The Horse Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to pick-up 2 completely green mares tomorrow evening. Blossom is a 4 year old paint halflinger. She is not even harness broke. We have to slightly tranq her in order to get her to even harness her and get her into the trailer to transport home. She has had NO formal training. All she was ever used for was a big pet.
Babe is a 7 year old pacer horse. She is currently harnessed. She lifts well for the ferrier and for myself. She is not saddle broke and has NO formal training either. She is very shy around people. She is currently housed with a mule and is acting bullheaded like the mule. She thinks that she is the "Boss Mare" no matter where she is.
We are bringing them home tomorrow to get them settled in their new home. I need some training tips on how to gentle them (break .... I don't like this term) so they are well mannered riding horses. Anyone have any ideas or any help?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,648 Posts
When you say "harness," do you mean "halter?"

Have you had experience training a horse before yourself? Do you have a qualified friend or professional trainer to help you?

The same rules apply now as for any horse, just to get them haltered and comfortable around people, then apply the concepts of pressure/release to teach virtually everything they need to know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,379 Posts
Well, from your post it seems you have no previous training experience, right? If that is the case, I would suggest that the best thing for you, and especially the horses, is to find yourself a competent, experienced trainer to work with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Riding and training are two very different things. I've ridden for 15 years and just finishing off my green broke gelding took A LOT of education, and trial and error. If you go into this blindly you will just end up confusing your horse, get frusterated, and than the horse will shut down. I've watched it happen even when trained horses are worked wrong. Their mind just shuts off and they go through the motions, so nothing actually sticks with them

Bubba is right. Before you even think about saddle breaking, or training you need to get them halter broke and use to people... than work into the pressure and release system. Getting them to understand and perform their groundwork is the building block for everything else they will do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Babe, the 7 year old... she is halter broke...She will allow me to be in her stall with her but when other approach she walks away. She became protective of me today when we were out there and the mule walked into the barn. She stepped between the mare and myself and kind of blew her breath at him as if she were telling him to back off. Blossom is my baby... beautiful... seems to be well mannered... but is green. I went in the stall with her today for a few minutes... let her smell me and adjust to me being new. She is a "boss mare". Untill tomorrow, she is pinned with another mare and acts upon being the boss. She will stomp her hind legs at Rayne and let Rayne know that she is the boss. She kind of tries to snuggle up on my jacket when I am outside of the stall. She loves to be talked to and loves being groomed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
I'll give you a brief scenario - I was doing an internship a few summers ago and needed cheap housing. I ended up renting a room from a couple who had an aggressive and dominant 2 year old gelding, and they wanted me to gentle him in exchange for living expenses. When I tried to send him away from me, he turned around and started backing and kicking at me. I ended up putting on 2 heavy jackets, a helmet, steel toed boots, and I went out there and didn't quit till he submitted to me. I won, unscathed thankfully, and after 2 months of hard work he was ready to start under saddle.

Point goes to show that you can't lose against a horse. My very first horse was a spoiled yearling. I had been riding for about 12 years by that point, and figured I would enjoy the challenge. During the first year he reared up and pawed me in the chest,and he also bit me so hard he ripped my shirt completely open. It wasn't until I got a trainer to come out and give me training lessons that I learned how I was allowing my horse to be dominant and what I should do to have a safe and rewarding relationship with him.

Novices always ignore the "get a trainer" advice, so I figured I'd give you a real scenario.

My dear friend who has ridden show jumpers for 15 years and jumps 5 feet and shows 3rd level dressage can't train a horse to save her life, but she can ride like hell. The point is, training a horse is completely different than riding one.

If I were you, get a trainer to give you tasks each week and take a lesson where she comes out and shows you what to do and then you work on that each week. I did that for a few months and it made a WORLD of difference, I learned how to be the dominant figure as well as how to start a horse under saddle.

If you have problems affording a trainer (which you shouldn't if you just bought 2 horses) go work at a horse rescue on your time off. I did that for a few years while working with my trainer and I learned quickly how to work with many different types of horses and got to train some as well. That will help you learn quicker than just training lessons alone.

Anyway good luck, everyone's going to tell you to get a trainer, which is what you should do. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,038 Posts
I am not going to get into the why you shouldn't train horses without experience & all the rest. It's been said a million times on here. I will tell you one thing, it will be frustrating, unsatisfying, expensive, aggravating, disappointing and possibly dangerous. Is this what you want from horseownership? Because this is what is going to happen in all likelihood unless you're extremely lucky. More than likely, you will end up with knotheads that you can't ride, that you can't load up in a trailer & take out the community trail ride, that basically you're just feeding & getting no fun from. Think hard & deep, is this what you want?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Walkamile

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have an Amish trainer that will train them for a month at a time... wonderful man... and will give them ground manners and start to saddle break. I am thinking about sending them to him in February or early March to see what he can do for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,038 Posts
That is certainly a good start, but they need more than a month each. I would say at least 60 days, preferrably 90 days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
I am not going to get into the why you shouldn't train horses without experience & all the rest. It's been said a million times on here. I will tell you one thing, it will be frustrating, unsatisfying, expensive, aggravating, disappointing and possibly dangerous. Is this what you want from horseownership? Because this is what is going to happen in all likelihood unless you're extremely lucky. More than likely, you will end up with knotheads that you can't ride, that you can't load up in a trailer & take out the community trail ride, that basically you're just feeding & getting no fun from. Think hard & deep, is this what you want?
I disagree with you waresbear. Now my horse wasn't as green as the ones she is talking about but He needed a lot of work. I bought horsemanship videos and studied them religiously... probably watched each one 10 times. The results I got out of my horse were nothing but amazing to me. I think that if you are commited enough and like lacey said never let them win, you can get your result. I'm by all means not saying it is ALWAYS going to happen, or isn't dangerous ( I always had two people watching me, just in case) but I don't agree that it is all negative like you kind of stated. The bond I have with my horse I think is as strong as it is because I did do all of it myself.

Here is the thing Steph. I feel like you aren't getting very much support here and I am sorry because I felt the same way with my horse. I think that my only warning advise to you is not to go into this thinking since you have been around horses you've got this. It isn't the case... not even romotely. And from what you discribed you seem to going about their trust issue a little to.... softy... to me.

Not to open a can of worms but the videos I studied were the Buck Brannaman videos...I had pages upon pages of notes before I even put Copper in a round pen. One of my favorite things Buck says goes something like this. "Even if you rescue a horse and it has the worse trust issue you've seen, you're not doing it any good by leaving it in a field." Basically he's saying we are emotional, and think we can win over a horse by "being there" for it. They'll trust us when they know we aren't going to hurt them... They are animals... if you don't create dominance over them now, one day they find out they are stronger than you, the minute your horse knows that.... Kiss training good-bye.

I think if you really want these horses to trust you... put them in the round pen... and make em' run. You gotta let these girls know you are in charge. And in doing that the trust will build. Think about a wild herd... all of the horses trust the stallion to take care of them. When you do this you become the stallion, and your horse knows they will be taken care of. I think you should study up on training a little more. And look around because Bubba is right... horses are livestock and workes in the Amish community... not a companion like we view our horses
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,379 Posts
I have an Amish trainer that will train them for a month at a time... wonderful man... and will give them ground manners and start to saddle break. I am thinking about sending them to him in February or early March to see what he can do for them.
Have you met with him, discussed training philosophies, spoken to other clients? I only ask because a lot of people see "Amish" and get a rainbows and butterflies view of things and just assume that they must be good people, know what they are doing, etc. It is important to do your due dilligence regardless of the background of any person with whom you are going to entrust your horses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I agree with the assessment of Amish as workmen and trainers. I apologize for generalizations that I am about to make, because I have been taught to be fair and not to profile a group of people based on my experience with only a few. However, the Amish people live in a different world than we do, by choice. As such, they have a different set of values and standards. They use horses like we use cars/trucks as equipment and their animals are treated/trained using different techniques. I am not going to say that their methods are wrong or cruel. I will say that I wouldn't use those methods.

I live with Amish neighbors. I hope to that I can call some of them my friends and that they would return the compliment. However, I would not use their training methods for any of my animals. I have patronized a number of Amish farriers with whom I worked with side by side while my horses were trimmed/shod. I handed these men tools as they worked so I was able to monitor exactly what was being done. (I used to do my own farrier work when I was more physically able so I know what he was doing while I watched.) Some I would use again, many I would not use a second time.

As mentioned by previous members here, being Amish doesn't automatically make you an expert at anything. Not building furniture, not building houses, and not training horses. It only means that you have chosen a specific lifestyle and nothing more. There are as many people who are Amish making mistakes as there are non-Amish making the same mistakes. A word of warning: Don't simply accept their opinion as professional.

Training is very specialized and difficult and should only be undertaken by an experienced trainer, to protect you, your horse, and the trainer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well guys... got both of the horses home. The one is a standard breed about 16 HH... VERY malnourished and has a temperment of around 10. She was HORRIBLE to load and unload. I think that is due in part that she was stalled with a mule. Weight wise... she is around 200-300 lbs underweight, is chewing on everything she can tough... but is not cribbing. I am going to be rehoming her due to her not being a good choice for a trail rider. The other one I brought home is absolutely amazing. She is my paint haflinger. White with brown spots. She did absolutely amazing on the trip home. She is well mannered and VERY LOW tempered. I walked her on lead and she did well. She harnessed well. My uncle has been helping me with her. We walked her forward, halted, backward halted.... as much as she would allow me. She even turned around well. She still has ground manners to learn and spooks when you simply tap the 2 rear legs... but she is an amazing horse and I wouldn't trade her for the world. I will not handle her on my own yet because we are going to be teaching her ground manners. With the Amish, yes you are right about that Bubba... I have heard good about some and I have heard bad about some... but the one we use is very gentle with them. All the people I know who send to him have nothing but positive remarks about him. He has a wonderful reputation. He feeds well when they are boarded there too. Ernie is a great man from what I have heard :) We are going to take "Blossom" as far as we can and then send her for her training. My uncle said we will not be buck breaking her but can work on saddle breaking after she learns her ground manners. I really do appreciate your input on this and yes.. I am green myself when it comes to horses... just because I luxury rode for a few years does not make me better than any other green rider that is out there. I am FAR from a trainer... but would like to train with a trainer to learn everything that they knew.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,155 Posts
All i can say is good luck and I am glad you have found a trainer! I bought my mare green broke, at 6 in June, and we've been through some tough times, but main thing- I've won all the battles.

Waresbear is sorta right.. its hard work breaking a greenie, upsetting, time consuming and there will be more than a handful of times you will threaten to turn that horse in to dog meat.

Try and stay more than one month, stick around on the forums so people can help and give you sound advice!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top