Training for Trail: Next Steps for 3 1/2 year old? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-27-2012, 09:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Herdof2, you may not have the luxury of doing this, but I start my trail horses by free ranging them on 2-3 quiet rides with an experienced, calm horse. Because horses are herd animals, the free ranging horse will follow. We cross water, go through brush, step over logs, etc. Don't rush. Let the new horse explore. As a note of interest, I have intentionally bought foals born and raised on the range in the mountains. This free ranging approach may not be possible if your horse is hard to catch, if you are not located in an open range area, or if your horse is just too comfortable with being alone and will not follow, although in my experience this is rare. With this approach the horse discovers surroundings on his own terms and doesn't have to worry about you in the saddle. When comfortable, I then take the new horse for trail rides. I really really like Justicehorse's suggestion, i.e., first go on very short distance rides, then come back. Continue this with increasing distance.
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-28-2012, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Western New York
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This is such a great community, thanks for all the feedback.
HorseSense, I agree and also like Justice's suggestion- I try and break things down into the smallest manageable parts I can. Slow and steady, right?

I was so excited to go and take Jazz for our first mounted trail ride. But, before we hit the trail, Jazz bucked me off and I hit the ground :) I'm not upset, it was a disaster of a day and I should have known better than to try something new.

Before I tacked up, there was a bad incident in the pasture when I went to get Jazz. An aggressive gelding came after me - not once or twice, but 3 times, and was not just showing off. I posted earlier today asking for advice on what to do next time, if you have thoughts on the matter, please do share!

Aggressive Gelding Went After Me in Pasture, What Happened and What do I do Next Time

After the pasture drama Jazz and I went inside, tacked up and walked around the arena for a minute- not sure what happened (probably b/c I was still pumping so much adrenaline and wasn't really there mentally yet) but when I asked her to gait she bucked me right off.

So, covered in mud, rocks, horse crap from the pasture, and now sand from the arena, I untacked Jazz, walked her for a few minutes, got her calmed down and then decided the best thing I could do is go home and have a beer!

Tomorrow is a new day, right?
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post #13 of 14 Old 11-28-2012, 09:11 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Ouch. Bummer on the bad day. Sometimes it is best to go home early and try again tomorrow. As for the aggressive gelding, without reading your other thread and knowing the situation, I'd carry a carrot stick, broom, piece of bamboo, walking stick, etc... anything that can be used to make contact to block horse from a distance and protect your space. I would also not be afraid to use whatever force necessary to convince an aggressive horse to not invade my space.

Hope tomorrow you can try the hack out a few hundreds yards off property. Another thing you can do is pick a destination in advance and have a bowl of oats waiting for your horse. Good luck!
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I live in the northern mountains of Utah with my wonderful husband, 5 horses, 4 dogs, 2 cats, 32 geese and 9 ducks. Life is good.
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post #14 of 14 Old 11-28-2012, 10:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
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I empathize with the bucking. Several years ago the doctor told me from the X-rays that he could not tell if there were any new broken ribs because they were masked by the old breaks. Oh well. Much can be said about bucking, but here is something that might help. I believe that horses buck mostly because they do not want to have forward impulsion, that is if there is nothing physically irritating them. To create a mental desire for forward impulsion walk the horse away from where it wants to be such as the barn, other horses, or a trailer. Mount and ride toward this place. Don't go straight there, but in the general direction. To remind the horse that you are in control as you walk this direction, you might choose to zig zag or move the hind end. The more he remembers and the more you ride in this manner, a rodeo is less likely. Of course most trainers will work the horse on the ground until there are signs that the horse is ready. Like I say - two cents worth. Justicehorse and others have probably addressed the aggressive horse issue so you should be able to take care of this effectively. Best wishes
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