Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Starting a Young Horse Part 1

Some people start their horses as 2 year olds. Some people think they are not ready for this kind of strain on the body and mind and wait until they are three. There are pros and cons to both sides of this idea, and I will leave that up to you. If you have done the ground work that we have talked about in the previous sessions then you can continue this until you think your horse is ready for the saddle. If you have not had the opportunity to work with your horse from a foal on up, all is not lost. I would suggest you start by putting your horse in the round pen and starting from square one. I have seen (as I am sure many of you have), clinicians start working a totally untouched horse, such as the wild mustang in the round pen and start riding it in a couple of hours. While this is impressive and fun to watch, it is a lot of work and the horse is really getting a crash course. Most people are not able start a horse like this, so we will start working a little bit slower.

The first thing we want is for the horse to move forward. You may laugh at this, but it happens quite often and it is one of the hardest things to work with. The horse for some reason just stands there and will not move. After you have turned your horse loose in the round pen, move to the center of the ring and ask your horse to move forward. Throw your rope (if you perfer the John Lyons method) or use your stick if you are using the Parelli method. If you are lucky your horse will start moving around the round pen. We want him/her at this time to move in the same direction. If they stop and change without you asking, then you will want to stop them and send them back out in the direction you asked for. After you are comfortable with the fact that the horse is moving in the direction you asked and only when you asked, then ask the horse to change directions. How do I do that you ask? Stop by tomorrow, we will talk about that.

1 comment:

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