Where to go from here? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-20-2020, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
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Where to go from here?

So I have owned my horse since 2006. I bought her from a friend as a 1.5 year old who had never been ridden. I was in my twenties and struggling with infertility. I had horses when I was younger and never had confidence issues but as an adult I have struggled with this. I had my horse professionally trained for a total of three months. I rode her pretty consistently, I even built a small arena and bought a round pen. In 2012 I had a foster child who stayed for about 4 months and then in 2013 I finally found out I was pregnant. Fast forward to now and I have a wonderful horse who has not been ridden in eight years. I want to get back in the saddle and my six year old daughter who is taking riding lessons wants to ride too.

My struggle now is that I am not sure I have the confidence to restart my horse. Should I take her to a trainer for a month? Should I buy a round pen (sold mine like a dummy) and use Downunder Horsemanship methods to get back on track? I really don't want to sell my horse, she was there for me in a time when I desperately needed her. Thanks in advance for your advice!
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-20-2020, 04:27 PM
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Is there a trainer who will come to you? Someone who will work with your horse and also show YOU how to work with your horse? Someone whose methods you are OK with?

Your horse hasn't been ridden in a while, but she has been ridden, so you're not starting from scratch. If it were my horse, I'd plan on doing a complete restart -- pretend like she didn't know anything, do everything like you would to train a horse. If she remembers things quickly, that's great, it's a victory for both of you and you can move on. If not, you can work on it some more, no pressure. You already have a relationship with her and she sounds like a good horse. Especially if you have someone to help you, this shouldn't be a problem. If it were me, I'd have goals but not timelines. Less pressure on either one of you.

I'm not sure if I'd buy the roundpen if it were me. You have the arena, right? You should be able to work with her in there, I'd think.

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-20-2020, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
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Unfortunately, my hubby took down the arena because it was all grown up and he got tired of bush hogging around it.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-20-2020, 07:11 PM
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I second having a trainer come to you or, if you no longer have an appropriate area to work in, perhaps send your horse to the trainer, but ask to participate in a couple of sessions a week. It would be a great learning experience for your daughter as well! I think it might be biting off a lot to try to do it yourself.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-20-2020, 09:04 PM
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If your horse never gave you any serious issues while you were riding her, and she's continued to be a stand-up citizen in the years spent freeloading, then I wouldn't be at all hesitant to start her up again. But if you lack confidence, the worst thing to do would be to do it yourself - inevitably, unless you have a true gem, there will come a day or a ride when the horse will ask a hard question of you and you will HAVE to have the confidence and the ability to answer it, or you'll start the horse down a less-than-ideal path. But if she was a decent horse then you shouldn't have to send her away for too long before she's ready to go again - and you can invest in some lessons with the trainer, ideally, to get your confidence up a bit before you take her home for good. I'd spend the money and take some lessons somewhere else while your horse is in training, and then a day or three before you bring her home, take a few lessons on consecutive days with your horse's trainer on your horse, to ensure you've got the tools necessary to continue her well.

If you can do that it most likely won't be long at all before you've got your awesome horse back and you can continue to enjoy her like you did in the past.

-- Kai
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-20-2020, 11:13 PM
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If you have a fence row that has at least 100’ feet of straight fence, work her on that.

My onery horse went six years without being ridden but I handle him every day and he has 19 acres to exercise and be a horse.

I was in my late 60’s the day I got on him, bareback, after a six year hiatus. He stood stock still while I climbed up on the fender of the race car trailer and never walked off until I gave the ok. When he did walk off, it was like I had stopped riding him “yesterday”; he was perfect.

I didn’t take him down the road because he is a spooker, capable of spinning and giving me nine cents change for a dime, but I did ride him down the 240’ fence rail without any issue.

Meaning, if a horse gets handled daily and has plenty of acreage to actually be a horse, that horse will stay broke to the basics at the very least. Some of the details may need dusted off, but if the horse was never prone to buck or rear before, it won’t do that now either:)

I would put quite a few rides on before putting your daughter on him, however:)

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-21-2020, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kacey Whitt View Post
So I have owned my horse since 2006. I bought her from a friend as a 1.5 year old who had never been ridden. I was in my twenties and struggling with infertility. I had horses when I was younger and never had confidence issues but as an adult I have struggled with this. I had my horse professionally trained for a total of three months. I rode her pretty consistently, I even built a small arena and bought a round pen. In 2012 I had a foster child who stayed for about 4 months and then in 2013 I finally found out I was pregnant. Fast forward to now and I have a wonderful horse who has not been ridden in eight years. I want to get back in the saddle and my six year old daughter who is taking riding lessons wants to ride too.

My struggle now is that I am not sure I have the confidence to restart my horse. Should I take her to a trainer for a month? Should I buy a round pen (sold mine like a dummy) and use Downunder Horsemanship methods to get back on track? I really don't want to sell my horse, she was there for me in a time when I desperately needed her. Thanks in advance for your advice!
In that time off you've had to have handled her and know better than any of us what she is like to be around. Also she was trained and you could ride her in the past, I assume with little or no issues.

Since you are starting with a horse you know very well, have ridden, and hopefully is not a "troubled horse", I think DIY training with a step by step instructions from DUH (really the only one that actually has this) is entirely reasonable, will be successful and of course is the most affordable.

If you DIY then I highly recommend DUH and follow the program step by step exactly and be strict with yourself about staying off youtube and other horse training videos/opinions and advice until you are all the way through the Intermediate program which will produce a solid and safe and rideable horse for general riding. The youtube channel and RFDTV episodes are not the training program, they are commercials for the training program. If you want to do DUH, get the subscription and do the steps exactly in the order they are given because it is as clear and black and white as this gets.

It isn't that those other videos, opinions and advice aren't valid, they are. There are about 800 and something ways to do anything with horse training; you can pick and choose and do that afterwards and make the training your own once you have a good horse you trained yourself.

But before you start think about the time you have for training. With any training program the horse needs about an hour of your time per day 5-6 days a week to make good progress. If you can only commit to training one or two days a week it could work with some horses but will take a very long time to make progress. In the case of simply not having the time it takes I recommend a trainer with a good reputation in your area. Good luck!
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