Working with Two Horses - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By LoonWatcher
  • 2 Post By waresbear
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-01-2019, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 42
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Working with Two Horses

How do you schedule working with two horses?

My personal mare is a green broke 6yr old who’s coming along. She has a very “lazy” personality and enjoys Trail Riding & Cattle Work.

A friend has a new 12yr old step-up mare that she’s not really clicking with. She was started in Reining and is showing promise in Barrel Racing. She has a “hot” & “moody” kinda personality that my friend isn’t use to because she had a “point n’ shoot” type gelding before.
So, when I mentioned how much I liked her mare and that she reminded me of my old pony that past away. I was offered the chance to work with her over the summer.

Now, I would like to give this a go because I think I could help figure this mare out and get her groundwork up to par. I’m no barrel racer but I think it might be fun to try some local Gymkhanas with her because my personal mare has zero interest in those events LoL

Any tips on finding a balance with two horses would be great!
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-01-2019, 01:40 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: CenTex
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I try to ride mine one after the other on the same day. That way I'm already out there and in the zone. I've also found that, for whatever reason, if I ride Teddy first, then my ride on Pony tends to go better. Even better than if I had ridden ONLY Pony. That was interesting and useful to learn. My rides are pretty low key, walking and lots of trotting, lots of ground poles, maybe a short canter out in the field. My goals are basically just to keep them in shape, work on a few things they need to work on (e.g. having a nice full body bend, keeping a consistent pace) and work on whatever new thing I learned in my most recent lesson with them. So it's not too hard on me to do two in a row. If you're doing mostly groundwork with one and then riding the other, that shouldn't be too hard.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-01-2019, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Virginia
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The very first thing to consider is your experience. Do you have experience in safely working with a "hot and moody" horse? Do you have experience in safely working with a green broke horse?

There is this saying that goes something along the lines of: "Are you really "busy" or are you just figuring out your priorities?" Working with two (or multiple) horses is possible; many people do it, including me. You have to think about the long term effect or results of you working both horses, including one you do not own.

How long have you had your mare? She is green broke for a reason. Are you willing either put in a lot of time for both horses or possibly take away time from your mare? When a horse is, by your definition, "green broke", it is not a good time to be slacking off and be "neglecting" (training wise).

Horses that have "problems" have "problems" for a reason; your friend's mare has "problems" for a reason. Horses are usually a reflection of how they are handled. Even if you work out her "hot and moody", "bring her groundwork up to par", train her, and get her going good, it doesn't mean that the horse will stay that way and behave well with your friend, especially as you say she does not have a lot of experience with such horses. Although that is good experience for both you and the horse, it can also be a waste of time in the long run.

Summer only lasts for so long. What happens when you need to go back to school or work? What happens if you do not achieve your goals for your friend's horse?

Again, it can be done. There is no concrete, real advice or schedule as everyone's situation is a little different. It takes time, prioritization, determination, and hard work.

I will say that if you are short on time, do not take this other horse. I understand that you wish to do Gymkhana, and I am glad that you are taking your horse's opinion in that matter. However, if you are pressed for time, it is easy to try to take short-cuts, which cheat both horse and handler.

How is your relationship with your friend? People are often very passionate, as they should, about their horses. What happens if her mare gets injured while you work with her? Would she try to press charges? Should you take this other horse, get everything in writing. The horse world can be a dangerous place and liability is everywhere and that can be friendship ending.
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Last edited by LoonWatcher; 05-01-2019 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Grammar. Adding.
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-01-2019, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
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Yes, I’ve had experience with both Hot & Green horses and I’m a self proclaimed “safety sally” LoL However, if at any point I don’t think I can safely handle this horse I have no problem saying so.

You brought up a great point because I am trying to figure out my priorities! I have a different job since last summer with better hours and now think I could have time to work with this other mare too...

Ive had my mare for a couple years, she was sent out to trainer last year and I’m just putting on miles, fine tuning and all that fun stuff. My mare will always come first.

I don’t think my friends mare has “problems” per se...
It seems like she’s more “busy minded” and when she gets bored or unfocused it comes across as “hot”. And the “mood” looks like the attitude you see in most mare memes online LoL just doesn’t want other horse in her bubble, pins ears and just looks cranky sometimes... She can be redirected and it’s nothing dangerous.

We don’t really have a goal. They just want to keep her somewhat in shape and I would like to help them understand her if my suspicions are right about the “busy mind”. I do understand it takes constancy if they do things differently than me, she will continue to act the same way though.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-02-2019, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MD
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I'm currently helping my BF with his horse. So, I usually ride/work my horse first, then help him with his (he gets off work after I do, so I get to the barn first anyway).

It can be difficult sometimes, you may have to change your schedule around (like outside of work), etc. If you feel like you'll have the extra time, I don't see why it couldn't be possible. :)

If you absolutely feel like you can't work both each time, work one, then the next day work the other one.

Ride more, worry less.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-02-2019, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Virginia
Posts: 560
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Working with multiple horses is just a matter of having the time to commit to their training. If you donít have time in your schedule to train with 2 horse every day, then donít make the commitment. Itís as simple as that.

Additionally with your outlook that your horse comes first I would not take on a second horse. You would not be helping the other horse with that frame of mind, IMO.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-02-2019, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
Posts: 14,116
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Riding two horses back to back, I think, is good practice in your riding skills. You have to adjust your skill sets to accommodate them, makes you a more well-rounded Rider.
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