The blind leading the blind.......
I decided long ago, when I saw how Salem was able to break through to ppl afraid of horses, that I wanted to use him to give lessons to kids from the city areas, the ones who never see horses, dont have the opportunity to get around them. Salem has AMAZING patience for his age and is super friendly and lovey-its just too hard to push him away lol But Im no trainer. I just want to teach them the basics and give them the chance to be a part of this life. Salem is no lesson horse. I broke him myself under the guidence of a trainer and hes only been riden by other ppl maybe 15 times in the two years Ive been riding him.The only ones who could make him go around like I do are girls who trained under the same trainer as me, leading me to think he doesnt understand or else chooses not to respond to cues and riders that arent exactly like me and mine. So when my lesson girl gets on Salem, its mostly her fighting just to make him move and listen.
On one side, I figure being riden by different ppl, being made to work through his reluctance, will teach him to be more accepting of all different kinds of riders. On the other hand, what if all these weird cues and random kicking, having someone pulling his face while kicking him to move, eventualy make him frustrated and mean?
Sounds like this isn't a good horse for lessons yet. This horse has no idea what you want sounds like he needs more work on being more supple to the bit legs cues and respect work. Horses do get used to a certain training style but that that's why I usually try to teach my horses more than one way to do something. The reason he is getting upset could be a mixture of respect problems, inexperienced riders pulling too hard and the horse not understanding the cues given. This can upset the horse of course if he isn't understanding the situation. I think if you want to let inexperienced riders ride you horse you either need to get a different horse or take that horse to a professional trainer. The way you explain it almost makes this horse sound green. I think you are taking a huge liability putting inexperienced riders on this horse. I wish I could see in person what your discribing to tell you for certain what is happening. Please be careful hope you get everything worked out.
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My mare was accustomed to my long legs and where my calf muscles would request a lope or canter. A petite gal wanted to take her to a nearby show for two classes to I worked with her every evening for about 5 lessons. Everything else was coming together except the canter, because of her much shorter legs. We did get it together in time for the show but this is what your horse is going thro, all kinds of mixed signals he doesn't understand.
He hasnt gotten angry yet, Im just worried he might someday. The reason I believe he will be good at this is because he doesnt get angry, he is just not that horse. He pretty much just ignores the rider and looks around at things he finds interesting. A respect issue mostly. And hes really far from green broke I think. He walk, trot canters really nicely, leg yeilds- sidepass, pivot, bends, will go most anywhere you ask, not spooky. Perfect example- he incountered his first close-up with a train while we were out road riding one day. He was petrified. There was open field on either side of us and I knew all he wanted was to bolt. His whole body was trembling and part of me thought "get down stupid, while its still an option" but part of me said "ride it out". So I did, waiting for him to begin bucking and rearing when all I allowed him was a small circle of movement. He screamed at the top of his little lungs, shook like he would explode- but never even tried to dump me.I trust him. And I dont have any other horses to do this with. I have my Salem, my one horse, my other half and I just want to do some good with him.
IMO he needs to be trained better before becoming a lesson horse.
How do you expect these kids to learn to have soft hands and just generally be a quiet rider when they are on a horse that forces them to be otherwise?
When I worked at that cutting barn, I had many lessons under the trainer/bo.. one of the things he used to say that really stuck with me was that he was "lucky enough to have been able to learn on some great and willing horses" and that he owed his success to those horses because he then knew what he could expect from a good horse - if that makes sence. he put it so much more eloquently..
If you have to automatically fight with a horse to get him to do what you want then you will apply that thinking to other horses IMO,. And that does a disservice to both rider and horses of future rider.
Ok I'm glad he isn't green I guess the way I read it painted a different picture at first. So then he just need more training and more hours under the saddle and work on his respect a bit. It sounds like he could become a great lesson horse but like I said I don't think he is ready for that. The horse I give lessons on it doesn't matter to him if the rider is just starting out or if the person is experienced he still does what he is asked to do. So work on getting your horse more supple to the bit and get him paying attention to the human. Good luck with him :-D
I teach beginners & fear riders. I've found the most important trait in a horse for those riders is the ability to listen to the instructor who is on the ground regardless of what the student is doing. I can 'ride' mine even from across the arena.
Beginners have to learn by small steps. Expecting them control the horse as they are learning to control the horse can be too much all at once.
If I were you I would keep the horse on a lunge line or lead, give the riders reins on a halter & work on balance & simple left/right/stop cues to start. You controlling the horse the whole time so he doesn't get confused.
That's a nice thing you're doing.
Ditto to what others have said.
A lesson horse needs to be well-trained and respectful, and know what is expected of them. Not every horse is a lesson horse.
It does not sound to me like your horse would make a good lesson horse at this time. (Doesn't mean he couldn't be in a long time down the road.) How frustrated and discouraged do you think a young rider would be if they can't ever get the horse to walk and/or can't get the horse to neck rein where they want? You'll kill their passion to ride a horse before it even starts. They've got to be a on a horse that can build their confidence, help them learn, and be fun to ride.
I really admire you for your good intentions but I can also sense an accident waiting to happen here. I've worked in riding schools and the ideal beginner horses were dead broke, patient unflappable forgiving sorts - boring to an experienced rider but worth their weight in gold for a beginner who is going to just get it all wrong and give off all sorts of tension and nervous vibes
I dont think you're being fair to your lovely horse or to any kids you would put on him
Even our sons well broke and schooled horse didn't react well to a young woman who could ride but wasn't used to the UK english style she was familiar with - she didnt go crazy or anything she just got confused and that made her nervous. The same woman got on out laid back Irish Draft mare and mistook my 'she needs a bit more leg than the other mare' for give her a real good kick - I have never seen her canter off from a standstill at that speed before. Scared herself I think as much as the rider
Good luck but please take great care
Appreciate the feedback :)
I was thinking it might help her get her riding together faster because when the cues are executed properly, he goes right along. He is lazy but its not often he refuses to work for me.
I make sure she pays attention to be soft on his face and ask nicely first,always. But I wondered if this was an Inexpirienced thing, a respect thing, permanent issue. And what I could do to help him along.
We do the lunge line every week to start so she can work on balance and on a lunge line, Salem is Captain Voice Commands. He is impeccable on the lunge line lol
How do I teach him to accept commands other than my own?
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