Can older horses be retrained??

Can older horses be retrained??

Post by Melis » Sun, 17 Mar 1996 04:00:00


Hi All,

Got a rather complex question for ya'll.  I have a 14-year-old mare
that my daughter rides.  Lately, she's feeling too good for her own
britches and is acting too unruly for my comfort.  She reared up with
my youngun this afternoon and that scared me.  Although, I must say
the little one rode it like a champ, however, don't want her riding a
horse that does that stuff.  She's also extremely stiff ... got a real
stocky, squatty quarterhorse build.  She doesn't give hardly at all,
whether to the sides or back.  She just stiffens her neck totally and
even I have a hard time with her, much less my 8-year-old.

Anyway, many of the trainers around here would simply put a slow twist
snaffle on her, tie her back, and soften her that way.  With all the
stuff I've been reading in here, I feel there's gotta be someone out
there who could tell me how to soften this mare without tendering her
mouth, if possible.  On the other hand, genetics could be against her
with her squatty build ... doesn't offer the most in flexibility.
That, coupled with her age and not having any knowledge on how she was
trained to begin with (we've only had her a year), leaves me a little
confused.  

Question is whether to sell and find another mount for my daughter, or
to invest in some training time/$.  Also need technique suggestions
(humane ones, of course).  

Any info or suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanx,
Melissa "What do I do now?" Patton

 
 
 

Can older horses be retrained??

Post by kristy foste » Sun, 17 Mar 1996 04:00:00

I hate to say it but once they start going up, down the road they must go.
Once a horse figures out that it can go up under saddle, it will,
regardless of whether or not it's in pain.  What means more to you:  your
horse or your daughter?
Good-luck!

 
 
 

Can older horses be retrained??

Post by Linda Backe » Mon, 18 Mar 1996 04:00:00

Yes, older horses most certainly can be re-trained.  I have a 18 year
old quarter horse that retrained rather easily.  I used the principles
in John Lyons symposium one videos.  briefly, theory is that you give
horse a choice--very simply, go forward, (usually at a trot) turn right,
go forward, turn left, go forward, etc.  don;t worry about the quality
of the movement, only that the horse is going forward, turning, put the
effort into doing a very simple movement, and tiring.  It is the turning
that  takes the effort. This is a poor description of the principle, but
in giving the horse a simple choice--work hard, or work well, horses (
and squatly QH are especially subject to this I think) will pick the
lazy way. And as soon as the horse picks the route you want--let her
rest! She will very quickly figure out that by doing what you ask, she
gets to relax.  Lyons theory also includes the principle that if the
horse is not more relaxed after the lesson that before, you weren't
successful. Best of luck

 
 
 

Can older horses be retrained??

Post by Benedicte Basc » Wed, 20 Mar 1996 04:00:00

Quote:
>He's the about the only horse in the neighborhood who actually walks
>back to the barn at the same pace he went out in.

Flat out gallop, you mean? :-)

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Benedicte

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Can older horses be retrained??

Post by C. Steven » Wed, 20 Mar 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> >He's the about the only horse in the neighborhood who actually walks
> >back to the barn at the same pace he went out in.

> Flat out gallop, you mean? :-)
> Nope, I mean walk, like I said.
> Sorry, I couldn't resist.
> Neither could I.
> Benedicte
> Chris S.

 
 
 

Can older horses be retrained??

Post by C. Steven » Wed, 20 Mar 1996 04:00:00

Indentation got messed up so for clarification purposes:

Quote:


> >I said
> > >He's the about the only horse in the neighborhood who actually walks
> > >back to the barn at the same pace he went out in.

Benedicte said

Quote:
> > Flat out gallop, you mean? :-)

I said

Quote:
> > Nope, I mean walk, like I said.

Benedicte said:

Quote:
> > Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I said:

Quote:
> > Neither could I.

> > Benedicte
> > Chris S.

Enough said.

OBhorsey:  taking the new horse to our first QH show tomorrow, should be
fun.

 
 
 

Can older horses be retrained??

Post by Joyce Reynolds-Wa » Wed, 20 Mar 1996 04:00:00



Quote:
>Hi All,

>Got a rather complex question for ya'll.  I have a 14-year-old mare
>that my daughter rides.  Lately, she's feeling too good for her own
>britches and is acting too unruly for my comfort.  She reared up with
>my youngun this afternoon and that scared me.  Although, I must say
>the little one rode it like a champ, however, don't want her riding a
>horse that does that stuff.  She's also extremely stiff ... got a real
>stocky, squatty quarterhorse build.  She doesn't give hardly at all,
>whether to the sides or back.  She just stiffens her neck totally and
>even I have a hard time with her, much less my 8-year-old.

>Anyway, many of the trainers around here would simply put a slow twist
>snaffle on her, tie her back, and soften her that way.  With all the
>stuff I've been reading in here, I feel there's gotta be someone out
>there who could tell me how to soften this mare without tendering her
>mouth, if possible.  On the other hand, genetics could be against her
>with her squatty build ... doesn't offer the most in flexibility.
>That, coupled with her age and not having any knowledge on how she was
>trained to begin with (we've only had her a year), leaves me a little
>confused.  

>Question is whether to sell and find another mount for my daughter, or
>to invest in some training time/$.  Also need technique suggestions
>(humane ones, of course).  

>Any info or suggestions would be appreciated!

>Thanx,
>Melissa "What do I do now?" Patton

Melissa, as a former owner of a mare like this one...forget the rougher bit.  
Get on the horse yourself if you can and work her down.  Assume she's fairly
green and go from there.  Do reining exercises to supple her up...simple stuff
like figure eights, serpentines, etc at the walk and trot.  Or else get a
trainer.

She sounds an awful lot like my old Sparkle mare.  May be a good case of
spring fever.  Get a trainer or work the mare down yourself...maybe even start
out each riding session with you riding the mare for 20-30 minutes, then turn
her over to your daughter.  My parents did that when we first got Sparkle,
because she really was too much horse for an 11 year old at the beginning.
And, *yes*, she was like this every spring.  We had to do a *lot* of
retraining every spring.

jrw