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post #11 of 31 Old 01-14-2015, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: NE Florida
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No worries about the videos.

Threads about proper age to start typically turn into arguments honestly.

Some horses do okay if started properly at two, others don't. I'm in the start them later crowd, but with your filly, she's already been started and run on barrels. I think what would be best is to go back to ground work and 'first step' saddle training and 're-program' her so to speak.

"They see me rollin, They hatin, Patrolling they tryin to catch me ridin dirty"
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post #12 of 31 Old 01-14-2015, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central Hill Country Texas
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In my opinion after 2 it isn't so black and white, to ride or not to ride. There are a lot of factors that complicate matters.

Length of rides
Weight of rider in proportion to the horse
Intensity of riding
Frequency of training
Body condition of the horse
Attention span
Having a solid foundation of learning to yield to pressure
Solid ground manners

I know that a lot of western riders of the Texas buckaroo school of thought start after three. People looking to enter Futurities have to be ready in the 2nd year. The California Vaqueros don't start formal saddle training until 5 Yo.
The skeleton is not mature until 7, the spine being the last to ossify.

There is still a big debate about this out there.

“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 #13 of 31 Old 01-14-2015, 11:07 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Missouri
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Moot point as to what age to ride or not ride. She isn't doing riding well now.

Would guess that it is as much handler errors as it is anything. And too, a horse will change greatly sometimes between 3-5.

Might be your feed is making this worse, or the hay. And if you don't have much handling experience to speak of, she may have been testing you all along and is only now deciding to show you who is running things.

She is barn sour, buddy sour or just has a strong case of the "I don't want to and you can't make me."

And most horses will pull this if they can. Nothing to be upset about as much as it is aggravating.

You can try just waiting her out. Sitting stock still on her, facing way you want to ride. Don't fight her, or battle any. Just sit there, as if this is exactly what you want to do. If she moves off in right direction, let her go. Do NOT talk or pat, just ride. If she turns for home, turn her around and go back to sitting.

You can also, if you can mount easily, take some grain along and feed her way off away from barn, so she stops associating barn with her feed as much. But only if you can safely mount again.

Also, if you are going to do the sit and wait, lay off the drinking beforehand.

Horses make me a better person.
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post #14 of 31 Old 01-15-2015, 02:27 AM
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Sounds like she has been ridden for a year now? She is three? So I'm not clear as to when she does this stopping thing. When she stops try to remain relaxed. Be aware of what you are doing at all times. Did you gather up the reins because she was going too fast just before she stopped? Horses can become overwhelmed if they get different messages than what they are accustomed to and can "shut down". When she stops on you. Weight your stirrups alternately, left then right and reach down to pull your pant leg down, fidget basically. You are showing her you are well seated and not going to fall off. Use a gentle but firm leading rein, like say the right rein to turn her right and increase the rein to turn her as you put pressure behind the girth with your right leg and at the girth with your left leg. Cluck and tell her "walk" with authority ( you said her x owner used verbal commands). Turning her, which is off balancing her is the easiest way to get a horse unanchored and moving. As soon as she moves into the turn, relax the rein but keep the leg on for a full stride, then cluck if she feels like she is going to stop again. Try to catch it before she actually stops.
When she stops again, do the turn again, moving her again and repeat. You will be thinking this is not the kind of riding you had in mind, but hang in there because she is thinking about these things too. Eventually she will do what comes naturally and just walk forward and mentally fatigued.
This will probably work for you. I'm guessing she has made an assessment on you and decided you don't know so much and she can be ALPHA mare. it's ok, she will probably turn out to be a good horse, just you have to turn the tables on her and let her know she is in your school now and you're the teacher. Ride with a halter on under her headstall, a single ear works well for this. Have a 10-12 foot lead line on the halter and tied to the saddle horn or rope string of the saddle. If she anchors and will not move into a turn, get off her and make her work circles around you in a brisk but controlled trot. Do this until she looks like she wants to walk, but don't let her walk until you say so. Then get back on her. If she doesn't move again, do first the leading rein into the turning to get the legs moving and if she still balks, get back off and lunge her around you again. Always calm and unemotional because you want her looking for answers, not reacting to your distress or anger.
Since she was trained with verbal commands, I would continue to use them at least until you and she have communication solid off the leg. If you lunge her around you, try to keep that at a medium trot. Her legs are young and joints can get injured if she is chased into frantic movement or a canter in this small circle. Also I don't want her to get defensive and kick out at you. Do not do battle with her. What you are teaching her is you will get her to move her feet even if she doesn't want to.
Also to give your crop or dressage whip a little magic, tie a little piece of plastic onto the end of it. I like to rip off one handle of a plastic shopping bag. Do not introduce it to your horse and make not a big deal of it. Carry it in the rail hand and resting over your thigh. Try everything else first, but if you need reinforcement with the crop, first see what happens when ou raise it off your thigh like you're going to use it, if she moves off like " geeze there's something weird on that thing" good, well just rest it back on your thigh, you got what you wanted. If you need to use it, smack her once on the topside of her thigh, up high behind your own thigh( with the clucking and command to walk) with your leg pressure. When smacking her with the whip make sure you are looking forward and remain on both your seat bones, heels down and weighty. A horse is less apt to buck if done this way.
I know it's a lot, but it is just temporary, she will sleep on it and be better the next day, or maybe the next back to her old self.
Try to ride consecutive days during this training series.
Did her bit change? How does she get along with the gelding you bought?
I hope this helps.
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Last edited by CASugar; 01-15-2015 at 02:36 AM.
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post #15 of 31 Old 01-15-2015, 04:31 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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First of all take a deep breath
and relax . I doubt you've been had. You've just bought z trained horse than you thought , but she is likely a nice horse and will show it in not too long. You've taken on a lot , at once, so indulge yourself y hiring a trainer to help you get started on a good foot. Horses aren't machinery. Not like buying anew car.
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post #16 of 31 Old 01-15-2015, 05:33 AM
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Is there a chance she was doped when you visited her?
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post #17 of 31 Old 01-15-2015, 08:03 AM
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I know you grew up with horses and all, but the likelihood is that you just got yourself a green horse. Yeah, she was broke and running barrels (way too early for that sort of pounding, if you ask me), but she is still green. And you're still green. Nothing wrong with that, per se, except it seems that with the first horse, you may have gotten lucky that he was beginner friendly. With the second, you chose a completely wrong sort of horse for your skill level and riding interest.

A green barrel horse?

I agree with others who said she may be barn sour or herd bound. I also agree that she has your number. No one has said it yet, but I will...consider selling the mare and finding a horse more suited to novice owners. Or find a trainer to help you develop your skill to match your horse.
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post #18 of 31 Old 01-15-2015, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Mississippi
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Thanks for all your patient replies. We just had a great session of groundwork. And I had a long talk with her previous owner last night. Got a lot of questions answered.
Also, the vet was out this morning to drop off some paperwork and reiterated that he starts his horses at 2 for work at 3 and I should stop worrying. He really thinks it's a bit issue because she behaves beautifully with just a halter.
I'm less worried after having long talks with the old owner and the vet and y'all have helped, too. I don't feel unsafe at all. I just feel like we have some work cut out for us.
And no, I don't believe for a second she was doped when were getting to know her. Her owners are very well known breeders and trainers and I trust them completely.
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post #19 of 31 Old 01-15-2015, 10:02 AM
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Location: Ontario
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Being young sh may have developed a. Deep attachment for the other horse. This is normal as it helps assure survival. When you can provde good leadership she will begin to look to you for that security. Keep her feet moving in all directions, keep changing it up.

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post #20 of 31 Old 01-15-2015, 03:26 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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I once leased a 4 yr old QH made who did this. When you'd apply more pressure she would go back. In the end I just wouldn't get off until she moved forward, and that was that. She learned that the behaviour would not get her what she wanted.
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