4yo update.. And advice?

Starbucks

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So I posted about my baby mare last week. Everyone said nice but needs to be more forward..

She's still doing really well! She's been out hacking and oh my goodness she is perfect!! Ok we've only been out twice but she's marched on, not looked at a thing (even next to the A50) all on her own!

Been working on getting her more forward in the school at home, profess being made.

Took her to a different, bigger arena for a school and I could hardly get her to shift! She didn't do anything wrong which is positive but seriously hard work!

I thought she would be more forward away from home? Or is she unsure so more behind? But then why would she be so brave on her solo hacks?

Should I get her out places or just stay at home with hacks / getting her in front of the leg in school?
 

Starbucks

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Yes she's very much a baby. We were on our own.

Where she was broken she was really behind the leg but is not as bad since we've got her home. But then she feels really forward / bold hacking?
 

nato

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Not sure if I can remember if you mentioned how she was broken but I know anything I've broken I've hacked loads when breaking so maybe she feels more confident?

I'm of the school of thought that as long as it doesn't blow their brains they should get out as much as possible. Maybe to build her confidence you should bring another horse with her for the first few times just so she feels a bit reassured? New venues can feel huge (especially if they're a comp venue) so can be overwhelming for a bubbs :)
 

Starbucks

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I think she went round the fields once or twice but I don't think she's hacked on roads before. That's why I'm shocked she's so lovely to hack! She is a very chilled / confident kind of girl, I think she has been done to death in the school ( although they have done a great job) but I think she is just a bit bored / and so nervous of it?

My thought was to get her out doing different things.
 

Maesfen

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I'm another that would keep her out of the school for now; more for her happiness than anything else. As you say, she's probably seen too much of the school for now so curls up inside at the thought of it whereas out and about she's happy and confident. You can do all sorts of small schooling while out hacking so she doesn't even realize she's being schooled but it will strengthen her up and remember continual turning in a school with possible deepish going is not going to be good for her limbs whereas work in straight lines will help her strengthen up.

I'm a firm believer that once you have stop, start, forward and steering in walk and trot that they are much better out hacking, both for their minds and their limbs. You seem to be able to do more with them out whereas they'll tire more easily in a school. Make it fun for both of you, she'll learn a lot better. I'd also be wary of making her dependent on another horse; yes, it's good to work with others, get them used to leading, being behind, being passed and so on but at the start I would want her sole concentration so she learns to trust you and will go anywhere for you; then you can introduce work in company. Just my old school thoughts of course, there are other ways to skin the same cat.
 

Starbucks

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I'm another that would keep her out of the school for now; more for her happiness than anything else. As you say, she's probably seen too much of the school for now so curls up inside at the thought of it whereas out and about she's happy and confident. You can do all sorts of small schooling while out hacking so she doesn't even realize she's being schooled but it will strengthen her up and remember continual turning in a school with possible deepish going is not going to be good for her limbs whereas work in straight lines will help her strengthen up.

I'm a firm believer that once you have stop, start, forward and steering in walk and trot that they are much better out hacking, both for their minds and their limbs. You seem to be able to do more with them out whereas they'll tire more easily in a school. Make it fun for both of you, she'll learn a lot better. I'd also be wary of making her dependent on another horse; yes, it's good to work with others, get them used to leading, being behind, being passed and so on but at the start I would want her sole concentration so she learns to trust you and will go anywhere for you; then you can introduce work in company. Just my old school thoughts of course, there are other ways to skin the same cat.

Thanks I'm glad you agree. How I've been brought up with horses we would just hack, hunt, compete and do the odd day in a hired school. Only thing is hacking is so limited where I am but she still finds it loads more fun than in the school.

I might try to do 2x hack, 1xschool, 1x little jump per week?

Got a lesson with Ruth edge in a couple of weeks .. Not sure how that will go!
 

teddypops

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My youngster was like that when I took her somewhere new, it was awful! I kept taking her out different places and although she is still definitely less co operative at new venues, she is so much better! She has just turned 6.
 

Maesfen

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Yes, same upbringing only I was just a groom, they weren't mine!

Sounds a good plan; have fun with RE and just play it by ear as they can get so tired if forced to concentrate for too long; lots of mini breaks in the lesson me thinks. Roger and Sarah took Manny (4 yr old ID x) to a lesson other day; 25 minutes with breaks was his limit as he's such a big gawky lad!
 

nato

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I'd also be wary of making her dependent on another horse; yes, it's good to work with others, get them used to leading, being behind, being passed and so on but at the start I would want her sole concentration so she learns to trust you and will go anywhere for you; then you can introduce work in company. Just my old school thoughts of course, there are other ways to skin the same cat.

I agree with those whole-heartedly from a schooling at home and hacking POV. However I would say that for new venues it can be very overwhelming for a baby - it might settle them a bit if they knew another horse was there for comfort. Mind you, I wouldn't be trotting or cantering around behind the horse at a new venue as that can encourage napping down the line (have seen it first-hand), which is the point you are trying to make I imagine Maesfen.

But yes, overall - lots of hacking, lots of forward, and keeping things varied without blowing her brain is key :)
 

ironhorse

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We took mine out to some different venues when he had just turned 4 - he'd already been shown in hand a few times so was used to travelling.
We generally went with my husband's mare, but would work separately in a hired school as she was the nappy one! (she also frightened the life out of him on a hack the same year by spooking, leading to him rearing up and falling over with me, so an older horses is not always a positive influence!)
I found that he was really hard work until he got confident with a venue, then would go more forwards (like yours, pretty laid back). A great exercise that my trainer showed me which I used loads at new venues, busy shows etc for the first couple of years was to initially work him on a circle in trot that was no bigger than the inside track so he wasn't having to face up to any scary banners/noises or things outside the arena until he was settled and listening. While on your 'safe' circle (do it on both reins) ask only for a decent rhythm and as much forwardness as the horse is comfortable with. Once the horse has gained his confidence and you have got rid of any freshness with this work, you can go large, ride transitions etc.
 

Starbucks

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Thanks folks, really helpful.

I think some people might not agree but I schooled her today with some very little spurs and a schooling whip. So much easier! But then I think she was just going nicely anyway.
 
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