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post #31 of 33 Old 06-27-2013, 10:48 PM
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anytime you work past your fears you have reason to feel proud. Bravo!
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post #32 of 33 Old 06-28-2013, 06:56 AM
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Glad to hear you were able to get back on and work through the kicking issue. This is exactly what your mare needed.

I would agree with the general theme of the discussion here - start with getting confident with your ground work, and when you ride, try to set yourself up for success, meaning do things and ride horses that you know you can handle - this is how to build confidence.

Here is my take on the "bonding" issue that has been tossed around. I believe we can bond with our horses and will have more success in training if we do. I'm not talking about anything "woo-wooy" here, to me a bond means that the horse trusts you because you handle him in a consistent way, and that he can look to you as someone that provides comfort and safety. Example - when one of my horses is alone in a paddock and is running around screaming for her buddies, I can walk into the pasture and she will immediately calm down, walk over to me and start eating grass again.

If a horse feels comfortable and relaxed in your presence while still being respectful this is a great start and from your original post it sounds like you have this. Now even though I believe that horses are more than livestock and are very intelligent and emotional beings that we can bond with this does not mean that an inexperienced rider can just ride a young horse simply because they have "a bond." Horses are prey animals and very reactive, so instincts will take over when they feel afraid, threatened, or confined.

It sounds like you are taking some great steps to work through your horse issues and become a better horse person but do follow the advice already given here - continue working with your trainer and if they ever level and tell you that you are overfaced by a horse, listen and take their advice!

Keep up the good work!

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post #33 of 33 Old 06-28-2013, 07:11 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Originally Posted by Elana View Post
Green horse + Green Rider = [COLOR=DarkOrange]Bad Color combination.
[COLOR=Black]How to fix this? Well you won't like what I have to say.. and I will be kind. Remember first and foremost I have spent a LOT of time on horses and training horses. They are amazing creatures. They are beautiful creatures. The are dangerous creatures. Horses can kill you and not care.

It is too late with this 3 year old IMO. You are frightened. Really frightened and from the ground too. Fixing the mistakes are going to start with YOU. Your fear must be fixed.. and it almost sounds like you have some PTSD from this. IOW's I had horses rear and toss me off at the early stages of my horse experience and I was never afraid of them. I just brushed off and got on with it. Now I was not badly hurt and you may have been badly hurt.. so I am not saying your fear is unreasonable. Fear is NEVER unreasonable to the person experiencing it. However, if you are determined to ride and to ride competently then you need to get the fear past. It is something you may need counseling for to get yourself on the right path.

The 3 year old learned he could resist and rear. They made him stop at the trainer.. but what happens back home the first time he is asked to do something that confuses him? He is going to evade that question somehow. Rearing. Bucking. Spinning. Balking. How is that going to be dealt with? More time at the trainer? More money? Certainly treats and love are not going to do it. SELL HIM. TRADE HIM. GIVE HIM AWAY.

When you go out to your horses, have a purpose for going out there. If it is to feed them, then feed them. Be efficient. Don't talk to them. Just do it. No petting. No nothing. You just feed. If it is to groom them, then get the tools for that together and get a halter and lead. Take the horse you are going to groom out of the pasture and separate him into a paddock, tie him up and groom him. Won't tie? OK.. this is the first thing and you won't know how to fix that (part of the being green thing and we all were at one time). The horse just won if he won't tie. Your purpose got messed up. Put your grooming tools away, put the horse away and call someone and advertise the horse.

A green handler needs a horse that will stand tied, will ride out, has been there and done that and has learned all the respect stuff. That horse will teach you so much.. and probably not scare you. You need a seasoned and trained older horse. Get a 15 year old retired lesson horse. Even with a seasoned horse you will make enough mistakes and you will learn. Best to learn with one that has seen it than to learn with one who is seeing it for the first time!

This three year old horse is no different than a 3 year old cow. He is livestock. Maybe he has learned respect... but you have learned fear of him. Honestly.. go back to that trainer and find out if they can find a new place for him to live and let him go.

Meanwhile, find a good solid lesson facility with older horses that are campaigners. Go to that very safe environment and get your lessons and.. after between counseling and the lessons you overcome your fear then go out and buy an older horse that is from a lesson program.

I make these suggestions (and you still have free will so you can choose not take them and I won't be mad) in the interests of the 3 year old horse's future and your safety and well being.

I know you rescued this horse with your heart. Lots to be said for that.. but he is more than you should have around.

Now.. as to your behavior with your horses. First and foremost you need to view them differently. They have brains the size of walnuts and they have great capacity to remember. That is how we can train them. They also are large and not terribly bright and can kill you.

Their instinct is to run away when challenged or scared.. and if they can't run they will fight. They will run over your, run with you on their back, run out in the road in front of trucks, run through fences and off cliffs. If you are a good enough rider to stop them, then they will fight. They will rear or buck or fall down or kick or strike.

Training can fix this.. but training takes experience. You lack that experience (but you will get it if you stay in this game).

Hanging out with your horses in their paddocks petting them is not training. It is becoming a herd member and that is not what you want. What you want is to be the boss of all.. not a herd buddy. So don't do that. Only go and work with your horse if you have a purpose to do so. Otherwise, go take a walk with your dog or do something else.

Whatever you decide, remove the stuff Disney fills our heads with and STAY SAFE.

Good Luck (again). And I do mean that.
I 99.9% agree with you on this! my .1% is that if you want to pet your horse in a stall then ok but these people must remember that The owner is the ALPHA horse! just like mothers teach their young by snipping, pinning ears, and yelling at their young. people must do the same. A horse should respect you and that means dont let them in your space! They can be "repremanded" and gain repect from us as owners.
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