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Re: RC: Putting a stop on a horse

OK, gotta jump in here. ALL of this depends in how much time you're
willing to invest BEFORE you do your first Endurance ride.  If you're
willing to risk life and limb on a green (5-6 year old) with no
training, no ground manners, no mental traing, etc, no problem...have at
it...but I'll pass. Don't complain about your horse being "out of
control" if you're not willing to put in the time to fix the
problem....and you can't fix it at the rides.

I had a leg up because I had seen a well behaved horse turn into a
"creature you don't recognize" at a ride before I "created" an Endurance
horse of my own. Therefore, I decided that would NOT happen with my
horse, and it didn't. I rode Sunny on his second ride, even at the
start, with a hack, no bridle...just a halter with my reins
clipped to the side. Not to say he didn't "ask", but he was conditioned
to accept my commands over his instincts. At Big South Fork in his first
year, we were in the lead when he lost a shoe about a mile from the 1st
vet check. I moved to the side of the trail, dismounted and he stood
like a rock with all the other horses streaming by at speed while I put
on the easyboot. We eventually WON the ride...our only win...but never
would have happened had I not conditioned his mind. Ever tried to put an
easyboot on a horse that's dancing around?

There is somewhat of a consensus that it takes about 3 years to "make"
an Endurance horse.  The reason for that is not that it takes 3 years to
physically condition the horse....but you need to condition his mind as
well. He doesn't KNOW what's coming, so you have to, in little stages,
"condition" his mind to deal with what YOU know is coming.

If you want a horse that is not "out of control" at the beginning of the
ride, you need to ask yourself if your horse can do AT LEAST the

1. You and another rider are walking along beside each other.  If the
other rider suddenly canters off, will your horse continue to walk with
nothing more than a pick up of the reins or just an "aaann't"?

2. If you're walking along in a group of say, 8-10 riders, can you stop
your horse and have him stand quietly while they all walk off?

3. Riding by yourself on the trail or in an arena, can you go from a
walk to a trot to a canter to a trot to a walk with nothing more than a
verbal or "body english" cue on a slack rein?

4. Does your horse respond readily to leg cues? That is, can you turn on
hind, turn on fore, sidepass, and back with little or no rein pressure.
You need this as part of his training to provide "work" when he isn't

5. Will your horse, at a walk, stop on a verbal "Whoa", then resume on a
"kiss" with no rein action?

6. Will your horse drop his head with poll pressure?  Will he also do it
with a rein cue at a trot, canter, and even at a gallop?

There are a zillion other things that go into "conditioning" a horse to
be under control at all times. IMHO, all those mechanical things like
Martingales, special bits, etc. are just a way of attempting to overcome
a lack of training.

Just depends on how much time and effort you're willing to put into it. 
Pay me now, or pay me later. How much is your body worth? Personally,
I'm chicken! <grin>

Jim, Sun of Dimanche, and Mahada Magic

Rides 2 Far wrote:
> Ray said he had never been on a horse that could run
> > faster than he could ride him.

> >Teach the horse to be supple and > giving to
> > the snaffle at the walk and trot first.
> If I could pull a pin and "disengage his hip" I have no doubt that Kaboot
> would continue forward pulling himself along like a seal.  
> P.S.It's hard to "use your seat" when you're posting a foot off the
> saddle!
> Angie

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