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RidingBareback 07-07-2009 08:57 PM

Training my own Horse
Okay, I'm starting a novel. Feel free to skip straight to the end.

Today I was bored, so my mom and I went out for a milkshake. On the way home from our milkshake we ran into an old friend of the family. He asked us how we were, and we told him how we had been looking for horses for sale-- paying $2500 for them. He looked appalled and told us how he wouldn't pay more than $300 for any horse. He told us how he had a whole heard of gentle horses and how there was one he would get rid of named Romeo. Why? Because he was "too gentle". So, we got in his pickup and rode over to his pasture. Our friend told us that Romeo would be the first one to the gate... and sure enough, Romeo was.
He trotted his way up to us and tried to climb into the pickup. I hopped on him bareback. Over the past few days I've checked out three horses. I'd never felt a connection with them. With Romeo, I did. He looked me in the eye so soulfully. He nuzzled me and whispered in my ear, and nibbled my hair. When I was on him bareback and bridle less in a whole sea of his buddies in the pasture, Romeo turned his head around to nudge my foot. I got off and scratched his neck and he threw his head up and down... loving it.
Anyway, our friend filled us in on Romeo.

He is a four year old gelding. He is broke- not afraid of anything, gentle as a lamb... but he isn't trained. He'd been ridden up in the mountains in a pack string, but hadn't been trained. He is the most beautiful chestnut I've ever seen, with a big wide blaze and white socks. Strong and sturdy, too. Supposedly he can out-run his pasture buddies 2 to 1. He's around fifteen hands and a quarter pony.

So, one of these days soon our friend is going to bring Romeo over to our ranch. I'm going to try and train him up. After three weeks I'm going to decide I want to keep him or not. I want this to be a challenge! I'm ready for it. I'm borrowing a neighbors horse to ride right now, so Romeo won't be lonely.

Long story short:

I'm borrowing a horse for three weeks. I may end up buying him. He is totally broken, but not trained. I'm going to train him, but I haven't trained a horse before. He would be my first horse if I bought him. Any tips on how to go about doing so???

He'll be in a corral for the three weeks. He's the kind of horse who LOVES people! How's this for a schedule? I feed him in the morning and groom him, and love him for an hour-- just petting, giving treats, and loving. An hour or two later I lunge him for an hour in a round pen. That evening I lunge him just a little, tack him, get on and try to start him training under saddle. (He has been under saddle a lot and is totally broken and sane.... just not trained. You know, backing up, lead changes, circling, all that.) Ride him for an hour, then put him back in his corral and feed him and love him.

Here's probably what he needs to know:

How to lunge:

How to change leads/pick up the right lead:

How to back up:

How to go/stop:

How to circle:

Basic Manners:

I know I have my work cut out for me... I'm ready, but I'd sure appreciate some help!

Thanks SO much! :D:D:D:D:D

White Foot 07-07-2009 09:04 PM

Ok answer these questions..

How long have you worked with horses?

Are you prepared to give up your social life, meaning if you call your mom or dad and say "hey can i stay the night at my friends, will you take care of the horse", but you know that the horse is your responsibility, not mom and dads. ?

Do you know for SURE this isn't a faze you will grow out of?

Are you ready to spend lots of money on bills?

Are you ready to take on the responsibility of owning your own horse, one you have to train?

Do you know that a 4y/o isn't a push button horse and you can't get frustrated with him?

Do you have LOTS of patience for training?

Also being "totally broken" doesn't mean much. In a nut shell it pretty much means that you can saddle the horse up, ride in in a few circles and maybe a little more. You still have to start from scratch training wise.

White Foot 07-07-2009 09:13 PM

Personally I think because you've never trained a horse I would get an older more experienced horse. Not saying you should go out and buy some 20+ y/o but I think you should start with a horse that has had solid training under his/her belt.

You might have a connection with this horse, but don't settle too fast, keep looking. The worst thing you can do when buying a horse is rush it and buy a horse because he's "friendly".

Can we see pictures?

I've never ever heard of an owner selling a horse because he's "too gentle", to me this guy sounds like he's trying to pull something over on you. You can find plenty of nice horses with more experience under the saddle for $2500.

Scoutrider 07-07-2009 09:40 PM

RidingBareback, you just described my new horse's training level and what I'm currently going through with him. Absolute sweetie, loves people, knows how to be sane under saddle, but not at all "educated." He's coming along well, and is a good "project" for me as a beginning trainer. Needs work, but not at all dangerous. He's my second horse, and my first horse that needed real "fetching up."

I agree that if this is to be your first horse, you may be better off looking into a more experienced mount. They can DEFINITELY be had for WELL under $2500. My first horse was $1400. Scout was $500 with free tack. My sis' reg. QH was free. All basically quiet, sane, sound horses.

You are definitely doing the right thing in trying him for a few weeks. Get a feel for what you're getting into. I think that you could safely and successfully train him, with the right people behind you. If you haven't already, take some lessons. I've been fortunate enough to have taken lessons from both "riders" and "trainers". I learned a lot about riding, and a lot about horse psychology and training. Depending on what your situation is, you may want to take some lessons with a trainer and your horse. A trainer can guide you and help you conquer the inevitable hurdles of horse training. Even a weekly "lesson" with "homework" for both of you.

I do agree with Equestriun that the current owner sounds fishy. In my experience, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Qtswede 07-07-2009 11:01 PM

I'll probably catch some flack for this, but as long as you have someone to check in with when you're stuck - someone nearby, that can physically watch you in person, and help you, that is NOT an internet connection- you should be able to do it.
However - saddle him up and ride him in a round pen before you get too attached to see what he really does know, and do yourself a huge favor and GET A VET CHECK. Pick one out, don't use the seller's vet unless he's yours already. He may be perfectly sane and sound, then again - he may not. That could account for the price.

Joshie 07-07-2009 11:21 PM

Can you please explain what you mean by broke but not trained? Breaking a horse IS training a horse.

When I hear of a broke, untrained horse I think of a broken Breyer horses. :shock:

lovemyponies 07-08-2009 08:22 AM

Its very possible this family friend is on the up and up. Good horses are going very cheaply right now. Even though this 4 year old is very sweet doesn't mean that he won't start acting up when asked to do more. You will probably need help from a trainer. Its good you can do a trial. I would def get a vet check. Just remember that you are making a huge committment and you will need knowledgeable people who will support you. I would thoroughly research horses in your area who might cost more but have more experience.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

RiosDad 07-08-2009 09:11 AM


Originally Posted by Equestriun (Post 345296)
I've never ever heard of an owner selling a horse because he's "too gentle", to me this guy sounds like he's trying to pull something over on you. .

I sold a really nice young arab because he was too gentle. He just didn't have a competitive bone in his body and on trail he was just too laid back. Nothing bothered him, even cantering 100 yards behind his buddies. I was into endurance and he just didn't have the drive so I sold him.
Absolutely nothing wrong with him, young, tall beautiful.

As for training your first horse. Good luck.

lovemyponies 07-08-2009 09:15 AM

I know of a horse that was too slow and calm so they sold her (they wanted a barrel horse) She was is fine just doing trails but when we started really working her she became a bit more of a challenge, so be prepared for that.... gentle doesn't mean without issues down the road.

RidingBareback 07-08-2009 11:22 AM

I've been around horses more than half my life now... so I feel like a have a pretty good understanding of how they react and speak.... and I'm totally ready to give up my social life... not that there is much of that around here :D. I think I'm patient pretty patient. I trained my dog for the show ring.... so i guess I have some experience, although this is way, way different. My only question is: how do you make it clear to the horse that you are the boss and he's not doing what you want him to do, but not confuse him or get frustrated with him?

Equestriun, that's a great idea! There are lots of trainers around town I could get to know: one of them who is Romeo's farrier. My instructor is also a very good horse trainer... but I've seen him be sort of rough with his horses.... I should probably get some help from them.

Yeah, it sounds like a joke: "too gentle"... but we really trust him. He's been so great to the family for generations. I can see what he means, though. This horse was probably bottle fed... and almost pesky. I'll upload some pics!!!

Thanks so much, everyone. What do I need? Do I need spurs or a crop? He's not accustom to either.

Thanks so much!!!

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