Helping beginner horse owners. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 05-19-2016, 10:30 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central Hill Country Texas
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Good on you for doing this!

The whole idea here is to get them to be able to communicate with the horses, both on the ground and in the saddle. IMO it starts out of the saddle by learning “Horse-speak”. The only real way for a human to get good at a new language quickly is immersion. It sounds like they need a bit of a crash course since their plate is full with four horses.

Understanding what the horse is saying is something people that have been around horses forever take for granted because they can’t remember a time when they couldn’t speak horse. You don’t realize how much you use all of those things that you picked up without knowing it and then how often you use it without even really knowing that you are. The beginner who can't read the horse is at a disadvantage in timing and feel without it.

I would very much encourage them to sit out with their horses outside the pens first and just watch the interactions, learn how they move, absorb it. Pack a sandwich and some drinks, pop up a chair, relax and just watch. Do it as often as possible for a while.

Eventually they will find they can predict movements and then they will have what they need to be able to implement the things on the videos.
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“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer


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post #12 of 21 Old 05-19-2016, 11:02 AM
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Location: Indiana
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Oh wow, I can honestly say I'm glad I'm not in your shoes, and at the same time pat on the back for what you are doing. I wish there were more people like this.

You already have some really good resources. You might try checking with your local large animal vet, or the vet they will be using to see if they could shadow for a day. Run around on farm calls just to observe. My vet does this for 4-H kids/families and it has proven to be a really great learning experience, AND a lot of times the kids meet new people/ resources that they can use down the road.
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post #13 of 21 Old 05-19-2016, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Ashland, OR
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The three kids are doing 4-H, but they are having a heck of a time. They can't really get any information on how to proceed when they are riding alone is the problem - I am trying really hard to get them in weekly lessons with me, or at least get one of the parents out to learn so they can pass it on to the kids.

Here's a brief video of the mare.

She hardly knows anything. She knows basic haunch turns, NO hip control, very little face control, very little forward - Good stop though. At this stage I didn't really care about her wrong lead or lack of flexion. I just wanted to see what she did when she tried to lean. When I go back today I am going to be a little more insistent than she goes forward with finesse, now that I know her a little better.



You can see where she turned her nose to the inside and threw her shoulders in. She did this multiple times in the ride. Today I am going to make her get her correct leads, get her inside bend, and if she leans back to the gate/barn she is going to get that correction over and over until she figures it out.
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Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #14 of 21 Old 05-20-2016, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Update: The gelding is BROKE.

Like, hella broke. Spins, slides, changes leads, turns on a dime. Put him on the flag and he cut for me.

I am going to try and talk the SO into selling his horse and buying this one instead. lol. (I hate his mare.)

So I think what has been happening with him is they have been accidently applying leg and he probably just shot out from under them in typical cowhorse fashion.
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Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #15 of 21 Old 05-20-2016, 12:37 AM
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So cool about the gelding. And that mare needs work, but she's super cute!

Good luck!
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post #16 of 21 Old 05-20-2016, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Yep she definitely needs work. At least she doesn't buck? lol

All in all, at least they didn't pick total disaster horses. Sure one is only half broke and another only two years old, but they shilled out the money for really nice equines. Now to just teach them how to handle them.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #17 of 21 Old 05-20-2016, 07:18 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: England - UK
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Few thoughts from a beginner:
1) I fully second the advice with regard to learning to speak horse. When things go right or wrong the horse talks to you the whole time; learning to understand horse speak is critical for then dealing with those situations (yes even when things are going right its a situation as things are happening).
Inability to understand basic communication is a major problem; it leads to people missing signs and disasters happening and also leads to confusion on both sides. The more you can encourage them to work with the horses to learn how they speak and to read their body language the better.
Sitting along with horses is one way, but its slow and haphazard. Try watching a film in another language you don't know anything of. Y you'll bit up bits from visual hints; but otherwise you won't know what is doing on and it could take ages to work it out. And if you're working with a horse and its saying something you don't have ages to puzzle it out.

Instead get out there with them. Help them learn to interpret the horse behaviour. Focus on one horse in the group and get them to describe what they see. This way you get an idea what they are looking at and what information can be brought out from that. That acts as a stepping stone and gives them confidence in reading what they can already see; then yo ucan start adding in more bits for them to look for.

if you try telling them what they see the risk is that they are then waiting for you to tell them what to see and what that means. It skips a step and can mean that whilst they can parrot answer what behaviour means they might not actually be any good at "seeing" that behaviour itself.


2) Alongside learning to speak horse there's methods to use. Ideally you want to give them a few stock solutions that can take a bad situation and at least make it safe. Things that can generally work in many situations so that when they can read a horse and when something is happening they've got something to do about it.

Having no idea what to do even when a horse is sending very clear signals is another source of major problems. People will do daft things because they are not thinking through but reacting; they will also possibly rely upon only one or two things that they do know or they'll bolt themselves in fear and try and avoid the horse (which might sometimes be the right solution but could also make things worse).

3) With language and actions at a basic level you can then be a little happier when they are alone with the horses and you're not there to help. The above also attempts to try and school them in a way that is them building skills and gaining skills so that they are not reliant upon yourself. Instructor reliance is a problem in many hands-on activities and it can happen without either party realising it.
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post #18 of 21 Old 05-20-2016, 09:11 AM
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They are so lucky to have you, because dang did they dive in headfirst without a swimming lesson or what?! I'm sure it will all turn out okay with your guidance.
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post #19 of 21 Old 05-20-2016, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse View Post
Update: The gelding is BROKE.

Like, hella broke. Spins, slides, changes leads, turns on a dime. Put him on the flag and he cut for me.

I am going to try and talk the SO into selling his horse and buying this one instead. lol. (I hate his mare.)

So I think what has been happening with him is they have been accidently applying leg and he probably just shot out from under them in typical cowhorse fashion.
Good news, glad they have you. Good luck on getting your So to do what you want?

FYI, it is spelled W-H-O-A.
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post #20 of 21 Old 05-22-2016, 10:40 AM
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I haven't read all the comments. A lovely woman did this for me with my first pony along with the kids who lived there and their ponies. She basically just instructed once a week in lessons and stable management. She taught us how to deal with our horses behavior, taught us the parts of the tack. When we started their were two ponies between 6 of us, by the time she stopped, we all had our own horses and ponies.

She turned an extremely dangerous situation around, before she decided to help us, my horse had kicked her leg so hard he nearly broke it, kicked me in my ribs and nearly kicked my head on the longe line. He used to be so headstrong that he would bolt (trot) and then wack my leg on a metal bar. He was a three year old and we had only ridden lesson horses. Dad didn't know what to do. She saved us. Within a very short amount of time, the younger kids were riding him, the following year, we gave pony rides at the Summer festival.

Don't write off their horses just yet. I was forced to sell up nearly two years and miss that horse terribly because he taught me everything.
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