How to "test" a horse that hasn't been ridden in years...

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by youknowwho000, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. youknowwho000

    youknowwho000 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    171
    Long story short, I am adopting a 9 year old Hancock bred gelding. He was trained professionally as a 4 year old and I'm not sure if he has been ridden since (I *think* he has, but I'm sure it wasn't by experienced riders). I KNOW he hasn't been ridden in at least a year and a half as he was thrown out on a pasture with a 1200 lb round bale and was forgotten about. His feet weren't touched and he is ridiculously obese. He has a very "in your pocket" personality (almost pushy, but he backs off fairly easily and is good about moving away from pressure). He is calm and confident and good with having his feet done and trailering. That is about as much as I know about him. Oh, and did I mention he's fat? I mean REALLY a chunk! :rolleyez:

    So my question is-How would you go about getting back on this horse and seeing what he can do? What precautions would you take?

    I am an experienced rider. I've started several colts and ride dressage and reining/cutting horses. However, I have not dealt with this particular situation before and I always choose the safest and most reliable option rather than just hop on and hope for the best!
     






  2. youknowwho000

    youknowwho000 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    171
    Some pictures of Hemi....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. barrelgirl8899

    barrelgirl8899 Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,819
    Likes Received:
    507
    Id start with a lot of ground work. Yeilding his fore and hind from the ground, lunging, getting him in a little bit of shape, etc, and making sure he's healthy. After I've worked with him on the ground, I would see how he does being saddled, then I'd lunge him saddled, see how he does. After he does well with that, theres really not much left to do except hop on. Obviously these steps should be taken over the course of days or weeks, depending on how he does.
    From what you've said he seems to have a great personality, and isn't scared of people, which is a big plus. He'll understand what you're trying to get him to do, and he'll remember, and most likely, he'll enjoy the attention.
     
  4. youknowwho000

    youknowwho000 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    171
    Thanks for the reply! This is about what I had in mind....basically approach it as if I'm starting a horse for the first time. What would your suggestion be for getting on? Would you just get on and go, so to say? Or would you have someone lunge him with you on him? Or sometimes, I'll flex their nose all the way to one side or another and have someone basically "push" him around without him having full freedom of his head and neck?
     
  5. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member+

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Messages:
    23,536
    Likes Received:
    43,294
    I'd put him in the round pen and do a little change of direction, see if he's willingly going to follow my lead, and if so, I'd saddle him up and ride him around in a corral. If he acts good I'd take him out of there and ride him maybe 20 min. more then quit for the day. I'd gradually increase his work to get him fit. I wouldn't expect him to act bad. Horses normally give you what you expect, so if you expect him to act good, he probably will. You have confidence and he will be more willing to comply.
     
  6. youknowwho000

    youknowwho000 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    171
    Sweet! Sounds like a plan!:charge:
     
  7. aladatrot

    aladatrot Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes Received:
    2,224
    A tired horse is less likely to be a fractious horse.

    Cheers
    M
     
  8. cornhuskergirl

    cornhuskergirl Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,208
    Likes Received:
    2,623
    I don't know if you have worked a lot with Hancock horses, but if not, one FYI. Hancock horses, particularly those crossed with certain lines, have a reputation of being very sweet and well-mannered on the ground, but hiding a horrible buck in there. So I would definitely do what other people have mentioned and start out in the round pen.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Artrageous

    Artrageous Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    247
    If it were me, I'd act like I was freshly starting him and see what he knows. If he seems like he knows what you're doing, move on to the next thing.
     
    2 people like this.
  10. Pirate

    Pirate Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    809
    Treat him like an Unbroken horse and take things quiet and slow at first.
     
    2 people like this.






Share This Page