Advice for a new owner?
This might be long.
I am completely new to horses. I've never owned/ridden a horse before these past few months, though I always use to read about them in my childhood.
My aunt and uncle have a goat farm that I spend a majority of my time at, and on that farm they have a Mustang named Comet that was given to them a few years ago. They aren't horse people, he just kind of hangs around with the cows donkeys and llamas(which are no friends of his!).
My aunt and uncle recently told me that Comet was mine to do as I pleased with, and were open to the idea of training him.
Which brings me back to the whole being new thing. I don't know much.
Comet's hooves are finally trimmed and his leg has healed from falling in a hole a few months ago, so I thought I'd start with leading him around. Is this a good starting point? I basically just brush him now. He doesn't really want to move with me, and no matter how many videos I watch on the subject I can't figure out how to make him keep moving more than a step or two. He isn't aggressive at all, just very still. It takes me about an hour to move him half the length of a football field sometimes. I don't give up or get angry. I gently urge him onward and let up when he moves. One time (just one) he started walking with me. That ended pretty quickly.
It's easier now that I've got him away from the llamas, but he still isn't very willing to move with me.
I know that being completely new to horses and attempting to train one is not smart, but there aren't really many options. Any helpful tips or fun facts to get me on the right track? Am I starting at the wrong place?
I don't plan on giving up!
Get some Clinton Anderson books... Horses think differently than any other animal and they need negative re-enforcement to train
Drill this into your head when working with him: MAKE THE RIGHT THING EASY AND THE WRONG THING HARD.
That is your mantra.
If he doesn't walk, pressure him. Swing the rope, tap his butt with it, and get more intense until he walks. When he takes a step - STOP and release all pressure. If he starts walking, apply pressure again.
Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult.
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I have 2 suggestions.
1: Arm yourself with knowledge, read everything watch every video you can find - of course take it ALL with a grain of salt. Watch and read everything, learn the things that ring true, forget the tings that don't. The more you know the better owner you can be.
2: Get a knowledgeable person to teach you. If you can't afford a trainer to help you and your horse specifically here's my best suggestion: Go to a rescue, tell them you want to learn all about training, volunteer there with all your free time. You will learn SO much. Spending time with experienced horse people, even if it's not a lesson you're still learning. You can also discuss with them what you're doing with your horse and get their opinions/ideas on it.
Here's a few VERY helpful links that I've used in my own training and working with my horses:
the first is my favorite, it's all about clicker training, and how to do it properly, so as not to create more problems. I love clicker training as it's simple and Positive!
This one is Clinton Anderson, he uses a Natural horsemanship method. I personally mix much of his methods with Clicker Training, as this helps make things easier for my horse.
This is Pat Parrelli (I'm really not a huge fan of his, but as with most trainers, he has some really great concepts) these games of his are fantastic for new horses - they're also a fun way to bond :)
Horse Training Games - the Friendly Game
Good luck :) Welcome to the forum, we love pics here.
Also, I'm not sure what age you are, but regardless, you're working with a large, potentially dangerous animal (even if he's typically mild mannered) Always make sure someone knows where you are and can check on you regularly when you're with him. Accident's happen, even if he doesn't mean it, horses are large. So make sure someone is able to help in an emergency.
When the horse is doing the correct thing (walking) release all pressure, just be walking with the lead soft. When the horse STOPS apply pressure.
When teaching forward movement I like Gawani Ponyboy's "Horse, Follow Closely" Method.
He stands in front, slightly to one side of the horse (so as not to be in a trampling path in an emergency). Holds a long lead lead attached to the horse, he starts running the line through his hands, gently applying pressure, each time he runs his hands over the line he gradually increases the pressure. The whole time his body language is soft, his shoulders are soft and slightly askew, eyes gently resting on the horse's with a gentle look on his face. When the horse takes even one step forward the pressure is released and a soft word of praise is given. Then repeat until the horse is next to you. Practice this until the horse is walking willingly toward you until you can be walking backwards and the horse will follow unbreaking. Gradually you can turn yourself around and the horse will follow.
I forgot to mention one other fantastic training method "TIME" Spend time with the horse! As much as you can! You don't need to being doing something with him all the time, just take a book out to his paddock and enjoy his company. Spend time fussing on his mane, or brushing him, but not demanding anything of him. Just enjoy your time with him :)
If you are looking for something to watch, Buck Brannaman's 7 Clinic series is my favorite. I've watched Parelli and Clint Anderson's videos and you will pick up some good stuff them.
I think Clint Anderson is a lot easier for non-horse people to understand, but I learned so much from Brannaman plus his videos are cheaper.
Haha! Yes thank you, if he STOPS walking. I'm so tired I barely know where I am!
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I also follow Clinton Anderson, he's easy to understand and does make it easy for anyone to understand his methods.
Search Clinton Anderson on YouTube, I think there are quite a few vids on there of working with horses......also there is a free Downunder Horsemanship TV which also has videos on it to watch, I think they put up a couple new ones on Wednesdays.
I do agree with always letting someone know when you are with the horse.....you never know.....
Good luck and keep us posted on how it's going.....
Hi & welcome, Mac!
Hmm, I know a neglected brumby by the name of Comet! It sounds like you have a good attitude about it all, so that's a very good start!:wink: I second Punk's 1. & 2. suggestions, strongly. You can never learn too much & it tends to be WAY easier to learn with hands-on help rather than just doing it alone with vids & books:wink: As for books & vids though, I still reckon Pat Parelli's book & '7 Games' is great for getting the principles & basic practices across to newbies. But your post raises a number of relevant questions...
I presume his feet had been neglected for a long time by your comment? Was he lame or uncomfortable at all on them? Did/does he run, or at least move about much in the paddock? What happened to his leg when he fell in the hole? How long ago was that? I ask all those questions, because it sounds entirely possible that his 'behavioural' problem is not you, but that he's still hurting. While it could be purely behavioural, rule out or treat any physical issues first.
His feet were neglected for longer than they should have been and he seemed uncomfortable on them but still managed to cover a large distance. He moves around a lot more now. I am not completely sure what happened when he fell as it was in the huge pasture but he seems to be doing well now and it has been over 4 months at least.
My uncle is going to get a guy he knows to come out, so I might have an onsite mentor soon!
Thank you for the links!
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