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Thread: Reassure me I'm doing the right thing...

  1. #1

    Default Reassure me I'm doing the right thing...

    Another one of those bit of a story ones..

    I have a Welsh D who is ungelded and is a complete gent. He was 3 in April and I lightly backed him - as in sat on him twice...

    Anyway things all went a bit pear shaped with my home life and I moved from scotland back to england. I moved the horses first and my cousin had agreed to look after them for me for 4-6 weeks until I was back. The deal was that she would go down each day and check on them - they were living out 24/7 so she had nothing to do other then check they had water, 4 legs and rug/unrug them. What she got out of it was a horse to ride for no financial output but also I offered a half share in my mare and when she sold she would get half (she's not for sale now as she's a star!)

    Anyway the first problem was she left them unrugged in the snow. She said it was because she couldn't make it after work but I pointed out it had been snowing the night before so she could, and should, have rugged them in the morning. Anyway we moved on from that but the next week she sprung on me that she wanted 10 a day for petrol costs. Basically I could have a horse on full livery for that! I told her no, the deal was free rides and a half share. She kicked off to her mum saying I was taking advantage which caused huge family probs so I said to her "don't worry if you don't feel you can cope, I've found someone else to look after them". Her response was "well I ride at weekend?" - erm nope love, if you don't put in the graft you don't get the fun

    It goes on....

    It turns out in the 2 weeks she was looking after the pair of them she not only let her totally novice friend ride my newly backed 4 year old, she also vaulted bareback in the field onto my unbroken (well sat on twice) ungelded 3 year old! The result is now every time you try to get on him he bronks like mad!

    I've had the back lady out and she says he's not physically got any problems. I've decided to leave him another year and try him again next spring. It's upset me a bit (lot) as he is a big strong boy who is quite calm in his manner and has taken to everything in his stride. He seemed ready for backing at 3 and now this has all been spoiled

    So the question is - is leaving him another year after him having this bad experience going to let him forget it? Or is it just ignoring a 'problem'? I've had people tell me that I need to just get on him and sit out the bronks but I want to start him kindly! Am I being too soft?

  2. #2
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    Turn him away, his head is not ready by the sound. It will do him no harm.

  3. #3
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    If it were me (and I had the confidence) I'd put in all the ground work now, tacking up, getting him standing at the mounting block nicely, getting up and down off it, foot in stirrup and out, leaning over, and culminating in a sit. If he does anything adverse go back to the previous step where he was happy. If he's fine with it then move on. I'm talking over a period of many days here, nice and slowly. If he's happy when you eventually get to sit on him then leave him until next spring to mature. You've 20+ years with him yet, don't rush him.

  4. #4

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    Jwk - dOne all of that already. He has so issues in any of it... It is literally jut the sit he has issues with

    Wally - he was ready... Just not for someone taking a runnin jump and leaping on him

    I'm hoping in a year he will have forgottEn all about it...

  5. #5
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    So take a step back, start from the beginning if you have to. repeat it over and again until he is happy with you leaning over him. If he still has issues with the sit then get a dummy and let him bronk it out in a safe area with a decent surface so he doesn't hurt himself.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobi-Wan Kenobi View Post
    So take a step back, start from the beginning if you have to. repeat it over and again until he is happy with you leaning over him. If he still has issues with the sit then get a dummy and let him bronk it out in a safe area with a decent surface so he doesn't hurt himself.
    See thats what everyone is telling me to do but just not sure I'm comfortable with it

  7. #7
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    With the risk of having a horse who is coldbacked for life, I would turn him away, you are right, with time, he will forget, when he realises you are the same nice person he always had, and wouldn't do that. What a mess

  8. #8
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    I'd too turn away. It's not a big deal, these things happen and resolve themselves with time and once gelded too may help (i remember you saying you were gelding him)
    Native pony addict!

  9. #9
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    He's only three and a cob as well. Turn him away he's done everything I would have expexted as a three yesr old if the tack has been on and he's been sat on. Leave him to be a baby over winter then repeat and progress next year.

    I wouldn't have done anymoreto a three year old anyway. Are you gelding him??

    Listen, smile, agree and then do whatever the hell you were going to do anyway.

  10. #10

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    Turn him away, fine. He won't forget though.

    Why do I think this? I have a 7yo who had a bad backing experience. She was the sweetest thing ever, but sensitive. Whatever they did that frightened her, involved a whip and a hosepipe, and something to do with confined spaces. Her old owners turned her away for a year when she came home, but she was still scared and flighty, so they sold her.

    I got a pony who panicked every time she felt trapped at all, who didn't understand pressure-release (yet lunged amazingly well!), and who reacted with fear to pretty much everything. It took 18 months to turn her back into that sweet, desperate to please, trusting little thing she once must have been. Her fear levels were so high that I actually had to put her on ProKalm just to get through to her and reduce the panic, then we made steady progress and now she's pretty much off it. In the taming of the scared little pony, there was rearing, spinning, running backwards at speed, shooting off and various other 'interesting' behaviours. If I'd got cross with her even once, she'd have lost her trust in me for good - so I just had to be consistent and insistent, and we got there in the end. The girl who's riding her now loves her to bits and she's such a sweetheart now - but that didn't result from just turning her away, it came from months of hard work!

    Equally, OH's pony was terrified of saddle and bit when I got her. She'd been turned away to 'forget about it' also. Made no difference. Slow and steady won the race, riding bareback with a headcollar, then bareback pad, then treeless saddle, then treed. Then bit on slip head, two reins, gradually transferring use over to the bit. Took about six months in total until she was 100% fine. You'd never know now lol!

    If it was mine, I'd get to the sitting on stage and then turn away, so you're turning away with a positive experience. I'd do it gradually, so if leaning over is ok, continue to do that, then tie on something small (teddy bear?) and lead around, then a little taller and a little taller and so on, giving him just a little more challenge once the previous one is ok, until he'll accept a person sitting on him just for a minute or two. I wouldn't agree with 'stick it on and let him bronc' as that's flooding, but with the softly softly approach.

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