Saturday, December 27, 2008

starting a young horse part 3

I am not going into the business of teaching round pen techniques. There are far more qualified teachers on this subject than me out there and I suggest you visit their web sites or attend their clinics, and buy their tapes. The round pen is by far the best teaching tool you will arm yourself with, so educate yourself on the technique.

The Mountain horses are easy to work with so yes, you can have someone hold the horse the first time you mount, turn you loose and the biggest part of the time, they will just walk off, but the horse will not know anything. It will be like trying to drive a car with a 6 inch steering wheel! You want the horse to know how to go forward, back, and yield to pressure by moving the back end and the front on command. There is no need to spend the time working with the horse from his back when all of this can be taught from the ground in a much safer situation. As I have said before, the time you spend with your horse is always teaching. You want to always be the teacher! I even tell the grooms that work here, "I want the horse to always behave, even if they are only coming from the stall to the cross ties and back." I want to always see them lead with a halter AND a lead. When they are put in the cross tie, I want them lead in and pressure applied to move the back end over, rather than just pulling their head around to their butt until they have to move it. This will only reinforce the things you have taught from the beginning, and will make your ques (once you get on the horse) easy for the horse to read.

Learn the round pen techniques, because you will be mounting your horse in just a few days, and this will be a tool you will use frequently throughout your relationship with your horse.

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