30 and first horse
Hi! My husband and I recently bought our farm and started our dream of getting our own horses. He first bought Buddy a 7 year old appaloosa who is attention hungry sweet boy but Is in Training for he is green. Then I bought myself a 17 year old appaloosa mare who was a lead line horse for children. So my questions are: since I have gotten etta I have not ridden her due to flies and heat being so bad its been about three weeks since having her can this make her not want to work when I'm th en ready to? Also I have a lot of anxiety I'm trying to get over wi th working around her due to falling off years ago and now being a mother. So I go to visit her everyday brush her talk to her and give her treats. She now comes when I call her greets me everyday in run in shed but she scares me when I'm I the pasture and she walks real fast toward me so I end up getting out of the fence fast and then that scares her. How can I know she is safely approaching me. She is not aggressive at all I know its me and my own fear but do I step in front of her and say whoa? I am very green yet and will be the first to admit I am a horse dummy but I have been reading and reading and everydayy I bisit these beauties and can tell they are bonding with me ( I hope haha)..but any suggestions would be great. Thanks!
Although it's not the ideal situation, you definitely learn as you go. I had ridden for 10 years, but after getting my first horse in February, I've learned more in 5 months than I did in those 10 years. If she is only walking towards you, I highly doubt it is aggressive. When horses are pissed, they rarely walk. You really need to get more confident around them, they know when to take advantage!
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Learning as you go can be done, as long as you keep a few basic variables in mind as you go. I was in my mid/late 30's when I got my first horse and never even ridden as a child. I got into it by accident with my kids taking lessons etc.
ALWAYS remember, no matter how well-trained your horse is, how loving it is or how long you have it.....they are PREY animals. This means always keeping in mind how it may react to things, even if you have never seen it react badly before. It also means that they are always looking for a herd leader as a part of their survival. This means to you: Do NOT spoil them with treats and huggy wuggy stuff until it is earned and you are being respected by them as their herd leader. You also have to earn that spot in the herd by being firm and fair. There are tons of threads on here talking about this. Once you are a respected herd leader and maintain that stance ALWAYS....you will be fine.
If your horse is running at you to the point that they would run over you, they are not respecting you....they are trying to see if they can be pushy and take advantage of you and still get a treat.
Hi!..thanks for some of the advice. This is definitly a learning experience one that challenges me but one I am willing to learn. Etta has never ran at me but walks real fast toward me ears up. I do try not to give hugs or hang on her but I do pat her and give her an occasional treat. The previous owner is willing to help me and get me comfotable with her..she has been a true blessing. But she has been busy and etta hasnt been worked with in saddle. Buddy and etta are in seperate pastures that are side by side I had them both following with no treats down the middle pasture with just gand gestures which I thought was a good sign they look at me as a leader??? I guess the other question is that my husbands horse is more bonded to me because he lets me put on his fky mask and fly spray snd not my husband but this makes me feel guilty then that I pay more attention to eyta. Is it possible to be dominant to both horses? But then what about my husband?
Chlee....you should be a herd leader with EVERY horse. The rules apply to all of them whenever they are with you. All humans should be leaders...it's when they don't that you get in trouble. However, each horse is an individual and may need different handling to establish this.
You shouldn't feel guilty. I have two horses. I love both of them. They both know when I'm with them whether it's one of them or both together, that I am the leader....always. They have their own relationship and pecking order among themselves...but it doesn't matter....when they are with me, all that ends and they look to me.
Once you get the hang of it, the lesson never ends....it's just the way you always handle and act with your horses without even thinking.
Just try to be brave. If the horse is not showing signs of aggressiveness (like the ears being flat on the head) then there is nothing to worry. I myself was a green rider with a green horse a couple years back. Melanie Sue Bowles, the author of The Horses of Proud Spirit knew close to nothing about horses when she first got one, but that one horse evolved into 30 or so rescue horses. She proved that anyone can become a knowledgeable horse person if they try:).
I definitely agree with those who said that you need to get your confidence up and not be afraid. Horses can sense if you're afraid and they will react to that. I recently got my first horse in my adult life at the age of 39. I hadn't owned a horse since I was 17. I was surprised at how much fear I had because when I was younger, I was fearless! I hired a trainer to work with me on everything from care, grooming (picking up the feet, etc.), groundwork, respect, giving medicine, etc. There are people at my barn willing to help me anytime but I found that I really needed a consistent refresher a couple times a week rather than having to ask for help every time a question or issue came up. This has been amazing for my confidence and I've gone from feeling clumsy and green to feeling confident. Still green, but not afraid. :) If I can get there, you can! :D
My suggestion would be, if you can afford boarding one horse, try and find a barn where the people will help you learn about horses, handling etc. If you can't board, find one that will let you volunteer.
You have sort of put the cart before the horse - getting the experience first and then buying a horse would have been ideal. Not trying to criticize you, it just works a little easier if you can get hands on experience before owning one. It also helps you see where you abilities will go so when you do buy, you can buy one that fits your needs better. If you turned out to be a really talented rider, you may out grow both your horses.
If she intimidates you right now, can you stand outside the pasture gate, have her come to you and stop, then halter her and handle her that way. The more you handle her feeling safe, the more your confidence will grow. I would try and avoid situations that make you nervous or scared because she will pick up on that. Depending on her temperament, she may either get bossy with you which can be dangerous, or become nervous in your presence which will only intimidate you more.
But having someone knowledgeable around whether it's with your own horses, or at a barn will be a tremendous help. We all had to learn to be around horses in the beginning, so you're not alone there. I worked at a boarding barn doing weekend barn chores. At the start I had the manager or someone with me, then I did it all alone, but it helped me be comfortable and learn to start "reading" each horses behavior and how to handle their many different personalities/temperaments.
Ears up and walking toward you quick or not is not a threatening move for a horse. Most horses don't want to step on people or run them over. I think she is just walking up to you to greet you and see if you have a treat. She sounds like a nice horse. She wouldn't have made it to 17 if she wasn't.
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