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reidhorsegrl10

Continued Riding...

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I recently brought my mare home from the trainer after 60 days training. I have been working her in the round pen some and wondering what are some good things to do with her in the round pen and then to build her confidence out in the open. We both get bored with the same ole same ole. Doing patterns and turns but just wondering what are some good things to do to build her up and continue her muscling and conditioning.

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Hi, I think how far you want to start challenging this horse depends on how much body control she has. You need to be able to move her hips , shoulders, back and a good stop to have control of her. JMO, I agree riding in the round pen is boring if that horse has a good foundation with learned cues. Also they start to depend on it for their balance in way of going. Good horse training is often times boring at a point of you ingraining these cues. When you know the horse will listen to you and trust you, then up the pressure with exposure. This depends on how confident you are as this is going to translate to her. If you have a pasture to ride in start working her out there but you have to be the one to judge how far and what to ask of her to set her up for success in getting past her comfort zone. To me one of the biggest mistakes folks make is not riding that horse consistently when it comes home from the trainers. Riding is going to condition that horse if it's done as a routine.

If you have someone with a seasoned horse take her out with them for your first rides out on some trails. Split up on the trails at points to teach her to leave the other horse, expand this and challenge her to keep her mind busy. Ride over stumps, around trees, etc. Just because a horse rides well in an arena, often times they bugger look in the woods if they haven't learned to ride out on their own. I have 2 seasoned horses and I make each of them go out alone to keep them relaxed and confident. Good luck and ride where you can to set the horse up to succeed.

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Good points by FC

The round pen is okay for those first few rides, but then you gain nothing by riding in a round pen long term,, and in fact, horses ridden too long in around pen, start to rely on those walls to guide them, and also control them

I agree with FC, that if you don't have an outdoor arena, then ride in pasture, I used to start young horses there all the time, as I did not even have a round pen way back when

Confidence , being ridden out in the open is only achieved by riding there, and conditioning happens with regular work, esp long trotting

What you do put on a horse, in a controlled area, is body control, so that you have the tools to ride that horse through things out in the open

Shoulder, hip and rib control. I work a lot on shoulder control esp, because a horse naturally follows his shoulders, until we teach him to follow his nose with his entire body in the correct aleignment.

A horse without shoulder control, esp one that has been over flexed , standing still, learning to rubber neck, can run off in one direction, following his shoulder, even with head and neck cranked in the opposite direction

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Hi, I think how far you want to start challenging this horse depends on how much body control she has. You need to be able to move her hips , shoulders, back and a good stop to have control of her. JMO, I agree riding in the round pen is boring if that horse has a good foundation with learned cues. Also they start to depend on it for their balance in way of going. Good horse training is often times boring at a point of you ingraining these cues. When you know the horse will listen to you and trust you, then up the pressure with exposure. This depends on how confident you are as this is going to translate to her. If you have a pasture to ride in start working her out there but you have to be the one to judge how far and what to ask of her to set her up for success in getting past her comfort zone. To me one of the biggest mistakes folks make is not riding that horse consistently when it comes home from the trainers. Riding is going to condition that horse if it's done as a routine.

If you have someone with a seasoned horse take her out with them for your first rides out on some trails. Split up on the trails at points to teach her to leave the other horse, expand this and challenge her to keep her mind busy. Ride over stumps, around trees, etc. Just because a horse rides well in an arena, often times they bugger look in the woods if they haven't learned to ride out on their own. I have 2 seasoned horses and I make each of them go out alone to keep them relaxed and confident. Good luck and ride where you can to set the horse up to succeed.

VERY great advice, thank you!!! My main problem now that she is home is the consistent riding. Between work and the early sun setting the weekend (when the weather allows) I get her ridden. I greatly appreciate your advice!!!!

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Ya'll both mention riding in a pasture. The only pasture I have to ride in is the pasture my horses are in. I have always ridden my horses in it, as when it rains it doesn't hold water so it doesn't have to have the drying out everywhere else does. I recently heard someone say that you shouldn't ride your horse where they live. What is ya'lls thought on this??

Thanks again for ALL the great advice!

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Depends on the horse's level of training, far as riding in their pasture, and other horses out there.

When riding a green horse in the pasture, before he is to the point where you have a good stop and body control on him, it can be bad idea without removing his buddies first. Some loose horses will suddenly buck, race and play, setting up a situation that might be beyond your level and that of your green horse to stay safe and focused.

On my broke horses, no problem, and I do it all the time, checking fence, etc, or just if I want to go on a short ride, lope some circles, etc, with lots of room

Yes, that regular riding that a green horse needs for those first months can be difficult to get done, between a job, etc-been there done it , years ago when still working in the lab and when my children were small

However, i was young then, and spent many an evening, after work, quickly putting a ride on a young horse, after hubby got home, while it was getting dark, or even in the dark, during those early winter nights

Many rides were across snowy fields or along the side of the road, after a rain, as the gravel was soft

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Can't add much that Smilie hasn't said. I think the concern with riding where they live is say if that's the only area you ride in all the time. Horses get use to a comfort zone. If you ride the same routine and in the same place. You want to expand past that comfort zone once you feel the horse is ready. Once your horse is a seasoned horse just riding in the pasture can lead to a bored horse that tends to cheat the routine. Horses are a lot like kids, they get bored they look for something to do.

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Well we ventured out of the round pen today and into the pasture, she was super nervous. Worked through it minus the other girl I have running the fence line hollering the whole time. Overall she did well, but just didn't feel she was ready for that yet.

Game plan I was thinking was maybe starting in the round pen and then venture out in the pasture after so she sees it as a reward and maybe not so much as a stressful work zone?? She is a nervous horse, so not so much trying to baby her but not trying to make her have a bad experience since she is still so green. Please tell me if I'm looking at this wrong lol!!

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Not a bad idea to work her some in the roundpen first, taking the edge off, and then venturing out. You can work on body control in the round pen, get her really listening to you, and then take her out for an easy ride,, just letting her relax and not schooling her.

If you feel that the other horse that is running along the fenceline, screaming, is too much of a distraction, at this point in time, I would tie that horse up somewhere safe

Ride in your comfort zone, as that also will cause you to relax, and your horse will pick up on that. Horses, being a prey species, are very tuned into body language.

If you seem tense , the horse does not extrapolate that you are tense, apprehensive as to her reaction, but rather that her 'leader' is tense, so there really must be something to worry about.

I know this is easier said then done, but a reason John Lyons says 'ride where you can, and not where you cannot', until you can ride safely to where you presently can't

This is a fine line, as your horse needs the exposure to become confident, but at the same time, you want to set both of you up for success, thus avoid a bad experience, if possible

Good luck, and stay safe!

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Riding has been going pretty good when weather allows... Got to love the winter months and weather!!!

I've been riding her in a d-ring and at times, in the pasture especially, I'm finding it's not a whole lot of control. I would love to keep her mouth as light as possible but sometimes leg and body control does not work when she gets worked up or excited there is little to know control.

What is a recommendation for a bit to maybe add into training if needed...

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Rather than looking to another bit to try to solve a problem, look for the source of the problem and try to address that.

What gets this horse worked up and excited? What are you doing at the time? Is your interaction with the horse what is getting her excited or is it externatl stimulants? How do you respond?

How are you trying to apply leg and body control? How are you sitting at the time? Are you actually trying to move her or simply trying to direct her as she moves herself? Does she seem to understand what you are asking her to do? If so, do you reward her for trying even if she doesn't get everything perfrect? If not, do you simply try harder, or do you try to find another way of explaining to her what you want?

Are you striving to keep the learning environment calm? Do you strive to remove negative tension both in your own body and in that of your horse? Do you take the time necessary to think and explain things clearly? Do you provide your horse the opportunity to think, feel, experiment, and try to figure out how she is supposed to respond?

These are more important things to be thinking about than the type of bit you should switch to.

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It is the environment. The cow pasture next to use, a tarp on the neighbors building, etc. If she bolts I use the one rein stop. When she gets nervous anxious I make sure I am not stimulating the situation and try putting her to work, as this is usually what works. However, I have learned that once she gets worked up it's hard to get her to come back down. That is something I am trying to work on. Not looking to change her bit unless it needs it that was all my post was in regards to is what would be a good next.

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Address your horse as you would a small child who was unusually concerned about things that would not harm her. Talk quietly to her. Hum. Sing softly. Breathe with deep relaxed breaths. Try to calmly introduce her to the things that seem to bother her.

While on the ground, lead her up to the fence of the neighboring pasture, especially if inquisitive cows are near. Don't force her. If she stops, patiently stand with her as you continue to talk to her quietly and reassuringly. If she tries to walk away, walk with her. Then, slowly turn her around and try another approach. Take her away and approach from a different angle. If you can, turn her loose in a pasture next to the one with the cows. You may find that she becomes curious once she realizes they are not going to jump the fence and attack her.

The same is true with the tarp. If she is quartered nearby where she can see it, she should become accustomed to it. You might get a tarp of the same color and hang it on the fence of her paddock.

It is always helpful, if possible, to take a nervous horse to a new area with a horse that is very stable and accepts this area without concern.

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Good advise!

A new bit is not going to season her, far as environment

Exposure, time, learning to trust your judgement, and ingraining positive responses, in the answer.

Teach the 'calm down cue. Head up, frozen in place, is flight mode, being able to ask a horse to lower their head, give tot he bit, is a calm down cue. John Lyons has a very good chapter concerning this, in his series, Communicating with cues, part 11

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Thank ya'll both for the GREAT advice!!

I think I am going to keep just having patience and easing her into it all and incorporate some of the things that may put her on edge in her pasture or around the barn.

This is one of the many reasons I love the forums on here :)

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You're so full of good advice, smilie, even when it's someone else's thread, I learn stuff.

OP, good luck with your horse, lots of good advice here, huh?

Edited by equicrzy

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