New Owner; 23 month old Horse & 9yr old tips?
Hello, I have enjoyed reading over the many threads here.
I recently acquired two horses.
One is a 9 year old horse and one is a 23 month old.
For the last 3 months they have only been eating what little grass that the owners had. They moved 3 months ago to a place that didnt have land so these horses were there with little to no interaction including a steady diet.
I was told the 9 year old was very friendly and could be ridden. Got them on Saturday and spent all day Saturday and Sunday just getting to know them and spending time with them. Today I put a saddle on him and rode him. He did pretty good for 20 min or so. Mostly slow walking with a trot now and then. I noticed him sweating and he was acting sluggish. He then stopped and would not move an inch. I didnt want him to think that was okay so I got off of him and lead him around a short distance before taking the saddle off and letting him do his own thing.
I am no horseman yet but to me he looked tired. I assume he is out of shape and underfed. My question for this horse is how do I properly get him back in shape?
The 23 month old horse is a very curious guy who on Saturday would barely even come by us. Now he will come up to me with a little help of a hand full of feed. He seems to be trusting us more and more each time we are outside by him. I know he is much too young to even think about getting on him. My question for this little guy is; Are there things I can do with him to build a good relationship with this little fellow while at the same time teach him things to help me and him in the future?
He has such a beautiful trot when he does so. He spooks now and then and will trot off and looks great while doing so.
I am not familiar with all of the horse terms but learning as I go.
I have been reading over the thread here and most are very helpful.
Being a new horse owner, I want make sure I am doing what is right for the horse.
Thank you for any tips and info.
The 23 month old is not really too young for some light riding, but there is tons of work to be done before he is to that point so with him I would just start with the basics. Lots of groundwork. Leading, tying, eventually ground driving, etc. Once he is used to those things you can even pony him along when you ride the other horse. Kill two birds with one stone, and train/exercise them both at the same time.
Your other horse is more than likely fatigued from the lack of a proper diet and lack of exercise. Its usually best to be sure that a horse is healthy and sound before doing too much riding/training. Trying to work an out of shape horse is like asking an ethiopian child to run a marathon... the result isn't desirable. With him I would concentrate on getting him started towards a healthy diet/weight and start a little slower with the exercise. Short lunging exercises and possibly short rides but nothing that will interfere with him regaining his health.
Sounds like you want the best for the horses and that is awesome! You'll do fine, just use common sense and everything will work out.
Thanks for the pointers. I def. want the best for these guys. I know for sure that the last 3 months have not been their best months thanks to the previous owners. That is how long they have been moved. I dont know if they were more in tune with them before then though.
Being a first time horse owner, I just want to be heading in the right direction for these two horses so that they will be healthy and happy.
Next week I have a vet coming out for a general check up and I am sure he will have some suggestions also.
Yes, your vet can point you in the right direction as far as their health care needs and can suggest a suitable diet accordingly. Since they have had a rough few months I would get a farrier out as well, just to be sure everything is good in that department as well.
The 23 month old may be a bit much, starting a colt can be tricky, but the basics need to be taught regardless. You might want to enlist the help of a trainer, or at least familiarize yourself with one in case you hit a snag and need a different perspective or a tip or two! :)
If you have not already done so, have both horses checked out by a veterinarian. Having blood work done can tell you if there are any underlying health issues (besides poor nutrition and lack of exercise) that could be affecting either or both of your horses. Have your vet give them both a dental exam to ensure they have no problems with their teeth or jaw.
Consult with an equine nutritionist to ensure both horses are getting adequate nutrition. The younger one is still growing and may need a slightly different diet than the older one. Your local feed supplier/company should be able to put you in contact with a nutritionist. If they work for the feed company, there is usually no charge for a consult.
Start both horses out with ground work to build muscle strength before riding them. When riding the 9 year old, I would start with no more than 15 minutes of riding and only at the walk. I would gradually build that up by about 5 minutes each ride and only be working him 3-4 times per week initially. Get help from an experienced trainer. If you don't live near a trainer, there are some who offer online consultations and/or video lessons.
Here are some books that are also good resources: The Complete Horse Care Manual; Horse Owner's Veterinary Handbook; Stable Keeping: A Visual Guide to Safe & Healthy Horse Keeping; The Horse Nutrition Handbook. All are available on Amazon.com
I have a 20month old gelding, so I know what its like to have to try to find things for you to do with him. But honestly, there is a lot you can do before you start riding! Getting his respect, and teaching him manners should be your number 1 goal for the time being.
Get him used to pressure, used to picking his feet up, brushing him, and touching him wherever you want to without a response. Get him to do ground work, such as moving from pressure, giving to pressure, going over tarps, ground poles, getting used to "scary things" such as flags, bikes, dogs, cars, tractors, ect, ect.
It will be quite a bit of work, but it is VERY rewarding, and a definite confidence booster!! Just take it one day at a time, and do simple things, keep it short until you both get the hang of things.
As for the 9 year old, if it were me, Id do the same thing with the 23 month old colt. Just take it one day at a time. It should, go much faster with him, granted hes done it before, if not it may take a little longer. Getting respect from the ground will dramatically help things when you get up in the saddle, on either horse!
Good Luck, keep us updated, and Id love to see pics of them!
I was told the Colt was 23 months but if it can be told by looking at him that he is older/younger please let me know.
They were started on a worm regiment so hopefully we can get them looking and feeling good again. I dont see how someone could just let these horses just fend for themselves for 3 months or so. Could be longer.....who knows. Im just glad they can be loved now possibly love us back.
Farrier will be sched for after Christmas sometime. Their bottoms look okay but they do need to be done.
Heehee love the colt he looks devious lol! Good luck with them both, they are lucky you got them =)
Good to hear that you've started them on a worming routine. Looks like they need it, along with the "groceries". I'm thinking the young one is possibly younger than 23 months. Unless he's a pony. Is he gelded yet? That would be a super thing to do if he's not. Have fun with these boys. Remember...baby steps. :)
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