Brand new horse. Brand new rider in need of direction...
Hello all. My name is Ryan. I am a first time horse owner.
My friend, a semi new horse owner is boarding our horse for us and guiding us along the way.
Ruby Tuesday is our horse. She is 6yrs old, and a very pleasntly tempermented horse. She puts up with my incopitence beautiflly.
My question comes from my concern. Dan, the friend boarding Ruby, is somewhat inexpirienced himself (but won't let on to that). Ruby has supposedly been broke before right now and ridden as well. It has become apparent to us that she was neglected and allowed to do whatever she wanted to do (creating some nasty habits). We aquired her from a horse rescue facility as she was destined for slaughter.
Dan got me out to work with her the other day. We saddled her up, and she didn't mind a bit. She took a bit better than his two horses (put the bit in front of her and she opened her mouth up to take it - waiting until we had it in all the way before closing her mouth). She would walk with us on a lead rope perfectly....until we got to green grass - then her head went down. We coaxed and begged to no avail. Dan then started using brute force, which did get the job done, for the time being. Dan crawled on her back, and she never flinched or cared.
This is where it got interesting, Ruby put her head down to eat, but Dan (now on Ruby's back) pulled back on her reins to keep her head up. Ruby fought, and in order to get to the green grass, she laid her front legs out in front of her. Dan pulled harder on the reins,m causing her to rear up a few times, and eventually rolling over on top of him.
This scared / caused me concern. We decided to stick with a longe line the rest of the day. At times Dan was quite forcefull with her - sometimes sucessful, sometimes not.
In the least bit, I was not pleased, and a bit uninterested in mainting horse ownership. BUT....
Ground rules had never been laid out, but I had always assumed that I wasn't allowed to be working with Ruby alone. I went over by Ruby and took her out of the pasture myself. I put the saddle on her and put the bit in her mouth. I spent the next hour walking in a circle with her. I would ask "walk", wait a moment, and apply pressure to her lead until she moved. As soon as she did, I would release pressure and praise. I would walk a bit (few steps to a few minutes ) and ask "whoa", waiting a moment, and apply backwards pressure to her lead. Soon she would walk and stop only via verbal command. After a few days on simple working with her, Ruby no longer needs a lead rope. She will walk, stop, turn and back up via verbal cues alone.
The moral of my rambling is I have never needed (or belived) in the essece of brute force. I have accomplished more by being Ruby's "mentor" (kinda) rather than the whip cracker.
Now for the questions. Like I said, I am clueless. I have been on Dans horses a few times (they don't seem like they are very repsponsive to rign commands - not *** much as I would think they should be anyways).
Dan came home one day as I was just showing up. He heckled me a bit (we're good friends) and asked if he wanted me to take Ruby out for me. I proceded to tell him "If I want my horse out, I'll take her out." So he sat back and observed as I took Ruby out, with no fuss or lead rope. She followed my shoulder every step of the way. Stood untied as I saddled her and took a bit flawlessly. Unnerved, I then proceeded to mount her (this was all new to me!!) Ruby never fussed or complained a bit.
When I rein (turn) Ruby, am I relying JUST on the pressure of the outside rein? If so, then why a bit? Or should I be training using two hands (one applying rearward pressure to the inside bit and the other applying pressure to the outside neck?)
I am sure this topic has been covered a BILLION times before, but any help would be appreciated, or a link to previous threads would also be appreciated.
thanx, Ryan and Ruby