Need starter advice on new horses
 
 

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Need starter advice on new horses

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        01-01-2014, 09:30 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Need starter advice on new horses

    Hello everyone!
    My husband and I are new to horses. Well, I grew up with horses (large ponies, really) riding in playdays, etc. but I'm a little rusty after not being on a horse in 20 years. We recently began building our dream home on 200 acres and plan to start a ranch. We bought two horses a couple of weeks ago, two paint mares who are sisters, somewhat bonded. We were told the ages are 12 & 7. I rode both horses before deciding to buy. They seemed to ride well, minded me well, but it was so cold outside the day we did this transaction that we rushed through it just to get out of the cold. Now we have these two horses and I don't know if we are doing something wrong or what, but they will not lift their feet for us to clean the mud out. We have a farrier scheduled for next week, but I am worried they will not lift their feet. They really freak out when we try to lift. I remember my childhood horse would lift his foot for me no problem.

    Then today, after giving them their feed, I walked behind them and one of them kicked me! It only got my hand and I was wearing thick gloves so didn't break any bones. But it hurt!

    I've only ridden one of them since bringing them home.. the younger one. Her temperament is a little better (though she's the one who kicked me). When I ride her, all she wants to do is go back to the barn where her sister is. I have to constantly correct her and make her mind me. I have only ridden her twice because the weather has been bad and because I don't want to ride her much until I get her hooves looked at. But both times she just wanted to go back. I didn't let her until I was ready to go back. She does really well otherwise, good stop and really gentle. Both girls are super sweet most of the time, come up to us when we come in the pasture, really easy to be around.. Which is why I don't understand why one of them kicked me. Their hooves definitely need ceaned out. We had a lot of mud around Christmas time and it all got packed in, but they won't let us clean it out. Should I find a farrier who can come out sooner than next week? Do you think this is urgent or can it wait until next week?

    Neither horse spooks easy. We had a bunch of ice come crashing down from our fence rail right in front of them and neither of them flinched. They also don't spook with the tractor around. But they do chase our minis away all the time. We have five mini horses and they don't seem to like them being around much, but they're not aggressive to them. They put their ears back and use "body language" to drive them off, but that's about it.

    Oh, and one more thing, they were sightly underweight when we got them. Very slightly.. Very slight rib and hip bone showing. The previous owners had them for two weeks (they came in on a trade) and were trying to fatten them up with creep feed and deer powder (rice?) that they made into a paste and mixed with the creep feed. They said this was helping them, but when we went to buy the same thing, we saw that creep feed is for cattle and we didn't want to buy cow and deer stuff for our horses. So we got a sweet feed mixture (14%) and some sort of protein powder to mix in. I think it's for high performance horses or something, but we thought it might help them gain weight. It's been just over a week since we started this and they seem to be showing less bones already. Should we continue with this or is the sweet feed mixture a big no no? What should we be feeding them to put some weight on? They barely have any grass in the pasture right now, but they do have several large hay bales they've been working on.

    Also, we have four children and we really want them to be able to ride. The youngest child is 7 yrs old, oldest is 16. So far they have sat on the younger horse with me leading her around and she does really well. Both horses mind really well on a lead and seem to be super sweet most of the time. But still unpredictable, evident by the kick I received this afternoon. And also wondering if the farrier will be able to clean and trim or if we need to do some training on lifting feet before we can even have the farrier out?

    So I guess my main question is.. Did we bite off more than we could chew with these horses? Can we work with them to get them behaving better or is this just how they are going to be? We have no training experience, but I've been watching videos online and reading and we are wanting to learn because we want to raise horses someday as a family business thing. Horses have always been my passion, but my husband has been in the military for the past 17 years so we weren't able to have any. He will be retiring in a few years so we are trying to get our ranch going now. We have a lot to learn, but we are eager!

    Any advice is appreciated! Thanks so much!
    Misty
         
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        01-01-2014, 09:54 PM
      #2
    Trained
    It's going to be real easy for these horses to end up unmanageable and dangerous. No really highly suggest getting a trainer to come help you, especially especially if you want your kids riding.

    If you're not able or willing to get a trainer, I suggest plunking down the cash for some training videos. Clinton Anderson is a personal favorite but Buck Branaman is also great.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    2BigReds and Phura like this.
         
        01-01-2014, 10:09 PM
      #3
    Yearling
    Misty to answer your question, did you bite off more then you can chew, I am going to say yes. However, there is hope because you realize that your knowledge has run out and your asking for help. I strongly recommend you get a trainer to help you learn how to gain there respect. Learn how to do the ground work and be on the ground around them safely. Get some riding lessons for you and your kids.

    Take them off the sweet feed it is like feeding your kids junk food, and the protein powder. Continue giving them free access to hay, I recommend for weight gain feeding beet pulp, and a low sugar, low carb pellet of some type your feed store should be able to help you. Read labels and compare feeds. I also recommend a fat supplement that is specifically made for horses there a lot of them out there I order mine from Smartpak it is called Glean and Gain and I have had really good results using it.

    There are a lot of good trainers that have produced a lot good videos and books that can help you. Personally I like Clinton Anderson, Craig Cameron and Sean Patrick. You can rent videos on line from I think its called Giddyupflix.com . You can also get some books off amazon I like Clinton Andersons book Establishing Respect it is very easy to understand and gives you exercises you can do right away with emphasis on safety. You and your family will be able to enjoy your horses but it is going to take time and consistency.
    2BigReds and Yogiwick like this.
         
        01-01-2014, 10:16 PM
      #4
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
    If you're not able or willing to get a trainer, I suggest plunking down the cash for some training videos. Clinton Anderson is a personal favorite but Buck Branaman is also great.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Thanks for the suggestion. I looked up Clinton Anderson videos on Amazon. Do I want the Horsemanship 101 DVD from 2009 for about $125? Or do I want the Downunder horsemanship video series (looks like $247 on amazon)?
         
        01-01-2014, 10:27 PM
      #5
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MySilver    
    Thanks for the suggestion. I looked up Clinton Anderson videos on Amazon. Do I want the Horsemanship 101 DVD from 2009 for about $125? Or do I want the Downunder horsemanship video series (looks like $247 on amazon)?
    If your going to go with CA I highly recommend Clinton Anderson's Fundamentals kit, it is newer then then the ones you listed with more information and exercises I believe, and lovely little books called arena mates that fit in you pocket so you can take them with you when your out working the horse. I think you can find it on ebay. The Fundamentals kit is a bit pricey but compared to a hospital stay it is cheap. Or you can join the No Worries Club which gives you discounts on his items, access to the forum for support, all his tv shows, monthly DVDs and lots of other little perks. And no I do not work for CA, just a Method follower.
    Phura likes this.
         
        01-01-2014, 10:28 PM
      #6
    Trained
    I would start with the Horsemanship 101, the Gaining Respect and Control on the Ground series and even the Fundamentals.
    Posted via Mobile Device
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        01-01-2014, 11:00 PM
      #7
    Foal
    Thanks so much for the suggestions. I joined giddyupflix.com and have already put quite a few videos in my queue, including the CA videos mentioned. Looking forward to watching them. I'll also get some CA books.

    Thanks for the suggestions and please keep them coming.. We will also stop the sweet feed and find something else to put weight on.
         
        01-01-2014, 11:18 PM
      #8
    Trained
    OP=keep in mind that videos are great, but it is very easy to have the wrong body position or something slightly off and your horse may not react like the ones in the video. There is NO replacement for a real person. Sorry-but there isn't. Period.

    One of your horses kicked you, and you are talking in the same paragraph about a 7 yr old riding. That concerns me.
    Yogiwick likes this.
         
        01-01-2014, 11:49 PM
      #9
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MySilver    
    So I guess my main question is.. Did we bite off more than we could chew with these horses?
    Brief answer...Yes. But a lot of people do this. Some manage to get help and educate themselves and with a lot of work and patience and growing knowledge they manage to live through it and end up a horseman. Others end up damaging themselves and the horses they think they can handle.

    I'm guessing the feet will survive until next week unless there is lameness.
    But I would strongly advise having a vet check them over if you haven't already. Hopefully you have a vet if you have several minis. The vet can recommend a good diet. Just keep in mind you are not feeding high energy performance horses at this point. Do the horses have registration papers to verify the ages? The vet can estimate that for you too.

    Another thing to consider at this point is to get both of them out to a good trainer for evaluation and a basic tune-up. It sounds like that may be needed if you can afford it. With children around it might be the best thing to do. And keep everyone away from the back end of the kicker. It might not happen again once she settles in to her new home...but I would not put money on it.

    It's good that you have horse experience, albeit many years ago. That experience will help you better understand all those videos. I have had horses most of my life and have learned a lot from various clinicians including Clinton Anderson, Julie Goodnight, Craig Cameron and others. One is never to old to learn a better way.

    Good luck to, and above all stay safe.
         
        01-01-2014, 11:50 PM
      #10
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by franknbeans    
    OP=keep in mind that videos are great, but it is very easy to have the wrong body position or something slightly off and your horse may not react like the ones in the video. There is NO replacement for a real person. Sorry-but there isn't. Period.

    One of your horses kicked you, and you are talking in the same paragraph about a 7 yr old riding. That concerns me.
    Thanks.. Yes, the kick was a surprise today and the younger kids will not be around them until we have worked with them more. One thing I noticed was yesterday, while the same mare was eating her feed, she kicked out behind her and nothing was there. I was watching from my truck a few feet away in front of her. She didn't seem upset when she kicked then and she didn't seem upset when she kicked today. She just sort of picked up her foot and tossed it back. It seemed very random. So I'm wondering if maybe this is a reaction to pain in the hoof or anything else? I don't know why she would just be standing there and randomly pick up her foot and kick back, not even aiming at anything. Nothing was behind her yesterday when she did this. Also, the other mare keeps picking up her front right leg and holding it up while she eats. She does this once or twice while eating. Is something going on or is this normal? She doesn't do it any other time, only when eating (that I've noticed).. Should I have a farrier come out sooner than next week?

    Also, wanted to mention, one of my daughters is taking riding lessons right now. We are doing one child at a time starting with the older ones. I know how to ride because I grew up with horses and rode barrels in playdays, etc. but like I said, I'm a little rusty and could use some refreshing on a few things. I've been paying close attention to my daughter's riding lessons.
         

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