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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone!
I have plans on showing my 2yo colt in the future. I wanted to ask how everyone exposes their horses to the hustle and bustle of the show grounds, and if it required anything to do so.
So far my colt is fearless when it comes to loading and unloading in a trailer, takes a saddle and bridle like a champ, will lead and follow you anywhere, and ties like a pro (only after having an issue with a telephone pole! :? ) He takes on new and scary objects everytime we go for our evening walks, likes to be around cattle, isn't afraid of dogs (will actually chase them, and chickens too).
There is a local show coming up soon, and i was thinking about just taking him there to let him watch and see what all goes on, but i'm nervous on hauling him. Any ideas?
Your thoughts and ideas are appreciated!!
P.S. He even walked up to people in a swimming pool, and a noisy pool pump. :shock:
Storm.jpg
 

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I tend to treat my youngster as if she already knows everything, and I try to not act differently around her. I expect her to stand nicely even if there's stuff going on around her, and correct or redirect attention if she starts to act up.
My plan for starting her show career is to start with taking her to other barns to school, and attend a few shows either not participating or just doing a couple small classes and build up.
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I just hop on and go show!
Don't overface the horse, of course, do what they are easily able to do in order to build confidence, but they're not going to get good at it if you don't do it lots!
My FEI horse has always been at home in the show ring. At his first show he won championships and had some of the highest scores there. The kiddo I'm training is spooky in the show ring. So guess who gets dragged to every horse show in the area?
I agree with JDI - don't handle the horse with kid gloves. Horses will rise up to our expectations if they are reasonable. As soon as the horse can stop, go and turn I like to start hacking them and going places - to give them a broad view of the world.

Good luck!
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Agreed, the only way for a horse to gain exposure is to be exposed LOL. I'll take my horses out for rides around town or down along the highway (probably before I really should, but...).

So long as you've got the knowledge and ability to get her mind re-centered if she gets boogered, you should be good to go.
 

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A strong bond or leadership means she will look to you. Stay with your horse all the time. You don't have to be grooming or fussing, just be there. You're all that's familiar at a show. He's like a toddler at a circus - it's ok as long as mommy is there.
 

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Agreed, the only way for a horse to gain exposure is to be exposed LOL. I'll take my horses out for rides around town or down along the highway (probably before I really should, but...).

So long as you've got the knowledge and ability to get her mind re-centered if she gets boogered, you should be good to go.
Bwahahahaha I have many a story of a young Ro deciding he was a wild stallion and had to protect his herd (ie me) from whatever semi truck. Inevitable we were always alone as no self respecting dressage queen would ride down the highway with me...
Oh gosh I was thankful for my "Whoa!"

Young horses are a blast (literally) :p
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone, i don't ride him currently he's only 2. He's not afraid of vehicles or anything, heck he walks up to the tractor and follows it everywhere!
The last time i showed a horse i was 12 years old, and the gelding i was on was an old pro, i was more nervous than he was!! I'v never trained up my own foal before Storm is my first, so a lot of this is new to me. I'll give everything a shot!! Wish me luck LOL!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Agreed, the only way for a horse to gain exposure is to be exposed LOL. I'll take my horses out for rides around town or down along the highway (probably before I really should, but...).

So long as you've got the knowledge and ability to get her mind re-centered if she gets boogered, you should be good to go.
The closes town is 7 miles from me!! I walk a good bit on the dirt road, and up to the main road. Which is a mile or so hike. :shock:
 

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Hey everyone!
I have plans on showing my 2yo colt in the future. I wanted to ask how everyone exposes their horses to the hustle and bustle of the show grounds, and if it required anything to do so.
So far my colt is fearless when it comes to loading and unloading in a trailer, takes a saddle and bridle like a champ, will lead and follow you anywhere, and ties like a pro (only after having an issue with a telephone pole! :? ) He takes on new and scary objects everytime we go for our evening walks, likes to be around cattle, isn't afraid of dogs (will actually chase them, and chickens too).
There is a local show coming up soon, and i was thinking about just taking him there to let him watch and see what all goes on, but i'm nervous on hauling him. Any ideas?
Your thoughts and ideas are appreciated!!
P.S. He even walked up to people in a swimming pool, and a noisy pool pump. :shock:
View attachment 248481
Take him everywhere and show him the world. Allow him to be curious and smell and look at things that scare him and allow him to learn how to cope with things. My rule with my horses is that they spend 24 hours in a field hanging out, so when I come all I ask is good ground manners and no goofiness.
My foals see everything. They will be worked in stalls, in barn aisle, in the wash rack. They will be expected to stand still in arenas, trailers, during lessons around other horses being ridden. I will back them myself, I will groom them, spray them, clip them. By the time my horses are ready to be ridden and broke, there really wont be anything new to them that they have not seen or done that isnt second nature.

It cuts a lot of BS out of their life, they are a lot happier because they have already seen it and they are always very quiet. I've had vets come to me asking me how I manage to pull off having such a quiet baby. I've had farriers tell me my foals have ben the quietest most respectful youngster they have had to work with.

It's all about working with them for the appropriate amount of time and really understanding how they perceive and read what you ask them. I think it's something you learn with experience and training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Take him everywhere and show him the world. Allow him to be curious and smell and look at things that scare him and allow him to learn how to cope with things. My rule with my horses is that they spend 24 hours in a field hanging out, so when I come all I ask is good ground manners and no goofiness.
My foals see everything. They will be worked in stalls, in barn aisle, in the wash rack. They will be expected to stand still in arenas, trailers, during lessons around other horses being ridden. I will back them myself, I will groom them, spray them, clip them. By the time my horses are ready to be ridden and broke, there really wont be anything new to them that they have not seen or done that isnt second nature.

It cuts a lot of BS out of their life, they are a lot happier because they have already seen it and they are always very quiet. I've had vets come to me asking me how I manage to pull off having such a quiet baby. I've had farriers tell me my foals have ben the quietest most respectful youngster they have had to work with.

It's all about working with them for the appropriate amount of time and really understanding how they perceive and read what you ask them. I think it's something you learn with experience and training.
I've had him since he was 6 months old, and sick with strangles. He was difficult to halter train, but once done, he's been great ever since. He takes everything in stride, i allow him plenty of time to look at and investigate things. I was so proud of him when i was teaching him to load into a trailer. I take him everywhere, he's not afraid of cars or any farm equipment, he usually stands and observes it. I'v done as much as i can with him since i'v had him, except for haul him places. Heck i finally got him to ground tie! I think he'll do good, but horses are horses and one must expect the unexpected too. Thanks for the advice, the horse in your avatar pic is beautiful!!!
 

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Yup-take them and go. Honestly, many folks I know take theirs on short jaunts first-get in the trailer, go to a park or a friends, neighbors whatever- walk around, load up and come home. Load them up and go to the store. Make them stand there a little bit. Just a variety of stuff to put some miles under his belt and yours. Make sure you don;t bite off more than you should, and if you cannot do it with confidence yourself, then go for something less. As long as YOU are confident, chances are your horse will be too. You get nervous and he will feed off that. Mine have always stepped on and off everywhere like they have always done it-even though sometimes it may be a situation that makes me nervous and I have to keep myself in check. It should always be a positive experience. For both of you. ;-)
 

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Best way is to take him to the show :)

My horse had never been shown when I got him (although he was a 7 year old at the time and is pretty laid back to begin with). When I took him to his first show, I just entered a couple easy classes, with the plan that I could scratch and just school him in the warm up if it looked like things were not going well. Fortunately, things went (mostly) pretty well and we didn't end up scratching and now just a little over a year later he's just as laid back in new arenas as he is at home.
 
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No matter what you do there still has to be "a first time". Make sure you have well trained methods of getting his attention. Then take him to the show, and find out how well your trained method of getting his attention works.
 

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I do what the US Cavalry did--buddy up green horses with experienced ones and let them observe while you work. Every horse will spook at something you forgot to expose them to, so you work every time so that your horse pays attention to your commands and disregards the other stimulations in his environment. THAT is what keeps a horse from bolting when you're trail riding--he listens to your cues to turn, circle, stop, back up, or side pass, and forgets the scary stuff.
 

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I took both my 3 year old horses from a quiet environment to my trainer's at a very busy stables next to a busy road and an international airport. I visit them often and watch them stand quietly as cars, trucks, motocycles, joggers, baby strollers and kids riding bikes, emergency vehicles with loud sirens pass by, not to mention airplanes and helicopters over head. Kids are always swinging ropes and running around them. They will be there for atleast 6 months. I hope they will be sane after their training is finished!
 

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Totally agree with everyone here. I took my 2 year old out to shows and just did in hand classes and showed her around the place. Now shes 3 and this show season shes kicking it like a champ.

A little suggestion, do not put him in situations that you *think* you cannot handle. Not worth it, at all...Coming from experience. (;
 
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Take him to shows when you aren't showing is how we do it.

That way horses get used to most things.

But you can NOT get them exposed to every single thing out there.

Good handling, a firm leader and your attitude goes a lot further.
 

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Agreed - you cannot expose your horse to everything, which is where your training and leadership comes in. My filly was tied up after my ride last night, and as I was walking back to her after putting my saddle away, a big plastic shopping bag blew towards her. I told her to whoa and stayed calm even though I was **** near panicking inside and anticipating her setting back and freaking out. The bag blew under her belly, and she had her ears tipped towards it but knew I'd said whoa. She didn't move an inch.
I've exposed her to plastic bags and stuff, but no way had prepared her for one blowing and rolling right under her. I was very proud of her!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks everyone! I usually don't get nervous about anything. He gets excitable when it comes to other horses, he won't really act up, he just wants to go and say hi, and might whinny now and then. He likes to play with plastic bags :shock:
I wanted to know if i had to have Coggins and everything done first before i took him anywhere? He's got almost all of his shots just no blood work or anything yet. Would that be a requirement just to take him and stroll about the place?
 
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