Starting New Horses
This weekend, a friend (a trainer) and i are starting a few horses under saddle. There wil be 4 of them, and we'll each be working on 2. Niether of the ones im working with are young, one is 5ish, 15hh quarter horse and halter broke only, and the other is a 16.3 draft cross trained to drive.
I know my friend will be helping me through everything, but are there any general tips i could get? This will be my first time starting a horse and im so excited to be learning something new!
Hailey, I really really don't want to sound nasty here, but I'm afraid I wont word it right.....
If you ae coming onto a message board asking advice, then I don't think you are ready to be starting anything.....sorry but there is so much to starting a horse under saddle, and you can't possibly learn what you need to here, so my one and only tip is STAY SAFE.
I also have to ask, if your friend is a trainer I hope that these aren't horses that she is being paid to start. Only asking because I'm very nervously getting ready to send Ben out for training, and I would be p1ssed beyond all belief if I found that he was being worked on by someone with no experience, I could save my money and muddle through myself.
Again I really don't mean to be harsh, but this subject is kind of important to me right now.
I guess i should give a little information.
I worked all last summer at a camp in the Rockies. They rescue horses, then train them, as well have several broke horses for the campers.
The girl thats helping owns the ranch, and starts and trains all the horses herself. Ive known her for quite a few years now, and she trusts me to help her with these horses. I rode a lot of the green broke ones for here while i was working there. Im not going to be working alone, she'll be with me the entire time.
Everyone needs to start somewhere, so she is going to be teaching me. I just want some general tips and advice, not instructions on how to step by step start a horse :)
Again - as was mentioned previously - if you need to come on a chat board to solicit advice - are you ready? You are not asking a specific question as to how someone else may have resolved an issue.
Truly - you have no idea what any of us know or don't know.
Not sure exactly what you are asking, you may be opening your self up to responses you dont want. Here are a few very general tips I've learned
-slowly, with calmness and patience.
-Make small goals you know you can reach
-Never pick a fight, especially one you cant win
-ALWAYS end on a good note
-Let the individual horse dictate what you work on, how long you work and how fast you progress.
-Never act in anger
-EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. Just because the horse has been riding like an old broke plough horse for 30 days doesnt mean he wont become the worlds best rodeo bronc when the dog jumps out of the bush. green horses are unpredictable
-Be humble. If the horse isn't progressing or is acting out, its probably your fault. Talk to, read and watch as many experienced horsemen as you can.
How will you be starting the horses, in the round pen? Will you be workin them for a hours on ground manners and such or are you just stepping up? Fill me in on your method and I will throw you some tips. I throughly enjoy starting colts and I like to see it done right the first time. Nothing better than getting a horse to accept a rider and be willing to do what we ask.
Thank you BlueSpark! Those are exactly the kinds of tips im looking for!
Wallee, yes i will be starting them in the round pen. Grit, the one who is broke to drive, has perfect ground manners, ive worked with him before, and driven him a few times. He's an angel. He's been saddled, and sat on, but thats it. I am going to take a few steps back, and start by re-introducing him to the saddle and going from there.
Cooper, is the other one. He is a little shy, and hasnt been handled much. My goal for him for the weekend is just to get him confortable with a saddle on. I'm only there for the weekend, and i dont want to push things too fast!
I'd say one of the most important things with starting a horse is consistency. You want your cues and your reinforcements to be consistent so that the horse doesn't get confused. You also don't wanna let them get away with something sometimes but then reprimand them other times... they simply won't learn what they are doing wrong.
Some things to work on would be different types of reins, beginning with direct rein (teaching them to "follow their nose"), progressing to indirect rein (neck rein), and also indirect rein of opposition (important for lifting/getting control of their shoulder.) You want them to be as supple as possible, so doing things like hipping in, two tracking, counter arching circles, bridling up, etc are great things to work on to get control of each part of their body. This should all be done over time, not all at once.
I dont think i'll get a chance to work on neck reining, not on these two at least. But the circle idea is great, thanks Aggie Girl!
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