the health forum, he had really nasty breath, having the vet out today.

I want to start working with him and getting him back in the riding mind frame, but I'm not sure where to start.

I plan on lunging him this weekend..what else can I do?
This will all be outside work, as we have no arena.

Thanks in advance. :)
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    01-06-2011, 12:41 PM
Lunging is a good point to cover. In general, I would just take things slowly and work him through tasks that you would expect him to be able to handle before you step in the stirrup.

My own horse gets a fairly long time off in the winter due to nasty weather, etc. He gets a "re-start" of sorts in the spring, to make sure that there aren't any kinks.

Some other maneuvers that I would put a little polish on in-hand are yielding the shoulders and hindquarters from both directions, backing up, sidepassing in each direction, as well as NH-style lunging, such as CA's Lunging for Respect stages 1 and 2. I also like my horses to tolerate me slapping the stirrup leathers up and down against the flap without flinching. An understanding of yielding laterally to the halter and bit wouldn't go amiss, either. If you have control of his feet on the ground, you'll probably have control of them under saddle.

I definitely recommend waiting to find out what's going on in your horse's mouth before delving too deeply into training. You want him to be as comfortable as possible before asking him to work, or you may have some difficulty. If his mouth is bothering him, I have no doubt that that is part of his lack of acceptance of the bit. Even working/riding him in a halter could put pressure on his jaw or sinuses and cause discomfort. Best get a handle on that before moving on.

Good luck!
    01-06-2011, 04:08 PM
Green Broke
Had the vet out today, he had really sharp edges and a hook. He got his teeth floated and his sheath cleaned too. :)
The doctor said that was definitely why he was refusing a bit and bobbing.

I will look into the lunging for respect videos, thank you very much! :)
    01-06-2011, 04:14 PM
Saddle him and get on him. Three years won't change a horse that age very much. Assume the best about him unless he has given you a reason to doubt him.
    01-06-2011, 04:19 PM
Green Broke
Sadly I don't have a saddle as of yet. He is going to get fitted for one in Feb.
    01-07-2011, 07:02 PM
Check out the Parelli program, it's fantastic!
    01-07-2011, 11:26 PM
Green Broke
I have been looking at GaWaNi Pony Boy, Parelli and Roberts.

I swear you have to have a round pen to do this stuff. :p
    01-07-2011, 11:37 PM
Green Broke
I'm kind of with kevinshorses. I've always just bit the bullet and got on. I know you said you don't have a saddle yet. Definitely wait until you get a saddle, but if he's a decent horse you should be able to get on and go even after a layoff.

He'll be nervous, you'll be nervous, but if he's an honest horse he should respect you and remember his training.

When I bought my Mustang, I asked the owner when he was last ridden, and he said something "a week ago." Which was technically true- someone else tried him out a week before. But what he didn't tell me, is before that, the horse hadn't been ridden in 2 years! I only found that out later. But the horse was nervous, I was nervous, but we did fine.

I thought I was buying a higher strung horse that what I did, because he was pretty high strung at first (but very obedient). And then after about a month or two of riding, he mellowed and and has been Mr. Mellow ever since.

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