Prepping A Horse For A Green Rider
I am starting a friend's horse, and while so far it is going very well, I'm not sure about where I should let her step in. She has horses of her own, but was never much into horsemanship and riding as much as I was. She says she is much better at riding than she is ground work, and has the idea she will be doing most of the riding, but I have seen her ride some of my well broke horses and she doesn't entirely know what she is doing. I have one mare that she rode that I told her neck reins and has a very sensitive mouth, and you have to ride her with loose reins. She kept trying to balance off of her mouth and couldn't really control her seat, and with the attention to detail it takes to ride a green horse I'm not convinced throwing her on him is the best thing to do. (I am big into safety with horses, so even if she wanted to claw her way onto him, as long as he is on my property we aren't doing any sort of rodeo and hoping for the best.)
Even while he is her horse, he definitely has much more trust in me. He is familiar with her, but I don't think he would really let her do some of the things I can get him to do. She is one of those people who doesn't realize how little she knows, and sort of feigns knowledge and says things that are about forty feet from the truth. She is learning and getting better, but is still pretty close minded. She also rarely went out into the pasture with him, and when she did never put a halter on him to work with him. (She'd touch his legs and he'd be able to just walk away if he didn't like it, one time she decided to vault of the round bale and sit on him long enough to get a picture, then he trotted away.)
I'm not being paid, so this really isn't a matter of getting a horse trained for a client and I have to hand him over and hope for the best. I just have to say I am much better at teaching horses than I am people, as horses are usually much more open minded. I'm just curious what other people would do in this situation. Honestly, I think she is a little scared. She is a big talker, but when working with him she is very tentative and doesn't give him what-for even if he walks all over. If I am working with him, however, she doesn't hesitate to chime in. (I've got lots of "Don't you have to do that on both sides?" and "He is walking away!" when I was the one who taught her the concepts of working both sides of the brain and controlling their feet.) Her timing isn't the greatest, either, and he can get away with a lot. When I told her that I would probably be the first one getting on him, she didn't take it too hard, despite talking about how bad she's been wanting to start riding.
So what are other's takes on this? Should I get him started then start giving her lessons with him, or get him started and get her riding some of my other horses as confidence builders? I know she isn't going to take lessons elsewhere, and know that she sees what I've done with her horse and how far he has come, she's started listening to me a lot better. Being someone who at age ten was put on a young, green horse, he taught me lots of things, but I learned them the hard way. (Broken bones, bruises, trips to the hospital I could've used without.) But then I see people who never get to ride 'problem' horses (aka. anything that isn't push-button), and when they do their timing is just off. I just don't want to wreck either of them, and training the horse is the easiest part of the whole endeavor. I've trained horses before, but they were always my own. I've never had to train someone to ride it. (At least not anyone who is willing to listen to me and improve.)
Three hours later... :? If you got this far you are just fabulous! Any help would be wonderful, and thank everyone in advance.
Having "been there, done that" with a green rider (me) and a green horse, most definitly put a novice rider on a well seasoned horse. Let the novice find their balance and learn that their hands are for communicating not balancing. Nothing will upset a green horse faster than someone who is bouncing around like a B B in a boxcar and hanging on the horses mouth to try and stay on.
Since it's her horse, you're pretty limited in what you can actually do. To be honest, I don't think I'd want to be involved, especially since you are her friend. If things don't go well, will she blame you? If the situation really is as you describe it, I can't seen any good come of her trying to ride a green horse.
Would she sell the horse to a more experienced rider if you gave her your honest opinion?
I'm curious to know that others will have to say about this.
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