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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! So the horse I’ve been working with lately is a six year old ex amish driving horse, and I’m wondering where to start with training him under saddle. He’s had six rides so far and he’s very very good, if a little bit nervous. He’s only sound at a walk under saddle as he is still not totally out of the woods in regards to mud fever. I ride him western in a full cheek snaffle, and I’m trying to teach him neck reining, but my concern is I’m teaching him shakespeare before he knows his ABC’s. Or that I’m going to end up with a horse only I can ride because I’ve accidentally trained him totally backward. Any advice on what to do is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Hi, yeah, if he's only had 6 rides(by you or someone previous?), I like the way you put it, that you're trying to teach Shakespeare before ABC with regard to neck reining, etc - I'd pretty much act as if I were starting him from scratch, as he has had such little training so far to be ridden & who knows whether the other training he has had was sound or 'full of holes', so I'd want to ensure foundations were good before even getting to the throw a leg over stage.

Can't tell you whether you're going to be doing it back-to-front from other people, as you give no detail of how you teach/cue anything. Will only say that I learned, and have always used more Western style leg/seat aids apparently - more direct, rather than dressage type leg aids, which, when I had some dressage lessons, I learned were quite back-to-front, in comparison. And yet there are horses who are successfully taught Western AND dressage - just a matter of ensuring your cues are clear enough that the horse knows to differentiate.

And if he's lame(at all, let alone what sounds extreme) from mud fever, that'd have to be the worst case I've ever heard of!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wasn’t there the night he came into the barn, but apparently he wouldn’t even put any weight on his bad leg and he could barely stand. The woman who runs the barn thought he would have to be put down. But he’s healed up a lot, he runs and plays in the paddock with everyone else. The guy who brought him also said that he apparently has some issue with his pelvis but (and i’m no expert) it seems fine to me. I just don’t want to accidentally push him too hard and have one or both of us injured.
I’ve just been riding him the way I learned to ride -western- because i don’t know any other way. Apply outside leg, open inside leg, open inside rein to turn. I don’t have any plans to ever use him for eventing, I’m just looking for a pleasure horse/trail buddy. The closest thing to eventing he’ll be asked to do is to trot or canter a barrel pattern so I can take a video of it for my aunt who used to barrel race.
He’s responsive to my aides, and I’ve mostly been trying to do figure-eights with him, because he’s kinda stiff when turning, probably because of being on the buggy, you know? I rode him on Sunday, and was trying to turn him as tight as possible to get him to turn him neck more, and he turns very smoothly to the left but when going to the right its more of a halting step, if that makes sense? Like he just doesn’t turn as smooth. Maybe because that’s with his bad leg on the inside.
 
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