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Trail horse to english
I've recently bought an 8 year old QH gelding. He's only a trail horse and he is a kid ones so he is pretty much slow and easy which my children need. But the problem is I want to ride him english and maybe jump a little but he never really has to canter and doesn't know the cues and doesnt really pay attention to kicks.I'm not sure how to start teaching him cues or the correct lead. He also doesn't like contact in his mouth how would I get him used to that?
Have you checked his teeth? Maybe he needs a different bit?
Start off slow and work on basics a lot, maybe look at getting a trainer's opinion too.
I would suggest you need a trainer to help you, and you need to get his teeth checked. I have just spent the last 2 years retraining a trail horse who had never done ring work. I retrained him western which took longer than English should, because of the neck reining, and my english background, so I was learning too. Some of your retraining will depend on the horses personality-mine was also a kid safe head to tail type trail horse-very safe for beginners on the trail-but-when we started to actually ask him to DO something, different story, and he became resistant. Remember, retraining takes more time than training in the first place, so be patient, and like I said-get a trainer to help you.
Sorry to ask, but how experienced you riding english? If you don't have that much of experience, and never worked with knowing nothing horse I'd suggest to go to the trainer (preferably dressage one), so both of you could progress together.
P.S. You absolutely can switch to English with the trail horse that knows nothing. Both my horses (qh and paint) were trail riding mostly with no formal training. Then I decided to go into English riding, started lessons with the very good dressage instructor, and the changes were noticeable already in 2-3 months (mind you I knew nothing about cues and all when I started :-) ). After 7 months of lessons with my qh we also started showing dressage on low levels. So yes, it's possible!
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