What lessons did you learn with your first horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-31-2014, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 281
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What lessons did you learn with your first horse?

With charlie (since Alfie is a pony) I have learned so much about horses and I wonder what kind of fun lessons you've learned while owning or riding a horse
WinstonH123 is offline  
post #2 of 9 Old 07-31-2014, 07:39 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
Posts: 16,205
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My first gelding literally taught me the foundations of everything I know. Groundwork, lunging, getting a horse to give to the bit. He was a train wreck when we started working with him. When his owners took him back almost two years later (long story), he was being used as a lesson horse for little kids.

Do not tell me I can't...because I will show you that I can.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-01-2014, 12:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Newport, PA
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skiafoxmorgan is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 08-01-2014, 08:37 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,863
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I learned a lot. I was a kid though, so my lessons might be different.

I learned that no matter how long you have been learning, no matter how much you think you already know, with horses you keep learning forever.

I learned that people say a lot of rubbish, and as a horse owner it's up to you to decide what's right or wrong for you, not relying on a discipline, trainer, other boarders or training system to dictate to you.

I learned that in the horse world there is no such thing as equality and fairness.

But I guess all these are life lessons rather than horse specific. I learned many practical lessons too, like tying to twine if solid isn't safe. Double checking gates, wearing appropriate shoes. Always be assertive, know where to stand.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-01-2014, 09:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,293
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Murphy's Law, which means having to anticipate everything that could happen and doing the best that can be done to prevent it.

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post #6 of 9 Old 08-01-2014, 10:22 PM
Join Date: May 2014
Location: WI
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Ground work, lunging, the importance of training a horse properly, anticipating, dont trust anyone...
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-01-2014, 10:56 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: North central Iowa
Posts: 1,212
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A lot of hard ones lol.

Rusty - a miracle horse Knight - my golden oldie
Vlogging about Midwest trail riding here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_u...tIjwnOxjKzOfjA
Corazon Lock is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 08-02-2014, 01:08 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 83
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Oh my goodness my first horse was an abused, sour mare who did everything in her will to disobey everything I asked of her, and used all her power against me. I'd been riding English on some very flashy and well-trained horses for 5 years beforehand and had never even been on the ground with a horse on my own until I met Wilma.

She hated me. She kicked me, squashed me against fences, taught me about proper saddling (too tight too fast? NOT A CHANCE, KIDDO), taught me the correct lunge positions, showed me how to use pressure correctly from the ground, showed me her position in the herd and how to get respect from other horses gently.

I was so upset in the beginning. Before, at the fancy stable I took lessons at, all the horses loved me and were gentle and polite, though very lively and had a lot of energy. Going to this run-down barn full of horses I had quite the smack in the face at age 12. I cried because I didn't understand why Wilma hated me so much. I learned that she didn't hate me, she just hated what people did to her and expected me to do the same.

I would write a book about this horse. She destroyed my heart then stitched it back together as we took the steps to learn and rewire eachother. Everything she did was a puzzle for me to figure out. When I finally figured out something I'd been working on for a long time, I was overjoyed.

The most important thing I think she taught me was how to have fun. I had spent countless hours sweating in a saddle, working for the perfect flying change or the most beautiful jump.
To me the best feeling was that of victory when the horse and I worked together and communicated seamlessly. But I didn't know how to have fun.

She showed me how to loosen up, how to stop frowning when I was getting frustrated. I learned that sometimes it was okay to get bored with flatwork and to just skip around in the field with her and stretch my legs.

Sometimes I would lay with her in the grass and just stroke her face. Sometimes we'd go for long hacks not for the scenery or conditioning, but just so I could talk to her and tell her my worldly woes.

She made me realize that when she didn't understand something, I had to check over the signals I was giving her. I used to get angry or I'd cry when I couldn't figure something out, then go Google it. But I realized that sometimes I was leaning too far forward or accidentally nudged her with the wrong heel and I learned to laugh at myself for being so blind.

Everything she showed me was pure-- she couldn't hide her irritation or discomfort, and I quickly learned to pick up on that. I was no longer working with a horse at my level-- she was far away from any identified level. She became "a horse" and not "beginner" or "advanced"-- she was a partner who I had to learn to love and I had to relearn the language of the horse. It wasn't as simple as judging what the flick of her ear meant or the stamp of her hoof. It was so much more than that.

If I write any more I think I'll start crying hahah enjoy~
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-03-2014, 09:19 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: waaaayyy up North
Posts: 67
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My first horse was/is a baby. I got her when she was six months old and I have had her for two years now. They say getting a baby as your first horse is the worst thing you can possibly do and I agree that is absolutely true unless you have a mentor who will be with you almost all the time when you are with the horse. Luckily for me I have had that. I was so intimidated by horses when I got her, and it really helped that she was small and couldn't do much damage and since I was taller than she was I felt confident asserting myself as her leader. Since I was with her every step of the way on her training, I have learned a lot and really know her well. Since she was my first horse and I was head over heels in love with her, I have spent hundreds or maybe thousands of hours with her. I don't think I will probably ever be compelled spend that many hours with any other horse again, it has been a once in a lifetime relationship and I believe we will be together until I'm in my 70s so this bond is one of the most important aspects of my life. She means as much to me as my family, including my son and my grandchildren and my husband.

My second horse is teaching me to ride so I won't be a green rider next year when my baby is ready to go. An adult horse and a baby are two different creatures. In some ways it is just such a huge relief to work with an adult horse who has already been trained. It is a huge load off of my mind to be able to spend time with a horse and not worry that my lack of experience will scar him for life! He is really teaching me a lot. I have had to learn how to make a 1200 pound creature accept me as his leader. That was easier for me to do with a little foal.

What I have really had to learn is how to be calmer and more patient. The horses have done such a great job of teaching me that. Too bad I didn't have the opportunity to have horses before I became a mother, I would have been so much more patient and enjoyed my time with my son so much more if I had horses first.

It is a really great lesson, to learn how to get respect from a 1200 pound fight or flight creature. To learn how to get respect without using greater size or intimidation......it is such a wonderful lesson in how to be consistent and how to stand your ground without raising your voice or your hand. When riding a horse your life really depends on being able to make that horse feel entirely safe with you, to trust your judgment and know that you will take care of him and not let anything happen to him. He has to know that if you tell him to stand still and not bolt when he sees a monster coming at him, then that means you will not let the monster hurt him. Although he needs me to be his protector, he has also challenge my authority and I have had to learn to draw very firm boundaries and not let him cross them.

There are so many life lessons to be learns from horses. I really do wish I'd learned the lessons before I reached adulthood. They would have helped me, not only in being a parent, but also in work relationships, marriages and friendships. I hope in will have the opportunity to help my grandchildren grow up with horses.
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