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SnowCowgirl 02-24-2013 08:01 PM

Diva and Atlas's training thread
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You know you have no horsey friends when... you don't have anyone to talk to about training progress, so you make a thread about it on a horse forum!

I'm creating this thread to track the progress of Diva and Atlas as I work toward starting them under saddle :)

Some (brief) History:

Diva and Atlas were given to my sister and I as part of a horse trade in late summer of 2010. They were supposedly around 2 years old.

They both came straight off the range and had never been touched or been around people. So far as I know, their sire was a purebred Paint (never woulda guessed eh? lol). We got a halter on them once or twice by using a squeeze but then I had to go back to college and my sister sort of began to grow away from the horse thing and so they were both put out with our working string and weren't touched for the winter. The following spring Diva surprised us with a foal (Aero), and due to work/life obligations neither horse got much work again. I was away most of the time, and my sister felt that the horses were too much for her to handle what with the fact that they were completely un-used to humans and were approaching full grown (I don't blame her!).

and so....

Fast forward to this winter - I was away for yet another summer, and am finally just now back home again. So here I am with two four year olds who are still just halter broke (that is, if you can catch them... they'll come up and very quickly sneak oats out of a bucket in your hand, but the most you can do is very quickly touch them on the nose). My plans have me potentially leaving again this summer and I absolutely cannot let these two sit another year. I'm embarrassed enough as it is! :hide:

I work a job currently where I'm home for 2 weeks at a time and then gone for 2 weeks. Last time I was home I brought them both in (a pretty major ordeal when dealing with 25 gassed up horses in the midst of their winter vacation! takes some skillful sorting) and worked with them for a couple days. Using the squeeze, I spent a lot of time just petting and scratching before getting them both haltered. Spent time leading and tying them - they both lead alright and get better each time. Diva learned quickly that it's useless to pull back and I have actually walked up and caught her in the roundpen (had to leave a halter on to do that though and it took a while for sure), but Atlas has a lot more attitude. Then it it got down to -40 for a week so I turned them back out lol.

Here are some pictures for introduction. Meet the (crazy) pinto pair!

Atlas is the sorrel and white, Diva is the bay and white, and Aero is the bay foal. The bay mare with the blaze is my River :)

SnowCowgirl 02-24-2013 08:17 PM

I should mention that I've had horses my entire life, and have started four from the ground up, along with riding many greenies. However, this will be the first time starting with a horse who hasn't been handled much.

Diva is a sweetheart. She'll be very tense and unsure, but never throws a big fit about anything. She's leading quite well, is getting better at standing tied, and like I said I can (after a couple days of using the squeeze) catch her in the roundpen so long as she has a halter on.

Atlas is another issue - he's a gate basher (has managed to break the chains on our metal gates a couple of times so he thinks now that he can get through. He'll try to muscle through them. He's also tried to jump gates or duck under them. Plus, he doesn't have a whole lot of respect for people - he'll push by if you're trying to block his way and he's worked up about something. I was round-penning him the other day and he doesn't respond (move away) from body language at ALL so out came the longe whip and plastic bag.... and so began the kicking. And by kicking, it's pretty impressive kicking. His major goal is for sure going to be gaining some respect. I am being very careful and always have someone with me when I'm working with him. I got a glancing blow to the head from a colt's flying hind feet a few years back and learned my lesson then.

My goals are to, by spring, have both horses to the point where you can (#1!!!!!) catch them, lead and tie, pick up all feet, load/trailer, and at the very least be able to pack them. I'd love to have both ground driving and started under saddle but I will settle with being able to pack them and head off through the bush without packs flying everywhere.

I'm back home tomorrow and will run them in either then or Tuesday :)

LisaG 02-24-2013 08:51 PM

Is Atlas gelded, by any chance? It seems strange that he'd have that much attitude if he hasn't been handled much.

Good luck!

SnowCowgirl 02-24-2013 11:13 PM

yes he is, he was gelded as a 2 y/o actually. I've not met many horses who have an attitude like this right off the bat with no real reason, so it'll be interesting to see how things pan out.

Saddlebag 02-24-2013 11:56 PM

If he's never seen a plastic bag he has no idea of what kind of predator it is and he's reacting in a normal way. He's fighting back before it gets him. Nothing to do with lack of respect for you. Why not put him in the pen and just watch him for about 10 min with you outside the pen. Then go in and just stand in the middle. Don't ask him to do anything. If he looks at you turn your back to him and look at your feet. Altho you may not see it he'll be working his tongue as all pressure is off him. It's ok to sneak a quick peak. If he is standing quietly, leave the pen.Stay out for a few minutes. If he's quiet, enter and go to the middle again. This time make a kiss sound and raise the arm closest to his hip and flap your hand up and down. If he moves a few feet, turn your back for half a minute then ask again. I think to progress with this horse you have to keep an open mind and not think about how much you need to accomplish by a certain date. Teach him in inches and one day he'll put all those inches together.

EquineBovine 04-23-2013 09:51 PM

Just interested to see how this is going? Beautiful horses btw :)

SnowCowgirl 04-24-2013 08:32 PM

Haha wow I sure did a good job of keeping up on this eh?? My life was insanely busy again this winter but got both horses so I could catch them in a round pen. Even got Diva comfortable with handling her feet. Atlas is going to a trainer in a couple days because I just relocated 3000km for work and won't have access to a solid round pen this summer... A must because I really realized he can jump when he jumped out of my arena lol. He is going for 45 days. I've never used a trainer before but like I said, I won't have the facilities to work him, and it's fairly obvious that I've been strapped for time too!

I sold Diva, she left to her new home last week :)
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SnowCowgirl 04-24-2013 08:36 PM

Ah, and both horses load now (Diva threw a huge pout fit the day she left and laid down to avoid getting in... But she did eventually!) atlas hops right in.

Did FINALLY get atlas's feet done too but the farrier tied his hind feet up to do them ( which I'm ok with). He's got a lethal cow kick so that's something we'll need to work on, but I think the problem will be solvable once he is more used to being handled
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EquineBovine 04-24-2013 08:59 PM

Good to hear :) how'd the foal go?

SnowCowgirl 04-24-2013 09:43 PM

Oh she's fine :) she was up for sale too but we had no interest (whoever says colour doesn't sell is oblivious because even though Aero is a dead quiet sweetheart and Diva was nearly uncatchable I got several calls and emails about Diva and none on Aero)

So we're keeping her. She 'll be two this year so my sis will start her lightly then she'll just get another year off to be a baby til sheis 3. I don't think she'll mature past mayyyyyybe 14hh
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