When lunging your horse in the round pen quit asking the horse to slam on the brakes and turn away from you! It’s not good for the horse, it’s not productive in any way, if you’re riding it’s similar looking to a roll back but they are not alike at all. Rollback requires a nice STOP on the hind end then crossing over in the front, remaining on the hind end until pushing off to head the other direction. This round pen action is just simply you cutting your horse off in mid stories, no prep time, no warning and the horse scrambling to move away.
Instead of doing this just ask your horse to stop and stand before reversing and let it take a break before asking it to reverse direction. This will get your horse on its hind end faster than whatever train wreck y’all are trying to accomplish by this amateur maneuver (and 90% of you are guilty of doing it). This incorrect action will cause your horse to have anxiety and a lack of respect in you because your lack of allowing the horse time to process what you’re asking. You’re basically showing the horse you’re on a power trip and they don’t know what they did wrong.
Save your horses legs and brain but just letting them STOP. Your horse will start moving more relaxed and start lowering its head because it’s confident and trusts you will give him ample time to process then react to a new cue. You’ll notice your horse will enjoy lunging much more once you do.
We all have or know of the horse with a pathetic tail. Usually found in Appaloosa horse but also in horses who have rubbed them out or had them chewed off. This will help your tail troubles and keep your horse comfortable in fly season!
First of all have fun with this, you’ll need a hair tie or rubber band, vet wrap of your choice and bailing twine.
Braid the tail, roll the tail up through the braid at the top then wrap with vet wrap. Bring the wrap through the same hole you brought the braid through. This keeps the wrap on. Then secure your bailing twine. Make a loop in the twine and run your wrap through it and continue wrapping the tail until the wrap runs out.
Don’t worry if it looks funny you’ll get better at it over time. This wrap can stay in for multiple months! In the winter I don’t add twine. Now you have your horses tail protected so it can grow, and a fly swatter to keep them comfortable. Make sure you are feeding proper nutrition and the tail should grow back to its normal thickness as before. Appaloosa owners you just might as well get used to this wrap your tails are not in the mail lol.
Function over fashion but I like the colored twine it’s fun!
We’ve all heard the term “take your shoes off and stay a while”. What does that mean in regards to horses? Well, we live in a world of instant gratification. We want something we usually have the means to make it happen right away. Not with horses. Horses are on their own time. If you don’t have patience they will teach you otherwise and usually the hard way.
The lesson here is about settling a new horse into the barn. There’s a process. Yes letting them relax in their stall a few days with turn out to stretch and roll and play is all well and good but there’s more to it. Horses will be most comfortable where they spend the most time. In their stalls but when you let them stick to that too long then want to go outside they are herd bound and barn sour. We get frustrated but why? We created this monster. You can avoid all of this by bringing the horse around the barn after two days of acclimation. Let them graze away from the barn, scratch and love on them. Talk to them. Be the buddy they seek comfort from. Once you establish this you’ll never have herd bound or barn sour problems!
Be patient, make short visits around the barn in the beginning to avoid overwhelming the animal. The goal is comfort and relaxation. No force. No fear. In a week you’ll see a huge difference in the horse, your relationship with the horse and the horses confidence in his surroundings. Now you can start working them. They are ready and they are thankful you took the time.
In order to train a good horse you must first give them part of your heart. When it’s time for them to go to their new homes they take that part of your heart with them so you both remain together forever.
My horses are all basically the same under saddle. They of course have their own personalities and differences but once you can ride one you typically can ride them all unless the horse only likes me (I have a few of them). That being said, every trainer should say the same thing that once you can ride one you can ride them all. We have a recipe for success and stick to it. My recipe is no force, no spurs, no tie downs, no gimmicks.
If you do your homework on the ground and “set them up to succeed” you will have a much easier job in the saddle and both you and your horse will enjoy the ride. You want your horse to enjoy being ridden and look forward to it. Don’t make it miserable for them by riding them to a sweaty lather and poking them in their sides with spurs until they are swollen and tying down their heads to force a pretty picture. That’s going to chase away any “try” or respect your horse has left.
Horses can feel a fly on them and twitch any part of their body to get it to fly away. Why do we think spurs are a needed tool?! Horses use their necks to keep their body balanced. Why do we think tying their head down will teach them to collect? Why do we feel we need to ride the horse to a sweaty lather in order to achieve a result? WE DON’T!! STOP DOING THESE THINGS! Train with softness and understanding and you will get the same in return. Take the time.
There’s a difference between collected and rounded. Collected is a forced position that is all too commonly confused with rounded. Rounded takes twice as long to achieve, its the product of multiple steps leading up to it and its noticeably more relaxed and natural.
The problem is that people see a horse in “frame” and want it so they force it. This will cause sore muscles, more chiropractor visits and a hard mouth in time. If you take your time and work on softness first and natural collection you’ll achieve a much prettier picture, a fluid movement, rounded and understanding partnership with your horse.
The forced collection is still hollowing your horses back and causing stress points at their withers and poll. Most commonly I see horses over collected or “behind the vertical”. The horse can’t see once his face is cranked back.
A nice rounded horse moves naturally, comfortably and relaxed. You’ll also see the partnership between the two in this case with rider it seems the rider barely cues the horse and instant softness.
Take your time, do your homework and it will all fall into place 🙂
Rooster’s story my biggest rehabilitated success. I got him when he was full of infection, off his feed and couldn’t walk. He was weak and thin. But I believed in him. He wasn’t ready to give up so I did my very best for him. I’d do it all again. *One year of rehabilitation *
Alright it’s that time of year when we pull out our mud ball that’s covered in shedding hair and smells like an old boot into the barn to start riding. Summer prep has begun!
First let’s make the horse more comfortable and for Pete’s sake smell better. Lunge the horse until it’s sweaty, don’t worry it won’t take long. Then it’s bath time! Bathe with medicated shampoo to rid their skin of all the free loading nasties they’ve collected over winter. I prefer Aloe medicated shampoo. It cleanses with bedadine properties and soothes with Aloe. You’re horse will be less itchy and irritable once they are put back into work.
Lunge daily for a week until the horse is sweaty then hose them off and call it a day. Do this for a week or two depending on the condition of said “pasture potatoe”. Some horses need more prep before riding to find their brain.
Once your horse is used to lunging routine then you can start riding. Remember to ease them into it they’ve been used to the mellow lifestyle so it’s best to bring them back to work gradually to avoid stress or injury.