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Hello! I am 37 years old and have inherited a horse. My inlaws sold off their horse farm and I felt strongly about keeping one of the horses from the farm. Everyone around me (my fiance, the inlaws etc.) are 100% horse people. I feel totally stupid about everything that has to do with this animal, I have tons of experience with dogs, birds, most wild animals but this horse intimidates me. He intimidates me even though he is a former 4H horse, was ridden in shows and worked hard for most of his 15 years of life. I have ZERO experience except for the ocassional ride, I have worked some with this particular horse but I am clueless about everything. I actually bought Horses for Dummies. Luckily (I think) the place I am boarding him at has generously (haha) offered for me to help with chores. For one, it will reduce the boarding fee and maybe I can get some experience by shoveling crap to feel a bit more confident in my horse skills??? When he was dropped off at the stable YESTERDAY, I was clueless about everything that was spoken except the word "coggins" which I learned is important to have when transporting a horse. For now, I am going to rely on shoveling horse crap, reading and maybe if anyone out there on this website can offer a novice 37 year old advice!
 

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What a pretty, loving face!

Having horse people around you is a huge plus factor. Spending time at the barn doing anything and everything is also a great idea.

Since you recognize that you are intimidated, the first thing you need to do is get confident. Possibly with horses in general, so spend time watching and petting to learn. As you feel more confident, ask your friends to help you halter and tie your inheritance. Maybe that'll be all you do for a few days. Then basic grooming and touching the horse ALL OVER -- and I mean EVERYWHERE. Learn to watch your horse to recognize his moods, his likes and dislikes. Horses generally give a warning before they do anything you might not like, so it's important to learn behavior and cues.

With help from your people, move up to leading and controlling your horse from the ground. Cleaning his feet. Somewhere along the line in these exercises you might have some occasion where the horse doesn't want to do what you ask. That's when you have to be firm and teach the horse (and yourself) that when you ask, he MUST do. This is especially where your horse people will be able to help.

Little steps. Don't overwhelm yourself and don't put yourself in a position that you are nervous in. The horse will pick up on that and your judgement won't be sound either.
 

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^^^
Good advice. Observe, handle, and take 90% of what you hear at the barn with a grain of salt....and he looks like a beauty and reminds me of our mare Angel.
 

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Welcome to the forum and to the world of horses
I do not have my own horse
I have been around them for most of my life
Like NorthrenMama says small steps
 

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Thank you all. I just went up to see him, nobody was around beside the other 5 horses and a goat. I stood with him for quite a while just petting him and he rubbed his head all over me. I practiced putting a bridle on him and taking it off and realized I didn't know where to fasten the lead rope! I wanted to take him out but without someone else there I didn't feel safe doing it. So I talked to him and the other horses like a crazy person. I really can't wait for the day I feel confident enough to saddle him up and ride him. He is a great horse to ride I just need to know how to put his gear on! I can't learn this stuff quick enough!
 

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Right now, I suggest that you read everything you can get your hands on, and just go spend time with him. Get a brush and play with his coat, get the dust off him and apply it to yourself - the defination of horse grooming.

I like to take a chair and a book and sit in the pen with them and read out loud to them. It really allows you time to get to know your horse and spend some great time bonding with him.

Just take it slow. Dont' do anything that you don't feel confident about, but just go and spend time with him.
 

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Thank you all. I just went up to see him, nobody was around beside the other 5 horses and a goat. I stood with him for quite a while just petting him and he rubbed his head all over me. I practiced putting a bridle on him and taking it off and realized I didn't know where to fasten the lead rope! I wanted to take him out but without someone else there I didn't feel safe doing it. So I talked to him and the other horses like a crazy person. I really can't wait for the day I feel confident enough to saddle him up and ride him. He is a great horse to ride I just need to know how to put his gear on! I can't learn this stuff quick enough!
that is a great start grooming and practicing putting on the bridle is the best
way for a horse to get to know you
if he is wearing a halter the lead rope snaps on the ring under the chin

I am going to be leasing a horse and the horse i went to see
I started by letting her smell me then I groomed her while talking softly
to her I then saddled and put the bridle on her the owner first rode her
then I did wow I really enjoyed myself
 

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^^^^
and keep the lead short (length of your forearm) and not looped around your hand. Short=more control and having a lead tighten around your hand can be quite painful if the horse decides to go/pull back.

The old saying is "control the head and you control the horse."
 

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Did you put a bridle or a halter on your horse, J? Most, but not all, bridles have a bit (that goes through the horses mouth) and the reins are attached to rings on the outside. They tend to have several buckles (for adjustment) that join pieces together and a browband that goes in front of the horses ears and above the eyes. A halter (except a rope halter) tends to have rings that join the various pieces, no browband, and one snap hook on the strap closest to the horses neck. However, there are many, many different variations of both halters and bridles, so if unsure, post a pic and we'll tell you.

I would recommend you start with a halter, which as mentioned above, you attach the lead rope to the ring under the chin. The horses in CountryWoman's avatar have halters on.

If you are new to just halter and bridles, nevermind saddles, I can't emphasize enough that you should not be putting any kind of tack on the horse without some supervision. It's easy enough, but if done incorrectly can cause great problems down the line.

Likewise for leading. Since you are green to the lead rope, have someone show you how to hold the lead (as described above) and how to walk with the horse, how to tell him to move to the right, left, backwards and forwards. Once you have that under your belt, there are umpteen things that people could show you do continue on with ground work to gain confidence and get to know your horse. Sounds like riding is a long ways off, but you will have many hours of enjoyment with your horse in the interim. Riding is only one facet of horse ownership. Most of us enjoy all of the usual chores of horse care.

Tough question: is it still a chore if we enjoy doing it?
 

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Tough question: is it still a chore if we enjoy doing it?
Nope :) shoveling poop is part of ownership and I even enjoy that part LOL


:lol:

Welcome to the forum! Reading here will go a long way toward helping you and your horse. Is there a trainer at your barn?

Please first learn how to feed and water your horse. Learn how many pounds of hay he eats/needs a day. How & where to fill his water bucket. Where to wash and sanitize his water and feed buckets. Where to find fresh bedding after the pooper scooping is done. Don't forget to take out the urine spots.

Good luck and keep posting.
 

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I'd look at getting a lesson or two on the basics of catching tying leading grooming saddling. If your short on cash as the Bo if there are any CAPABLE teens around who might like to earn some extra cash. Good luck!
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I actually just got that book to! I knew alot of it already though.Im a teen,and have been riding ever since the age of 8. Heels down,eyes straight ahead,and well..just have fun!:) He's very pretty!
 
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