Horses needing to lose weight, neck rein training, etc... Advice, Please
Okay, I have three horses. I'm away right now, but I'm doing some research on how to solve some problems for when I come back.
All of them need to lose weight. They have free roam to graze, which I'm thinking is probably a bad idea... I've heard of putting them up in a round pin to lose the weight (and of course exercise.) How long do we do this, and do we do it with all of them at a time or only one or two? There is only one round pin, but it is a pretty good size. There is a barn with a few stalls that can be used, but it often gets very muddy so I don't like using it.
One of our horses needs to be taught to neck rein. What is the best way of training her? She is also hard to catch. I've heard of running her, and of making her time more enjoyable while I have her. I'll probably try a combination of both... unless there is a better idea. I also need to train her to barrel race. I've read that I need to start her slow and just kind of teach her what we want her to do. Is this right?
I have another horse who is very overweight. We haven't worked her very much, really. But I have tried lunging her a little bit, and she starts doing these huffs and almost looks like she's wanting to charge... it's kind of scary, actually. What do I do about this? Are the huffs just being tired from running, or is it being mad too? (I think it's probably being mad too...) We're probably going to sell her, but I want to get some weight off of her and have her more manageable before we do.
I have one other horse, my baby. He's a great barrel racer. But sometimes during shows he refuses to get into the arena. We've tried just chasing him in, which helps. He also start balking in the ring when he is in (only during shows). So far I've been able to get ahold of him and get him to start, but how do I stop him from doing this? Also, at times he chews the bit when he's bored. How do I stop this? And how do I get him to lift his feet up easier?
One more question... how do I bond with my horse? I know my horse pretty well in the saddle, but he doesn't really come running when he sees me. So do I just spend some time scratching him and that should help?
I'm sure a lot of these were total idiot questions and you're probably rubbing your head wondering how a horse owner could possibly be this stupid... hence the reason I'm asking before I get back, I want to be ready. Sorry for the long post, and thank you in advance for the help. :)
ok so first off i think you have too many questions running in one post its a bit overwhelming.
still my first thought is about their weight, you said they have free access to grazing. what else do they eat? hay? grain? what type and how much? how often are they fed?
as far as the barrel training starting slow and introducing the movements, stops turns, lead changes moving off your leg, all of that needs to be taught in general and only when you have those movements down do you slowing start introducing barrels and poles and whatever else you need at low speeds (ie trot and walk) until the horse is relaxed and comfortable with them then add canter and eventually you can push for more speed. if you rush them all they learn is arenas mean go and you end up with a ring sour horse or one that doesnt understand the word whoa.
for the hard to lounge horse all i can say is short sessions with lots of repetition will help. no more than 10 or 20 min at first otherwise you will sour her if she already doesn't like lounging. you have to build up her stamina. with my mare we put her on the lounge because she knows that when she is out there away from me she can shake her head, buck a bit, and generally get all the spooks and sillyness out without interference from me. she quite enjoys it and is a better frame of mind when i bring her in to me. if your mare lounges at you, you have to make her back off and move away from you. they dont get to be agressive towards you although i have always found that a quick flick of the whip towards my mares shoulder will send her out away from me and my safe space.
as far as bonding with your horses goes the only thing you can do is spend time with them. figure out what they like. my mare hates to be petted and hung on but loves to work and eat so i do lots of working with her both under saddle and on the ground. we play games like "which hand is the treat in" or we do tricks like stretching for carrots, i taught her to bow, she does halterless showmanship (i.e. trotting in hand, halts, backing up, pivots on all four legs, sidepassing and such). sometimes i just show up at the barn and take her out to hand graze for an hour or will read outside her stall with the door open while she eats just so she knows i am there. sometimes i sing to her as well. they seem to like the tones of singing. whatever i do with her i know that the busier i keep her mind the happier she is. my 3 year old on the other hand is much happier just getting attention so i will pull her out and just groom her for a good 45 mins or so and she is in heaven. massage works as well. i have found that just running my hands over her and talking to her promotes good bonding time and she gets used to being handled and i can find anything unusual going on with her ( sore spots, nicks, cuts etc.)
bonding will help with the hard to catch horse as well.
Yeah, sorry about how overwhelming it was. I was only going to post a few questions, but then I kept thinking of more.. I appreciate the taking the time to answer them. :)
We hardly ever put them in the barn, they're mostly in the pasture. How much we feed depends on the time of year. In the winter we give them hay and a thing of grain once or twice a day. In the summer we don't give as much hay/grain, and I'm not sure how to say how much for that. How much are you supposed to give?
Okay , that makes sense for training her to barrel race. I'll do that.
-- Do I keep lounging her even through the huffs and puffs? Our round pin where we lounge isn't super big, so I'm still a little nervous lol. But I'll try it and hope I can stop her from killing me. :D
And I'll try the bonding tricks.
Thanks again for the advice. :-)
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