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Thread: How many people have done it alone?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Wales
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    I was 15. Completely unaided by anyone remotely horsey. Successfully backed my feral Section A and we went on to compete (and win some!) showjumping.

    Success!

    At 18 I rebacked a couple of ex racehorses too. Unaided. A bit trickier!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Wiltshire
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    11,585

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    Too many! The only help i normally have is an extra pair of hands to hold, or a smaller rider for the smaller dudes
    Native pony addict!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Posts
    10,223

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    Yes
    did Harvey myself
    w t c & jump

    started having lessons when he was 5

    all we did from 3-5yrs was hack everywhere

    no help from a RI untill he was 5 yo



    ETA - i was 16
    he was my first horse and a 3yo stallion
    Last edited by lauraandharvey; 08-10-2010 at 14:07.
    Official PRESIDENT of the TO 'Blue Peter Badge Owners' Clique

  4. #14

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    I started joePony on my own, but I did have a book and a video (Clinton Anderson's stuff worked for me). I was 38, and he was my first pony. Well, I did have a horse for a year when I was 15, but I never had lessons then, so I was like a 'born again' beginner. It wasn't difficult because it was what I really wanted to do, so I studied everything I could get my hands on. We have a TV channel over here that has 2 hours a day of horse TV shows, and a lot of that is about 'colt starting' - mostly western, but it's the same thing. I did worry a little bit that joeP would suffer from having a western start on him ... I mean, he was in an English saddle, but all the information I had access to was western, and when you start out, you just don't know what the differences are going to be.

    But it worked out fine. What was nice about doing it literally on my own, without RIs, and knowledgable experts to give their helpful advice, was that I had to figure it all out on my own. SO for example, I didn't get on him for the first time, until I was absolutely sure I knew what he would do. I think that being forced to really watch and understand the horse and how he was feeling, was one of the biggest lessons I've learnt from it. So, for example, I would never now use a flash to close a horse's mouth. Or a martingale to lower his head ... because that would be fine if I needed to, but since I do have the time, why not find out why he's opening his mouth, or raising his head etc.

    First ride on joeP was a little scary, even so, because I had no arena, or place to work, so it was straight onto the road. I think I would say I had quite a lot of the odds stacked against us, but it worked out because the two things I did have were all the time in the world, and access to lots and lots of information, TV, videos etc. I wasn't stuck with one 'program' or method, and I was able to watch and learn for 6 months before backing him, so that by then, I'd seen a lot of problems and issues being dealt with.

    And he's doing just fine. He placed 2nd in his first two recognised events, and went straight to Regional Finals (2nd Amateur in his region) and then to National Finals (took down a rail in stadium !) He's successfully showing at first level dressage and winning, and progressing well. You can do it, if you want to. But you have to really be prepared to put in the time and energy to learning your stuff.
    Oh good grief, BAN FOXHUNTING ALREADY, this incessant drivel about what colour tie to wear makes my eyes bleed.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Devon
    Posts
    1,267

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    I do mine totally by myself.. Maje is now 10 and a cracking horse.. Rhana was 9 when she died in July and was doing really really well.. Stink is 5 and have backed her so far.. And have backed, rebacked and reschooled plenty horses for people over the years.. I have been riding 28 years and always had problem horses (or as i prefer to say, horses with people problems)..

    I dont use gadgets, I dont use force, I do everything at the pace of my horses and they have all grown up into well balanced, well adjusted, lovely people and I am very proud of them all.. The key thing is to listen to what they tell you, but more importantly what they are not telling you..

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    3,493

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    I'm going to be Will update you in a year

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cheshire
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    Backed too many to remember but of mine backed all of them myself with no ri assistance but knew what I was doing having already had a lot of experience

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    1,424

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    I have, other people's horses though, but still starting them alone. My first one or two I did on my own I took a bit too long to actually get on them properly once I'd got the saddling process sorted, they got a bit stale about it and started bad habits which further put me off getting on them , but I put that down to nervousness on my part and it was cured by a week's turnout, a brief refresher and then just getting on. Going too slow can be as problematic as going too fast, IME.
    People would come and have a look and advise me if I asked them to, but I'd be doing all the work and backing on my own. I assisted with four or five backings before attempting starting one on my own, as the rider mostly. I've done a fair bit of foal and youngster handling and showing, so am somewhat experienced in that respect, I'm calm and confident around most youngsters once I've got a feel of them. I'm going to get something unbroken for my next riding horse and will likely be starting this horse myself.

    http://pheme.posterous.com/ >>>> stalk me if you want, it's not terribly interesting though!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Cottesmore
    Posts
    363

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    im in the ground work process with my youngster at the moment, he is pretty well behaved (most of the time!) and has calmed down alot with regular handling and plenty to occupy his mind. I'm hoping i will be able to do all of the backing and training process on my own but im certainly not adverse to getting help in if i need too as he is my first youngster. i'm no competition rider -- mainly because i get to competitive and work myself up therefor working the horse up haha ---- but i am planning on doing some in hand showing with Elmo next year (fingers crossed) i would say i'm relatively experienced but equally alot still to learn.
    Well worth doing if you can put in the commitment, i'd have to say i've found my bond with Elmo 10 times stronger than any other horse i've had because i took him on as a baby and that alone is one of the most rewarding things

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Halifax
    Posts
    3,206

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    First time when i was 11.... then just recently 6 months ago. I even sat on her without anyone there... stupid,maybe.

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