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Kite&Frosty25

So Much Energy!

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I am getting Kite my 4 year old gelding back from the trainers today. He put 60 days under saddle on him. Wish I could afford another month but I can't right now... had some medical bills that had to be paid asap. I asked how he was coming along and he said he still has a bunch of energy but doing good. I am going to ride him with his instruction today before I bring him home. He's a fantastic trainer but I can't consistently get instruction from him as he is 40 miles from me and I'd have to trailer him there. Plus he's an extremely busy guy! And honestly can't afford to make ends meet now, let alone take lessons on him with him or someone else. Anyways... all I got in my head is me getting taken off on and hurt. Not that he'd do that but can't rule it out either. I've rode all my life but took a break for a couple years once I got married and now im feeling like I've lost my confidence! Which is nuts because just a few years back I would be the type that says "He bolts, he bucks, he rears? I'll ride him!!" Or someone could tell me a horse can't be rode and I'd say "watch me!" I ride my mare Frosty everywhere but she's kid broke, laid back and my oldest step daughters horse technically.

I have no fenced in area to ride besides my round pen. Been getting fence a little every pay check to close in our pasture but as of right now, it's still open on 3 sides.

Kite is the type of horse that needs a job and to keep his mind focued and busy. I know this horse like the back of my hand. I was the one who touched him for the very first time (he was an untouched yearling stud colt), did all the ground work and haltered him the very first time in his life. We have a very strong connection and it killed me to not see him for two months. It was like sending your child off to school on their first day of kindergarten lol.

What are some exercises to keep his mind busy in the round pen? Flexing, one rein stops, transitions trot to canter to trot to canter etc. Stops, backing, bending? What else?

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Trick training is great for keeping a mind busy. If you don't know how, there are some good books and vids on the subject. Its not just fun either. It helps teach respect and learning to focus on you instead of the surroundings. It also makes other training a little easier.

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there is a saying, "the better a horse goes sidewards and backwards the better he'll do everything else". I agree with about the groundwork and trick training, but you can teach him some practical things as well on the ground like sidepassing over a pole or branch, backing up (eventually through a slalom line), backing into his stall if he has one or the round pen. all of this will translate to useful skills when under saddle like opening and closing gates.

don't worry about the confidence thing and just listen to your gut. when that little voice tells you it's time to get on consistently you will. have fun!! (and stay safe!!)

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I would definitely recommend getting some poles to work over - I've known many horses who will focus and work better if they have something they have to step over. And even if he's a western horse, learning to jump a little is helpful on the trail. (Teach him loose or on the lunge first, that way if he trips over you won't get hurt - and a lot of horses do when they first try jumping).

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Does being half thoroughbred have anything to do with him bring high strung? The trainer told me to cut out all grain and just provide him with good quality hay or he'll have too much energy. That can't be right can it? He's a very hard keeper and needs something to keep his weight up. He's not the type of horse that just gets fat on air like my Paso Fino mare lol.

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him being a tb has everything to do with his breeding. they're bred to run, so he'll need to have a workout. everyday. i was lucky enough to have a racetrack as a neighbor so could run mine around every day, but you have to be sure they stay with you. that's why groundwork is very important before you try that. make sure he STAYS with you.

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If he's a hard keeper, rice bran is an excellent source of calories that won't make him hot. Ground flax is good too, and excellent for hooves/coat. Just stay away from sweet feeds/sugar. Make sure you have someone on the ground while you get reacquainted - even if they aren't a "trainer" it's good from a safety perspective to have supervision. Good luck and enjoy him :smilie:

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Being TB is not a reason to be high strung. That said, you might try a good magnesium supplement on him. I've seen it work wonders for high-strung horses, and I've owned a few, Arabians and TB's both. The "hot" ones settled pretty well after 60 days on the supp.

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being a tb means "high in blood" which means high energy that can lead to being "high strung" if they don't get to release it. compare a border collie with a Scottish deerhound and you'll get the idea.

it's not difficult--you just have to stay one step ahead. there are horses that need to work everyday or else they get frustrated.

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Well, horses are devided into three main classes

hot blood=TBs and Arabian

warmbloods -most riding horses (this is distinct from the term 'Warmblood', used in conjunction with sport horse breeding ), thus stock horses fall into this group

coldbloods drafts

So, yes, if one were to generalize , taking into account there are exceptions and different degrees within a breed, due to bloodlines, TBs will in general be 'hotter' than other horses

If you wish to that Dr Deb Bennett's classification of horses according to intended use, she divides them into

riding horses

pulling horses

race horses

Thus, even though many TBs make great riding horses, one has to remember that they are bred to run

Far as feed-supply cool calories to help with weight, which come from fat and not from NSC, which create 'sugar highs'

As for work- I see no purpose in trick training to keep a horse focused.You can add that, if it interests you, but having ridden stallions, it is quite clear what it takes to have a horse focus on you

You do not let the horse has his mind drift to horses out in the field, stuff going on around him, ect. When his mind is on other horses, it is not on you.

I rode young stallions, with mares running in pastures within view of my outside riding arena. If you allowed that stud to stall out, gaze at mares running in the field- his attention was gone, and I had better get ready for a buck or other un wanted activity. Bump that horse with you leg, the minute his attention wanders, remind him to giv his face and put him to work.

You are riding in a roundpen-thus where can that horse go? As one trainer told me=you can ride as fast as he can run!

I know I sound like a broken record-BUT, you can add all kinds of stuff, give the horse a job, etc, AFTER you have body control on that horse.

Thus, I would work on shoulder control, good transitions, turn on the haunches, turn on the forehand, a correct light hindend stop, a light back up, lightness in the face and poll. Those all come first in my books, before ever worrying that a horse might be 'bored' Don't have those things, and to me it is like driving a car with no brakes and faulty steering

Get those things on the horse, so you can ride him out, which will do wonders for his mind, more than any tricks, plus ride in a roundpen too long, and the horse begins to associate those walls with both controlling and guiding him

Once he has that basic body control, that is when I ride , jog, lope over poles or give the horse a 'job', like helping to move some cattle

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If you don't feel secure on his back, then find some activities to keep his feet and mind occupied.

My sister's TB Vanna, was race bred, a crack head and it was hard to keep weight on her.

We worked on control of her body parts, yield to the reins, move one foot at a time, do roll backs, side pass, back straight with cadence, go over ground poles (calavetti), walk calmly over or onto bridges/tarps/plywood/wood beams/what ever was handy, stop on command, desensitize to flags/balloons/umbrellas/atvs/motorcycles/bikes/loud noises, go over jumps......on a lunge line or driving with long reins and a surcingle.

You don't have to be on the horse, to teach a horse how to focus and do what you ask it to do.

As mentioned, there are ways to add "cool" calories to a horse's diet, including it's hay (she got an alfalfa mix). Vanna had thin soled, shelly hooves and feeding her Horseshoer's Secret gave her great hooves and seemed to help to keep weight on her.

I like Trick Training. It is more than "My horse bows on command!"

It teaches the horse to concentrate and wait for a verbal or physical cue from the trainer.

If you feed the treat with your palm down and use the back of your hand to bump the horse on the nose. Most horses will quickly learn to wait and gently remove the treat when you rotate your palm up and your fingers flat. Vanna could be piggy (former owner let her nip at his pockets for treats) so her small slice of carrot treat was dropped into a bucket when she earned it.

If you trick train between meals in the afternoon and only give small tokens of food. The horse will be eager to learn.

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