Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Learning hard but not giving up
#1
Hi fans:

Being a first time horse owner has been REALLY challenging for me this past year. Times, like last night's ride with niceer, but more advanced riders, I was SO disappointed, and frustrated, and sometimes feel so deflated in myself. All of YOU have truly made the difference and keep me going.

You see, I am trying, little by little, to pursue a lifelong dream. Since 5th grade, I had wanted to live in this sparsely populated great plains state, so one day, I quit my job, and moved 2000 miles t live in a tiny town, meet that special someone and live on a cattle ranch. My parents, though no longer around, hated to see me venture out on my own so far away. They finally figured I wasn't coming back after awhile, and I've been here 14 years. THAT was a challenge to move! Anyway, one day last year I finally decided that "someday I'm going to finally have my first horse" was the day I bought Newt at a sale on October 1. It has been SO TERRIBLY frustrating ever since. My boyfriend chose to go golfing rather than help me trailer my new horse out - I had to scramble to find a place I could keep him. My best friend Conni - a seasoned rider, tho no horse of her own at present, at my side the entire time encouraged me to purchase Newt, a quiet mannered, 5 year old. She PROMISED she'd teach me how to ride and would coach me every inch along the way. That never happened. So, I chose to ride him on my own, but three weeks into my new venture a Bobcat appeared around the corner ofthe barn, spooking Newt, and I got thrown - my back was injured and I was laid up for 8 weeks. My fiance drove to my town and trailered Newt to his ranch, 125 miles away, last October. He told me not to worry, he'd work with Newt in April after calving season. He never made it priority and never did anything. The next two that promised to work with Newt in that area a bit before summer - my now ex-fiance and a college graduate majoring in equine science, both failed me, too. He chose his ranch work over our relationship, she moved away to her boyfriend. Neither ever touched him, though I didn't find out until 6 weeks later because they had been telling me they were working on it. So, THEN, I wasn't able to find transport to get Newt back to my area - 125 miles west - until the end of July 2006. The next 6 trainers recommended to me were unavailable with full schedules. A well known show horseman/trainer (the now known leader of the bad-boy group at my stables) recommended a man who had trained three of his high-faluting show horses. Believing he must be a knowledgeable person with three-title winning champion Arabians, and not knowing any horsepeople, I took his recommendation. 21 days later and $350.00 gone, THIS recommended guy's idea of working a horse was running him fast, hard, and furious ALL day long. I didn't find out he was working him in this manner, because every day I called, he told me he was working cattle and sorting and such. I never learned the real story until 3 weeks later when I discovered Newt could hardly walk from the hard riding - I learned he had been riddedn that day for 11 hours straight. I was furious, but what could I do? Now with Newt slightly lame, an hour with the farrier and a month of recovery later, I still had only ridden him a couple of times since I had purchased him. And from there, you know the rest of the story with the broken bones and judgemental people at the stable.

Newt has one issue that I'm not sure how to handle. He is sweet and has a wonderful gait - smooth - but he gets extremely anxious if he can't be with the other horses - especially when they just up and go into a lope - I'm NOWHERE near going there yet! Also when he feels like he wants to run even in the round pen and area, he starts to prance and get REALLY hot and then, he'll buck, with his weight on the front. Last night I was able to stay on during a short ride, but that REALLY gets me tense, and I did a bad thing - I got off, I was shaking kinda bad. I did get back on and one of the ladies ponied us a short way until Newt was just laid back and calm - he was great the rest of the ride. Once he's done his little 2-3-4 step buck, he is absolutely calmed down and just a happy camper[/b] - sweet as can be. HOW CAN I ADDRESS THIS ISSUE? We have come so far in the two months we've been together, and I'm sure I can tackle this little irritating habit, I don't know how. If he was a dog, no problem - I'm an expert dog trainer - but the tools are way different. Newt has been trained to work cows and rope - and he knows a lot, but with every one I've talked to, books I've read, and programs I've watched, I know 2 dozen different ways to tie knots, bridle and saddle a horse, groom him, what to feed him, and how to be a horseowner. And all of them are right, and all of them are wrong - depending on who you talk to. I have no idea WHO is right. Now, with no other resources at hand and a pretty empty bank account, I am teaching myself with the Craig Cameron book - no, I don't have a riding buddy - they want to ride and run and not hassle with a pokey learner like me. It has been a very tough ride so far, but I love my horse, he just has this small issue to be corrected. I have worked way too hard to get here, and as a single lady venturing out to my dream of owning a horse, it sounds like it would be the finest of anything! I just don't have an abundance of finances, and due to the rural area, resourceful trainers are very difficult to find and secure. I'm not sure who to believe anymore. So I turn to you, my heros, with knowledge and encouragement, what should I do? What would you do in my shoes? I want to keep Newt - I KNOW we can do this! What do you think? Is there hope for this dream to come true?
Reply
#2
I have to commend you following your dream and fighting to keep it alive! It would certainly have been easy to throw up your hands and give it up.

You've got to remember Newt is still very young and is far from being a seasoned horse. He really hasn't been worked with much during the past year and those few weeks when he was worked probably set him back.

If his hindquarters are disengaged he can't buck. To disengage the hindquarters, you should circle him in tight circles. When he starts getting upset, pull your hand (assuming you're "plow reining" him) to your knee then up your thigh toward your hip until you get a bend and he begins to circle. He'll circle a few times or maybe several times but just sit and hold him in the circle until he stops, then release the pressure. That type of manuever is best done with a snaffle & chin strap (so the bit doesn't pull through his mouth).

But.. without the proper basic training, Newt won't know what you are asking when you pull his head around. He needs to learn to give to the pressure and that's taught gradually by pressure and release.

I've mentioned this [url="http://www.todayshorse.com/Articles/LateralFlexion.htm"]Clinton Anderson article[/url] before and think it's one of the best I've read on how to develop vertical and lateral flexion. There are pictures that go along with the article to show you what he means.

When you are trying to control him when he's prancing and getting hot, you may inadvertantly be causing some of his antics by not releasing the pressure.

Are you riding in a arena or round pen or are you trying all this in an open field?

Are you using the hackamore & tie down? If not, what bit are you using?

I wish there was someone there that could help you! It's got to be so frustrating to want to do something so badly and not able to get help. I think you've made tremendous progress on your own though and you will succeed!

Karen ~ Trails  
  &
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN

"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."
[Image: th_horse-galloping.gif]  

~~~~~~
Reply
#3
I know you are not going to like my advice, but I will say this: If you follow it, I believe you will be much happier and will realize your dream much faster. Here is my advice:

Sell Newt to a good home with an experienced rider, and go buy yourself a 12 to 20 year old done-that, been-there gelding who is dead broke and rides the same every day. They are out there.

Why do I recommend this? You are green, your horse is green. You are trying to learn to ride yourself...you need a horse that builds your confidence, not one you have to jump off of because you are afraid he is going to buck. Newt sounds like a wonderful horse...and I know you love him...but that does not mean he is the right horse for you. And believe me, as a 5 year old, he will not have just this "one little problem"...as a 5 year old, "new" issues and problems will crop up constantly due to his inexperience and age. Most of my really smart horse friends say the same thing..."a horse doesn't even get a brain until it's 10 years old." Now, that may be going a bit far, but what I'm saying (and I'm a greenie too) is that with a well broke, older gelding, you can concentrate on learning to ride, and enjoying riding...not constantly trying to figure out the "next" problem you encounter with a 5 year old horse. And since you don't have a mentor or experienced horse person you can count on, all the more reason for you to get a HORSE you can count on. Believe me, these older horses can teach YOU and they have the patience we beginners need in a horse!!

I had a 4 year old I loved, and he was a very quiet horse. But I finally learned that I did not have the skill or experience to teach him what he needed to know...my inexperience combined with his inexperience made it frustrating (and dangerous) for BOTH of us.

It will be hard...but believe me, I have never regreted selling him for even a second. I am enjoying riding like never before, I do it more often, and I feel more confident than ever.
Flooper

"I'm a man. I can change. If I have to. I guess."
The Man's Prayer from the Red Green Show
Reply
#4
Listen to the wise old Flooper owl.

He knows what he hoots about.
Karen ~ Trails  
  &
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN

"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."
[Image: th_horse-galloping.gif]  

~~~~~~
Reply
#5
Meadowinds i have sent you a Private message Please read it.
Atrayou
Reply
#6
All of my horses are young too and I also had all of the help you had. And I tried everything to get over my fears and try to ride. I ended up spending most of the time in the saddle and in the round pen trying not to throw up. Each time I got on it was harder and harder. It never got easier. I found a barn that has nothing but the "seen it done it" horses. The owner let me come over and just poke along in her indoor arena and soon I began to relax when I realized her horses weren't going to spazz out from underneath me. And gradually, without noticing it, I was getting more snd more relaxed. One day I found my mind just wandering. Not one thought about being afraid. That was the first time in my 5 year quest to ride my horses did that happen. And one month later, she had a trainer come into the barn and I started to take lessons. And for the first time ever I didn't hear the static buzzing in my head. I am now riding MY horses! Not as confidently as the dead broke ones but I'm riding!!! I had the luxury of keeping my horses while I was able to ride the experienced ones. WITHOUT THOSE "BEEN THERE-DONE THAT" HORSES,I STILL WOULD NOT BE RIDING!!! Thry have allowed me a year of riding I wouldn't have otherwise had. Listen to Flooper, and and be safe.
gaitingal

If you think I'm quiet, it's only because we aren't talking about horses!
Reply
#7
quote:
Originally posted by PaintGal

Listen to the wise old Flooper owl.

He knows what he hoots about.



Well, Paint, you definitely got the "old" part right!! Not so sure about the "wise" part!![Big Grin]
Flooper

"I'm a man. I can change. If I have to. I guess."
The Man's Prayer from the Red Green Show
Reply
#8
I have to agree with flooper as well but i can understand how you don't want to give up on newt. The first thing is get out of that stable, find yourself another place to keep newt. You need to take riding lessons from a quality professional, it makes all the difference in the world. The books, video, articles are great i would be nowhere without them but having a kind, intelligent horseperson you can relate to that can teach you the proper way to ride will boosts your confidence immensely. Ask your farrier, go to the feedstore ask around. The person who taught me to ride, who has become my mentor and good friend was one who did not advertise, i was given her name by a small tack shop when i mentioned i wanted to learn to ride. I prefer to stay away from the big stables anyways, alot of times they are always trying to impress and outdo everybody else, like your arabian buddies.
Don't give up, keep living your dream.
Reply
#9
Taking dreams to reality often offers challenges that makes the attainment of the goal that much more sweet.

Flooper is certainly correct in his suggestion that a seasoned proven horse would make things much easier. Depends on how fixed Newt is in your dream.

Paintedbliss and gaitingal also offer excellent advice in finding and getting help from experienced horse people on experienced horses.

If newt was trained as a working horse including roping I suspect he has been trained for quick acceleration, stops and turns. He should be quite sensitive to body cues, position in the saddle, how tight you grip with your legs, the position of your legs, how much rein pressure is applied. You may be giving him mixed signals as you tense your body, grip with your legs and hold too firm on the reins. The mixed signals may be your problem.

The next time you ride ride with no goal in mind other that understanding how he responds to your cues.

Longe him first to make sure that he has a chance to get rid of any excess energy.

See if he will walk on a loose rein, if not work on relaxing him and you until he can. Then try leg cues only.
What happens if I squeeze gently with my thighs, my calves, my heels all very gently with no conflicting rein signals.
What if squeeze harder with on leg, what happens when I move my leg forward or back and repeat the cues.
What happens as I change my body position, lean ahead, settle down into the saddle, lean back.

Pick a neutral relaxed body and leg position and see how he responds to the reins, light touch, 1 rein, two rein, neck rein, two hand rein.

You get the idea. Really talk to newt with quiet relaxed attitude. Find how he is trained, what works for him. Find out how he responds to your tenseness or relaxed positions.

And relax, there is absolutely no rush here. If you are truly bonded with newt it will work. He is probably going to be in your life for the next twenty years. Take the time to know him, after all horse training really is building on small successes.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)