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Thread: Backing plan?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North Yorkshire
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    Default Backing plan?

    I've never really had anything other than pretty vague plans for backing River. We have so far just played it by ear and gone on the basis of moving on when she's comfortable with and clearly understands whatever stage we're at. If something has been a bit too much, we've taken a step back and let her settle again before trying again.

    My new YO and her partner used to run a business starting horses, and a couple of the liveries and their son breed, back and compete their own horses, so I'm now surrounded by people who know what they're doing. I've had a chat with the son about paying for some sessions over the summer and my YO has suggested that while I'm visiting my Mum, I spend a bit of time drawing up a plan for how I want to proceed. I think she's probably right, as left to my own devices I'll probably just spend the whole summer lunging and long-reining until the poor mare is fed up of both and it will be nice to actually set out a few little goals to achieve along the way. I know that they're all there to offer advice and won't force their opinions on me, but since we're still quite new there, none of them really know me or River so the decisions really need to come from me. But I'm not really sure what to write She was lunging and long-reining nicely last year, and I got on her a handful of times which got as far as maybe five minutes of walking along the track, first with a leader and then walking away and back to the leader independently. And as the dentist has been today,I've now got no excuse for continuing to dither around. I've got a fair number of books on babies and backing, and particularly used Maxwells Birth to Backing as my bible while I was halter-training River and then again when we were beginning groundwork, but I must admit I tend to read them and think "that looks far too easy!" and the short 6-8 week timeframes involved feel a little too prescribed for me.

    I appreciate that nothing is set in stone and any plan I make will still need to proceed at River's pace, but I'd be really interested to see what sorts of plans others have followed when moving on from groundwork to backing.
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    [FONT="Book Antiqua"][COLOR="Sienna"]He's of the colour of the nutmeg. And of the heat of the ginger...he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    South Downs
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    13,025

    Default

    I had no set plan with Gilda. We started with ground work, moving away from me , shoulders , hindquarters etc, then did a little lunging followed by long reining. here we hit a snag as she tanked off a couple of times, so gave it a long break and went back to lunging with tack on, sat on her a couple of times bareback and then with saddle on and walk around under saddle. I have just started long reining again and she is suddenly going really well, even letting me run behind her when we trot. The next stage will be to trot under saddle as it scared her last time with TiffanyR and she rushed forwards and I want to get over that. This has been very gently over the past 3 months with no more than 10 mins under saddle, but Gilda is only 3 so a real baby. I will do a tiny bit now and then until next year when she can start working more steadily.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North Yorkshire
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    Default

    She's five now (my big girl ). The delay in backing her has been purely me and not her at all - with having no facilities last year and even having difficulty getting off the field to hack, we only had the track to do anything on so it was easier to just keep putting it off. She's been really level headed about everything so far which is why I think the accident we had last October was either something I did that suddenly startled or upset her, or if she could hear the other horses in the field being silly, or maybe a scary monster in the woods that I overlooked (in retrospect, the bridleway right next to their field was probably not the most sensible choice ). But where we are now has a school and lots of quiet, open roads with few hiding places for horse-eating monsters, and there's a few sensible horses (well, semi-sensible anyway!) that we could hack out with.
    [CENTER][IMG]http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y228/Gothic_Sez/Signatures/Signature01.png[/IMG]
    [FONT="Book Antiqua"][COLOR="Sienna"]He's of the colour of the nutmeg. And of the heat of the ginger...he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him
    *Salsa* 19th April 1998 - 7th July 2013[/COLOR][/FONT]
    Forever Loved and Never Forgotten

    [/CENTER]

  4. #4

    Default

    Just see how it goes. The book'll be good as a 'what you do next' sort of guide. Each horse goes at their own pace, but it doesn't take long to establish the basics. It's the next year of developing muscle and honing those basics that's the hard part!

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