What now? (training) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-06-2011, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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What now? (training)

I had a professional start my horse a year and a half ago under saddle. His Sire is a TW/Passo cross and his Dam is an Arab so he is quite a mix but is amazing. I got him as a yearling and he is around 5 years old now.
I paid for 30 days of training where the trainer would come to my horse and work him. All in all he got about 14 lessons in ground work and 3 lessons under saddle but he never bucked or rared up. He was willing and wanting to please. He would walk, trot, canter and stop in just a couple of lessons. Before the month was up, the trainer quit coming due to weather then moved out of state.
The horse sat in the pasture till this Feb when I decided he was too nice of a horse just to let sit.....so I needed to finish him or let him go to someone that would.........
Since Feb I have worked almost daily with him. The bond we have is amazing. He respects my space and does everything no matter how silly I ask him to do. He lunges over jumps, flexes, backs over logs, drops the head with just the slightest touch under his chin on the lead rope, drags poles, wears and walks on bubble wrap, pays no attention to a cell phone, basically any new game I can come up with he trusts me and goes for it calmly. His only fear that I can find is a spray bottle but we are working on that.
I have started riding him just a little in the pasture and just at a walk. I can mount him on either side. All it takes is a cluck sound to get him to go forward. No need pressure the ribs. I always have someone there with me and keep a lead rope and halter on under his bridle just in case I get into trouble, I can throw it down to the other person. So far so good. I KNOW there will be a day that he tests me, but so far so good. He flexes and drops his head excellent with just the slightest pressure and will hold his flex for a good 2 or 3 seconds. I can act like a drunk up there, touch him anywhere. Put my hat on his head, wave my arms all around, clap my hands together, open coke cans and throw them down to the ground, I am running out of ideas here too!

So here is my plan.......I hope to have this horse ready for trails by the end of summer. I want him so desensitzed that nothing will spook him. I am just not sure where to go in the training from here to get him there???
He is very smart and learns super fast......I don't want to teach him the wrong thing or put him in a situation where he feels the need to fight me.
My question is where do I go from here to get him ready for the trails?? I have plenty of time.......just running out of ideas. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-06-2011, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: In the rainy, wet north west.
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It sounds like he's a smart boy :) Honestly I would start working on transitions; especially down transitions and turning. Work on him being responsive.

Beyond that, in prep for trail riding, dogs are a big thing horses tend to be like O.O at. I would expose him to that and bikes as well. Cars? Young kids throwing a ball? Little kids screaming and laughing.

Beyond THAT I would say start exposing him to the outside world. Trailer him places. You don't HAVE to ride, just hand walk him on the trails. That will get him the real experience of what's really out there. Trailer him to a horse show and just tie him to the trailer. Give him that experience of not being a home. That will be the real test on how bombproof he really is :)
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-06-2011, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Actually he does great with dogs and little kids. I guess I need to work him around 4 wheelers. These idiots around here on the dirt roads will fly down them without any reguard for anyone else, let along a crazy woman on a young horse!
The main thing I wanted to do is trail ride him. I don't care anything about competition. With that said, I have hunting beagles and want to get him eventually to the point to where he can follow the hounds in the field.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-06-2011, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greenville area / SC
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Welcome to the forum!

Sounds like you are on the road to desensitizing him. As for getting him used to trails, I find the best way is simply to just do it. Ride with someone who has a good trail horse and follow them. You can't get a horse trained for the trails without getting out on the trails. You can prepare him only so much without the actual experience of bikes, hikers, strange dogs, hills, narrow paths, fallen trees, mud, water, bridges, etc, etc.

As for having him move from voice, that's fine but you also need to teach him to move off your leg.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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