In the process of training a young gelding to accept a rider. Tips anyone?
As the title said I am in the process of training my 8yr old gelding to accept a rider.
My mom and I were going to have a professional help me train him but we've had some financial troubles this spring so I am going to do it myself.
He will already accept a saddle and he doesn't buck with it anymore when I round pen him. He will accept a bridle but he could still use some more work in that department.
I can saddle him, put my foot in the stirrup, and lift myself up on both sides. So all I really need to do is actually get in the saddle.
I have been on him once....on and off again. lol My mom was leading him on a lead rope with me in the saddle. I went to get off and I must have done something to spook him and he threw me.
So, I am wondering if anybody has any tips for me or advice for my 2nd time in the saddle. I have been using Monty Robert's methods but any advice is greatly appreciated!
Have you ever started a horse before? If not, wait till you can have professional help. Please. For your sake and your horse's.
If you don't know exactly what you're doing, you could get badly hurt.
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Make sure you have done everything on the ground first! Its better to do everything OUT of the saddle and then that part will come later. And that he respects you. If any sign of shyness, or spookiness, you will not want to get on.
Sack him out first, gain respect, and show him its better to stand quietly and respectfully, or he will have to work. Horses are lazy creatures and would rather be at peace, But you must teach him that and have him trust you.
I wish you luck, and be careful. Always have someone else with you for the first month or so. Also watch any of Clinton Andersons tv shows, they help alot with "problem" horses or horses that are shy or gaining respect.
Ground work ground work ground work! I know it sounds redundant but trust me it is SOOO important. When you think you have done enough, do more. I did that with my gelding this summer and fall and winter and now I have someone to help me with the whole 'riding' thing.. lol
He did wonderful and she said the main reason he did so well was because of all the groundwork we did. I did a little of everything, lunging, walking in the woods, parelli games, join up, and of course a few things of my own. I spent a lot of time with him and now he respects me and listens to my voice cues without much pressure at all! When my trainer finally rode him in 15 min she had him walking with only voice cues and whoaing with very little pressure.
I also recommend training him with someone else around just to be safe. That way too someone can tell you what you are doing with your body language that you might now even know. I don't know if this helps at all, but be safe and enjoy your horse.
Lots and lots of ground work and long reining. If you teach everything from the ground (on longreins is the best way) then getting on is merely a formality for most horses.
Always have someone else around and always wear a hard hat and a body protector! (I have made this mistake and it has cost me a broken shoulder, which I am currently ignoring!)
When I work with him we go on walks around the farm, I make him jump over logs, walk over tarps, walk around dogs, swinging gates, big scary objects. I try to do everything I would do if I was in the saddle so getting in the saddle will just be a different point of view for him. Like I said above we have had him for 5 years so I have really been doing ground work with him for 5 years while we have been looking for a trainer.
I have sacked him out a couple of times. He barely spooks at anything now unless its windy or he is feeling frisky.
We have a very strong bond and we trust each other a lot. I made sure to establish trust when I first got him. He is kind of a personal horse. He does things with me that he doesn't do with other people and he lets me do things to him that he doesn't let other people do.
I always have my mom around when I am working with him and I always always always have a helmet on when I am going to be working with him with the saddle. My mom would kill me if I didn't do either so no worries there! lol
What I am going to do for now is work with him in a bridle and long lines. I hope to at least be in the saddle by the end of the summer. We'll see how it goes!
Thank you for the advice!
Please wear a body protector as well as your hat. A serious back injury is not something you want. I used to only wear a hat and look where it got me!
When you were getting off and he threw you it would be my guess that you didn't get up and down enough for him to come to a positive conclusion - i.e. you won't kill him. You need to do this a hundred times on both sides over a couple of weeks. I wouldn't be in a big hurry to have him move once you're on. Take your time and just sit there and keep reminding him that you are on him. They sometimes forget someone is on and then they get spooked when suddenly you appear in their vision.
The one thing that I find useful is getting one of those big balls and teaching him to stand still while you bounce it on the ground and then on him and then put it up on him and then get him to move around with it on him.
Hope that helps and good luck.
Oh yes one other thing that he must do so well. That is hind-end disengagement. You have to make sure that is so top notch because if he starts to panic when you're getting down from the saddle that will be your best defense in keeping him away from you i.e. so he doesn't knock you down and go over you.
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