using a sand bag to get your horse use to weight on him - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-18-2017, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Question using a sand bag to get your horse use to weight on him

I have a 3 year old gelding. I was wondering if anyone has used a sand bag or any other object to get your horse used to having weight on his back. How would you keep it on him? What else could be used? How much weight should I start with? Thanks
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-18-2017, 08:54 PM
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I'd think using a pack saddle would be best, since it could hold it nicely. Or a trail pack bags like pictured.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-18-2017, 09:44 PM
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I have used sand bags when I was re-schooling horses I just knew stood a good chance of breaking my back.

This gentleman only posted a short time on the forum. His specialty is re-schooling abused and misunderstood Mustangs.

He has a weighted snowmobile suit or some such thing that he puts on some of the horses.

Here's the link to the journal he started. Somewhere in the journal are pictures and maybe videos of the dummy on a horse.


https://www.horseforum.com/member-jou...ainers-743121/

If put together correctly, I think it's a valuable tool.
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-18-2017, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post
I have used sand bags when I was re-schooling horses I just knew stood a good chance of breaking my back.

This gentleman only posted a short time on the forum. His specialty is re-schooling abused and misunderstood Mustangs.

He has a weighted snowmobile suit or some such thing that he puts on some of the horses.

Here's the link to the journal he started. Somewhere in the journal are pictures and maybe videos of the dummy on a horse.


https://www.horseforum.com/member-jou...ainers-743121/

If put together correctly, I think it's a valuable tool.
He is using an "Ardall Safety Rider". It's a great little thing to try when evaluating a horse and want to see what's going on w/o risking anyone's safety.

They do great work, I'm sure Reds La Boop would be willing to help you out, OP.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-19-2017, 01:45 AM
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Generally speaking it is very very rare for a horse to object to actual weight on their backs. What can 'set them off' is the shadow of a person above and behind them.

With youngsters I am starting I always get them use to standing alongside a mounting block which, as I was doing a lot of horses, was two railway sleepers set on top of blocks about 3' high, I could fiddle with the saddle, lean over them put weight in the stirrup fuss them all over. They soon got use to it and when I decided they were ready, I would just get on them and ride them away.

In all the time I was doing this. Many years, I can only recall one filly objecting.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-19-2017, 07:40 AM
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If the horse is 3 years old and sound what is stopping you from just starting him under saddle and putting the first ride on him? As Foxhunter stated its not usually weight that troubles a young horse but rather the new feel of a saddle strapped on them and having someone above them moving around. You can add weight and other stimulus to a saddle and let them carry it around but you are just prolonging the inevitable first ride IMO.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-19-2017, 09:23 AM
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Agree with Fox & Hackamore, although if you've not done enough preparation, which I think is your point, that's what would stop me having the first ride - not that I'd be in a hurry to be doing much riding on a 3yo.

As said, weight's not the problem, but seeing someone up there. Also having the movement of someone lumping around on their back. I get them used to this by working with them from a mounting block, bench, fence rails, whatever so I'm above them. You can fluff around, shift saddle & stirrups around, lean over them, put some weight on them, all before actually throwing a leg over. I also use feed bags with a few biscuits of hay(so light but bit noisy, bit unstable) and get them used to those on their back, holding it & walking them around. You can tie it across the saddle when you're up to faster paces, to lunge with it.

Come to think of it, the reason I started doing that was because I kept the horses down the road & had to take hay to them... thought they might as well carry it themselves. Then it just became part of my routine with newbies...
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-19-2017, 10:46 AM
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I agree with what others have posted. With my 3yo, I did a lot of groundwork with her - lunging with the saddle, etc first. Then did work by the mounting block - so she was used to me standing over and above her. Fussed with the saddle a bit. Eventually went to draping my weight across her body while someone else walked her around in circles. Also ponied her...so she was used to me being up taller on the other horse beside her.

When it came time to actually throw a leg over - she was not fazed at all.

Sometimes these steps can take awhile as you want to ensure the horse is comfortable with everything before you move on. But with a 3 yo I wouldn't be in a huge rush anyway.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-23-2017, 06:17 AM
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I'm in agreement with Foxhunter, Loosie, et al on this. I certainly wouldn't put anything up there that the horse could toss off by skittering around or bucking. That's something you really don't want them to learn. My method and results were similar to Foxhunters. I never actually thought about the shadow aspect, I just wanted the horse to be accustomed to me being up high and behind its head. And, as Foxhunter mentioned, fussing around on both sides of them at once. And, like her, it's been a rare event for a youngster to buck with me.
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-23-2017, 12:00 PM
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Our first horse was bought unbroke. Her training, as it turned out, all took place near noon. No shadows. Once she was green broke, I started riding her. A few weeks later, I rode her a little before sunset. Very green rider on a very green horse.

She caught sight of OUR shadow and exploded. Leaped sideways, then spun to look at the shadow. But when she turned to look at it, her head and neck blocked out my body. So it looked normal.

So I turned her, she saw OUR shadow, leaped sideways, spun and...once again it looked like HER shadow.

We did that four times. Then, after she had examined what looked like HER shadow, we turned slowly sideways and she watched. And saw my shadow joining hers. She stopped. Stared. Took one step. Nothing happened. Still staring at OUR shadow, she took another step. Then a couple. About a minute later, she sighed and never had another problem with OUR shadows.
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