A Couple Questions on Trianing Greenies

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by faroutfax, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. faroutfax

    faroutfax Senior Member

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    Stormy got ridden for this first time this July :D Since then I'd guess that she's had little over a dozen rides on and off. So far I've been the only one working with her, and she's the first horse I've trained from scratch too :eek:

    So far everything has gone really well. She was an angel getting on and riding for the first couple times. No bucking, no temper tantrum, very simmilar to a broke horse actually :p She is pretty much bombproof because she was raised from a bottle, I've seen her spook maybe twice in 5 years :wink: As of now we are working on walk/trot, and she is very willing; just needs to work on staying consistant. And for now we're just riding in a simple jumping hackamore.

    Which brings me to my first question :) She was raised from a bottle, and even with tons of ground work she is still pretty stiff with her face. She does understand the ques, but it is as if she has a tough mouth, only with her face :blushing: If that made any sense. For now I've been using alot of voice, breathing and seat ques for her, she likes them and they work for me. But should I keep trying to push rein ques with her? Or should I just keep developing the ques that we can start fresh with (seat, voice, etc)? In general I prefer to use alot of seat ques, so could this work out?

    And question #2 :D When is the best time to introdice the canter? One part of me wants her to just get used to it now, even if it is abit awkward. And another part wants me to wait until she has everything down pretty much perfect at the trot before moving to a faster gait. :rolleyez: Oh and she is 5 now, yep she was broke pretty late... long story, so her bones should be set and ready for work by now :)

    I suppose that's all my questions for now, I'll probably remember something else as soon as I click submit :p Any help is appreciated. Like I said she's the first horse I've started myself and I'm working pretty much alone. I just want to make sure I'm on the right track :D

    Oh and a picture of the crazy pony if anyone is interested :p
    [​IMG]

    ETA: Right now I'm not 100% sure on what I want to do with her. At first I'd probably like to take her to a couple local western shows (since that's what I show now). But since she's not registerable I think I'd later like to do some dressage with her. And if neither work out she'll just be a good trail horse :)
     
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  2. PinkHorse

    PinkHorse Senior Member+

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    I'm not sure how bottle feeding would make a horse stiff in the face. I would put her in a sidepull or bit rather than a hackamore and ask her to start giving in her face.

    I personally love voice commands with young horses. It makes it very easy to translate ground training into under saddle work. Use the voice commands to reinforce what your body is telling the mare to do.

    I ask for the 1st canter as soon as the horse is relaxed at the walk & jog, understands how to give to the leg, and has a great whoa. :wink: Until they are balanced at the canter/lope, I never ask for a corner - straight lines only.

    Take it slow, keep your horse as correct as she is physically able, pay attention to what she's telling you, and keep the end goal in mind and you won't go too far wrong. Best of luck! :)
     
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  3. faroutfax

    faroutfax Senior Member

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    Well for years she was allowed to drag people around, and treat them like horses. So she'd get her face pulled on (just leading) and she'd pull back. We've since mostly fixed the problem, but she isn't as light as any other "normal" horse should be :)

    Oh and her jumping hackamore is just like a sidepull, no shanks :)

    Well for now she is pretty relaxed in the trot, just not really balanced on smaller trot circles. And she has an amazing woah :) If you exhale deeply and relax down abit in the saddle she will come to a complete stop. :p
     
  4. Bluwind_Acres

    Bluwind_Acres Senior Member

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    First of all the older the horse, i think the easier they are to break. they are more mature in thier bodies and more solid in the personality and thought processes.

    #1- to soften her face first of all you need to start her in a snaffle, I recommend a dog bone/ three piece d ring snaffle or a thin mouth piece egg butt snaffle (like the ones myler make). work her in the snaffle alot and if she's still too stiff try some flexing. stand on the ground and start with her in the halter and pull to one side. the idea is not for her to turn. if you wanted her to turn you would likely be clicking. insteat you want to stand behind her shoulder to keep her from mistaking what you are asking for a turning cue. you want to put stiff pressure and when she gives to it creating slack in the rope release immediately. at first she will just try turning and turning just keep your request first, its rather dizzying but she will relax. she may also brace against it remember to stay firm. do this on both sides until you can easilly bring her head around with little pressure on the rope. you can then move on to start this with her in her bridle, then finally work her in the saddle in the halter, then the bridle in the saddle. you want her as soft as possible. you cant do enough flexing. next you want her to flex at the poll. with this you will put pressure on the bit as if you are asking her to back but it will be in give and take but never release all pressure if she dropps her head even a little stop, dropp the reins if you must and rub her and give verbal praise. work from there until you can bring her nose in atleast a little. she will resist at first she will toss her head, she may tryt turning it to each side but keep the pressure consistant, she is trying to figure out what will get that pressure to go away. again when she even manages to do it a little praise her and release pressure. you have to build on it. by getting her soft will get her to loosen up.

    #2 the best time to start is when you have three things. #1-a great stop, I wont consider a lope or canter until you have this. #2- you can control her body (her for hand her middle and her rear) cause if she spooks and you dont have control of her body it could be dangerous. #3-near perfect responce to the bit while turning, stopping and backing.

    feel free to ask if you have any other questions.

    also its often thought but horses who are bottle fed are supposed to be sweet and more well behaved when they are often more rebellous and harder to train than those who arent. because foals never respect thier mother and when you bottle feed they see people as thier mother and guess what? they usually dont give propper respect.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  5. 250girl

    250girl Senior Member

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    First of all I would put her in a full-cheek snaffle with a medium mouthpiece, nothing too thin. Also, I would avoid a loose ring snaffle until she is more used to a bit, if it pinches her in these early stages she could hate a bit forever. I broke my horse in a halter/leadrope and then moved immediately to a bit, horses that get too old without being bitted have harder time ever accepting it (or that's been my experience).

    I would get the horse cantering as soon as possible, even if it takes some pushing. Just make sure you have a good whoa, and be as CALM as possible. Green horses that get ino the whole walk/trot/circles thing tend to get sour and are not as open to new things. Get the horse comfortable doing walk/trot/canter, throw in some trotting poles and barrels and new things to keep it interesting. Once the horse is pretty confident and happy with everything, then start refining it step by step. If all your horse does is walk and trot in an arena, she'll figure you out pretty fast and start ingnoring you. Be consistent with your riding and aids, but be RANDOM with what you ask, and reward the smallest try. This will keep it fun for you and your horse.

    Also, one of the best things for experience and balance is trail riding, if you have that option. Up hills, down hills, that is all really good for developing balance.

    Anyways, hope I was of some help. Everyone has different horse training opinions, and I hop you choose whatever works best for you and your horse,

    250girl
     
  6. Bluwind_Acres

    Bluwind_Acres Senior Member

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    I disagree with the above poster. age has nothing to do with being harder to ride in a bit. I have broken horses out from ages 3 to 19. all with little to no saddle work previous. Ive only found a difference in thier mind and body strength not in the bridling. they lick chomp, chew and try to spit the bit out just like any other youngster.

    I dont think rushing anything should EVER be done. NEVER rush training. if boredom is the thing you want to prevent do all your work on the trail.

    I highly recommend a three piece not a regular snaffle since then you dont get the tent effect (where the center of the mouth piece pokes the top of thier mouth) myler egg butt snaffles are great though as they are bent some to reduces that poking effect.
     
  7. 250girl

    250girl Senior Member

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    I said that it's a good idea to get your horse comfortable with cantering as soon as possible, even if it takes a little pushing (because sometimes it does, when they're inexperienced and a little nervous). I didn't say rushing training, or pushing any harder than a little was ok.
     
  8. Bluwind_Acres

    Bluwind_Acres Senior Member

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    if they are a little nervous then its time to go back to basics. they shouldnt be nervous, or inexperianced. its our job as trainers to prepare them and get them ready to take new things in stride, no pun intended lol.

    we give them experiance when we ask for them to do something. if you were to go to class and they were doing algerbra, you get it. however the next day they put you in algerbra 2. are you going to be totally prepared and ready to handle the situation as you would with a year of algerbra rather than a day? same with a horse. you want them to have the basics down pat. you want them 100 percent on the stop, control over her body parts and good bit responce. when I start a western pleasure horse I dont even start cantering until I can collect the horse at the trot and they can hold it, they need to be balenced. you have to remember not only do they have to be prepared in the mind but body as well other wise you get a hollow back, head in the air, stiff necked canter and more than likely you will get a rough fore hand stop too. im not saying to work on collection cause I have no idea what the intentions with this mare are but the three basics are a MUST. no pushing or anything of the sort. but thats a personal opinion. Ive seen far too many horses coming to me who are falling apart because someone thought the horse HAS to canter asap and havent prepared the mind and body. time, patience and experiance are the building blocks of a good solid horse no matter what the discipline.

    you are open to your opinion. this is a message board everyone has an opinion, believe me lol. this is mine.
     
  9. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member

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    One has nothing to do with the other ;)

    Not sure what you mean "only with her face", but a "tough mouth" IS related directly to what the head/face is doing.

    Soften the horse front to back, ride the horse back to front.

    You cannot do ANY correct riding without a soft face, so no, you can't ignore it, can't work on something else ;) The responsiveness to the bit or halter or whatever mouth or nose pressure has got got got to be the very first thing that gets accomplished.

    Certainly not until you have soft face, and at the walk and trot.

    What you have now is a very very very unbroke horse if she is not soft in her head, so canter is not a good idea. But neither do you have to wait until things are "perfect" (what does that mean in this context?) at the trot. There is middle ground.

    No worries on this - she still has a lack of muscling, so that is your determining fitness factor now :)

    At this point it doesn't matter what you want to do - the basics are the basics :) So don't let what you do, or don't want to do shape what you do with her now :)
     
  10. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member

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    The thickness of the mouthpiece entirely depends on the depth of the horse's mouth. "Thin" is all relative when it comes to comfort. A horse with a low palate and thick tongue can't take anything too thick, and what might seem "thin" to you might be just right for him :)

    Properly fitted, no loose ring should ever pinch. But regardless, a loose ring is generally not the best idea for a horse, any horse, whatever age or level of training, who has an uneducated mouth. There are times when you need to have strong "discussions" with the horse, and that last thing you need is the loose ring sliding through the mouth, even a little, and you don't want the chin strap done so tightly as to prevent it 100% of the time. Also, the lack of a stable piece against the side of the face is less conducive to teaching the horse to yield to the pressure. That's what makes a full cheek better for that, but even a D ring (Hunter D with longer straight piece) can do the job well.

    VERY educated hands with a horse who doesn't have preconceived notions about not yielding to the bit, or with a horse who already yields instantly and correctly to halter pressure, can go to a loose ring very early.

    Maybe your experience, but there is nothing about the age of a horse that makes him more resistant to the bit. It's all about the education.

    I agree, but not with a horse whose head is as resistant as this one's apparently is. You just can't even begin to do anything correctly if the horse is that stiff in that area. Something has to improve there first.

    I do agree that the sooner you can introduce all the basics, the more easily they tend to accept it nicely as just part of the game. There are exceptions of course, but generally... :)

    Well, you always start working on refinement, from the minute you get on every ride :) It starts by asking for the crude response and working on more and more refined as the days, even, go by :)

    Absolutely! Get out of the ring as soon as possible, but don't ignore the ring, and don't just go 'round and 'round the ring when you're in there. Switch things up, but make sure you can prepare the horse as best you can. In other words, don't just be toodling along at the trot and suddenly say "ok, now walk" because that does nothing but dump the horse on his forehand. Give the horse warning that you're going to ask for a change - that's where half halts are important, but those have to be developed as well :)
     

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