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.