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mellmeme 11-07-2012 02:34 AM

My First Horse! Picture Heavy! everyone!

My name is Melanie, I am an overweight teenager (15). (Not reveling that yet) I have been riding for around 2 years of consistent riding, and 3 years of riding in all.
I have been in love with a paint mare for around 2 years. Before I bought her she was being kept at a barn close enough that I could bike to it in around 20 minutes. She was pretty much my therapy horse. She was there for me ever time I needed her. After 2 long years of waiting and being scared half to death that when I got there one day she would not be there, I had the privilege of buying her.
I didn't realize how much work she needed before I bought her. When I first moved her she did not have respect for people, and terrible ground-manners. Now that I have been working with her she has improved A LOT since I bought her around 2 months ago. Where she was before I could not take her out of the pasture that she was in, so I never really got the chance to work with her. Now I take her out all the time into the field - Which I won't be able to do this winter. :( She had not been ridden since a little bit before I started going to see her. She accepted the saddle, saddle pad, bit, and bridle EXTREMELY well! I actually got on her back last week which a lot of people would say that I should not have.

She is a 15h Quarter Horse Paint. She is around 800-900 pounds, and is 17 years young.

Well I'm done with my rant now on the the questions.

1. What tips for groundwork and respect do you guys have that you could give me!
2. What would you do to retrain a horse for riding?
3. Am I to large for her?
4.Weight loss tips from one rider to another!

Barrelhorseluver 11-07-2012 02:44 AM

Do sit ups every day ! I do that and im fit u can also ride english thats a good work out but because ur horse isnt saddle broke yet i would go for a jog... No ur not tooo big for her! She does need to gain some weight though. Try feeding her step 6 it puts fat on real easy! To give her good ground manners let her get away with nothing! If u said no it means no and than make her do what u wanted! Do lots of lungeing and get her used to have weight in her saddle by straping on sand bags! Also try driving her to get her used to the bit!
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Tracer 11-07-2012 06:23 AM

You can kill two birds with one stone here.

Take your mare walking with you. Get her to move through gaits with you (you walk, she walks, you jog, she trots, you run, she canters). If she's pushy, this is a great time to work on it. It'll also help build some muscle, which I think she needs more than weight. Make whatever you do with her as physical as possible. Do weights with your saddle to get your pulse going. Walk around the pasture to check the fences each day. You'll find yourself a lot more motivated if your exercise is something that you can do with your horse.

As for getting her back under saddle, I'd recommend getting an experienced rider out to get on and see what she remembers. A lot of horses can still be okay even after being left for a while, so chances are she might just need some refreshers and time to get back into the swing of working.

I think you look like a good size for her. Getting muscle on her will be important before any big rides though, so do a lot of lunge work.

Randella 11-07-2012 09:24 AM

She's beautiful! Looks just like my friend's horse :)

For the respect/bringing back into work situation, round pen sessions seem like they'd be a good place to start. It'll give you a chance to put her through some mild exercise, and bond with her even more. I also strongly agree with the suggestion of having a more experienced rider come out and make sure all her brains are still there. Sometimes horses lose them over time lol.

I don't think you're too heavy for her, she looks like she's got a nice solid build to her :)

Try not to think of it as "weight loss" either. Think of it as getting healthier. There's a lot more to it then just losing weight! You can weigh a little more, and still be a more fit rider than a "skinny" person. It's all about the quality of your riding, and your fitness level :)

As for exercises, try starting out on YouTube. There's great yoga routines on there for getting into a work out routine. Also, a barn habit I've picked up from a "skinny" rider friend, is carrying a bucket of water around with me while I'm at the barn (walking too and from paddocks, graining, mucking - stored outside the stall while actual mucking is taking place, watering, checking fences, trips to the mailbox, hand walking some of our senior horses etc). When I started, I only filled it up about half way, but have been gradually adding more; obviously, not safe to do while riding :p

Congratulations on your gorgeous new mare, and please keep us posted on your progress! :)

FBody355 11-09-2012 03:49 PM

I'm no help, but she is gorgeous! Congrats!
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deise 11-09-2012 04:04 PM

Have to say this, she looks gorgeous love her face !
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fkcb1988 11-15-2012 06:19 PM

Congrats on the beautiful girl! :)

Leemew 11-16-2012 09:42 PM

I'm not of any help, but I'd like to say that your horse has an adorable face.

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