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Is there any chance you could update on your own rides and training now that you have your horse home? I'm hoping you are having wonderful times and he is progressing beautifully.
 

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Get another trainer, this one is rubbish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 · (Edited)
I did move him home from that trainer.

Sure, here is an update. Since Arago ASB is a high anxiety type of horse like a racehorse I have let him have a letdown period of a month before riding. When I saw that he had settled the dominance hierarchy with Dinkus Maximus, a mini stallion (surprisingly Arago is dominant, although he was low ranking in the gelding turnout field at the trainers). He had been going off by himself in pasture 1 instead of velcrowing to Dinky. He is not afraid of passing logging trucks and has gotten used to cattle. And he had started lying down to sleep in his stall instead of pacing around so I started riding him in the paddock. Just the boring arena training ride he had been doing at the trainers. Walk down the fenceline. Trot down the fenceline. Rate a slower trot on the fenceline. Halt. Back up. Turn into the fence go the other way. Rinse, repeat.

My husband has been pretty much staying in the house lately because of allergies. But he looks out the window and is schooling me in getting Arago to turn off the fence shifting onto his hind quarters. When he does it is a beautiful thing.
 

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I get that at our age, 60's, we want safe and easy. Has your horse ever bucked, or bolted, with you or trainer? If no, just ride him, school in the pasture, then ride him!
 
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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
He has never bucked, reared or bolted. He is willing and kind. Also he is young and was a 'paddock pony'. He spooks, so I have just gotten used to his occasional sudden sideways trips and go on. Things like seeing sheep for the first time. Or a horse getting up from the floor in a stall that adjoins the indoor arena where he was, Or someone hitting a baseball against the arena wall, the wind suddenly blowing- things like that. I have learned to ride his spooks out and just continue on like nothing happened. When he comes back around where the spook happened he wil try to avoid the area. So I just work him as I was going past it and he forgets about it.
 

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As he gets more confident and you can keep his attention more on you (more difficult in young ones, smaller attention span), the spooks will fade, until what startles you, will startle him. Happy trails.
 
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I would like to vent. I bought a horse from a dressage trainer and rider a 6 year Saddlebred fine harness horse that was started under saddle last June. I just want him to be trained for a trail horse. He is supposed to get (and I am paying for) board and care plus 5 training rides a week. I live a three hour drive away. I am no spring chicken and have 50 years experience keeping my own horses and riding trail. I rode to be alone in nature and be away from people. I have never had a riding lesson in my life but somehow I survived going 30 miles cross country in the hills and back and such. I had not ridden a horse in over 5 years. I came to the training barn and got basic lessons on school horses and rode my own horse a few times. As she had been riding and training for 6 months by then I kind of expected he could sidepass or disengage his hindquarters and was surprised he did not but did not say anything. I thought maybe I just don't know the signals she is teaching. She seems to yell what not to do but does not say what to do. So after I had been to some lessons I asked for a lesson I will pay for to see her ride so she can tell me how she does it but she refused.

Anyway, recently she started taking him on ponied trail rides. This was good, I knowthe horse is a 'paddock pony' and has had little experience in the real world. So then I was invited to go on a trail ride on my horse. He rode like a green horse, which he is I guess, and refused to cross water. So she yelled and screamed Hit Him! Don't let him turn away! Kick Him! Finally she got hold of one rein and led him into the water by ponying him. Fine. I know you can't let them refuse to do what they know how to do or they will always try it after that. But I got her to admit that this was the horse's first ridden train ride. He has been ponied three or four times before that.

The second trail ride a week ago was at the same park with trails. There were 4 other horses. My horse has long legs and he is a fast walker. He walks up behind and crowds other horses and mares who might kick him. I took him to the back of the line. He even bit Pretzel, a gelding, on the rump. The horse will not rate. It was awful. I hurt my arms and shoulders holding him back so hard (he rides in a bitless bridle). He steers like a plowhorse and just seems to go wherever he wants. She yelled at me for being about to let the horse walk off a cliff pulling on him like that when I was just trying to back him up. Is it me? Do I not know what I'm doing?

Later I texted her about all this and she said you said you wanted a trail horse and now you want a reining horse and that takes years. I told her I have ridden many horses that lightly turned right and left, WTC, stopped and backed up. I don't want a reining horse. I just want a broke horse.

Years ago my previous two Saddlebreds I bought unbroke and they each had 60 days with a trainer in Texas. I got them both back in Tom Thumb type bits, which I wondered they might be harsh. The first one I got back broke, would WTC stop and back up. Later I sent the second one and the palomino mare turned out to be gaited. Not only did she do all those things, she would sidepass and canter depart in the right of left lead if you placed your heel against her side.The mare would gait if you gathered her up and clucked.

My horse I have in training now since last July has had 5 rides a week so I figure he has had 180 training events and rides. Although she has taken really good care of him, kept him as if he was one of her own, kept him properly shod for a club foot and improved it, carefully doctored minor injuries, has cured his ulcers and put weight and fitness on him, has taught good ground manners (except that he occasionally bites people and won't get in the trailer sometimes). I have learned a lot from her and in spite of her yelly manner I like her as a person.

I am taking him home a month from now. I asked how about I drive up there, a 320 mile round trip, twice a week until then and we can work on whatever we can work on and she agreed. I did not bring him home sooner because we bought this new place with 16 acres of bottomland pasture but the fences were a joke- sagging barbwire held together with bailing twine and no barn. We built a new barn and replaced all the fences with horse fence. My husband is a retired cattle rancher, raised and trained his own horses and knows cowboy dressage. I will mark off a dressage arena with chalkline and hope to ride him there until I have a broke horse.
Within 80 training rides of my rescue gelding, we managed to have him be cantering and doing small jumps nicely . He also started working on some reining around 100 test rides. It took us a long time for him to even be okay to ride, we also worked on him with ground manners first. This way he had an early start. At around 150 training rides he was jumping around 2” and he was even working on more dressage moves and eventing . I would really contact the barn about this, because it does seem they were being a bit rude, and there isn’t a lot of progress happening . I am so sorry this is happening and I wish you the best of luck in the future .
For reference, my rescue gelding was around 3 1/2 when we got him- he had been abused and was really nervous around men and children. He was a Thoroughbred stallion (we gelded him).
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 · (Edited)
My cowboy husband has me teaching the yield of the hindquarters. Today, nosing him in a corner of the fence and yielding to heel pressure to the right and the left. I had been turning him into the fence to get him to throw his weight on his hindquarters. But first and foremost to disengage his hindquarters and step over.

This most basic lesson had not been taught. Whatever she taught him, in the trail riding dept. she had just been ponying him on trails and on the beach. His first ridden trail rides were done by me with a group. No wonder he did not know anything. But he went along with the other horses. I got her to admit, in front of everyone, that this was his first ridden ride.

Anyway, she took good care of him and improved his disposition, condition and health. She kept him safe while we fenced the ranch safe for horses and built a barn. Whatever she taught him he is as he is. He was apparently not broken to ride when he arrived in Oregon, but to drive. He was a fine harness horse at a Saddlebred barn in New Jersey.

Today my husband went to the county tax office and the ladies learned of the address and said Oh, that is where that beautiful horse lives. He is sleek and shiny, long legged long necked and high headed. Today I let him out in pasture 1 by the road with the Dinkey pony. He was doing airs above the ground. bucking, then rearing and leaping into the air. Quite a traffic stopper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Today riding my horse I had shivers of joy. It has been years since I felt this with any horse.

The dressage trainer rode on constant contact. He steers like a Mac truck. Today I used my husbands side pull bridle and he did great and was very sensitive. Before this he was ridden in a Cook bitless per the trainer, because of my hard hands She wanted the Dr. Cook with the cross reins under the jaw set to the rings on each side instead of crossed. The trainer did not think the cross under jaw setup was logical. Since he was home I have been riding him in a knotted rope halter. Today was the first time with the sidepull bridle. It has a rawhide upper noseband. He was giving to pressure, something the dressage trainer did not teach. She said that softening would take years.

I rode him all over with turns, stops and back ups. I could tell he was getting stressed and stiffening. So I dismounted and got him to stand and bend all the way around to the girth. But he was also stepping sideways with his hind feet. So I put my thumb back further back of the girth to step away from that pressure and disengage his hind quarters as well.

My husband drove up and said what are you doing? Teach one thing at a time. So I took him into the barn breezway and stood him against the wall and asked for the bend from the ground. He gave to pressure both way numerous times. Then I mounted and rode him out. He stood and gave to pressure both ways and was light light light to stop, turn and backup Shivers of joy.. When a horse understands and tries to please you it blows you away.
 

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Today riding my horse I had shivers of joy. It has been years since I felt this with any horse.
I am so excited and happy for you! I have been looking and hoping for replies about how your horse was doing after you got him home. I had a feeling it would be like this . . . so glad!!!!
 
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