When to ride new horse

laura_nash

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Hi

I got my new horse last Monday. He's been in a field getting fat for the last year, but I rode him in the field when I tried him (he wasn't shod) and he was very sensible if rather unfit.

Since he arrived he's been quite difficult to handle, bargy (especially in his stable) and a bit opinionated and easily frustrated (banging the door and scraping the floor). I think it's partly just all the other horses going in / out / on rides and not helped by the fact that he's getting less to eat than he's been used to and has to be stabled part-time (out at night, in during the day). On Tuesday he made a very determined effort to barge out of his stable and when stopped (with body language only) reared up and banged his nose on the top of the door frame giving himself some nasty grazes
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Anyway, I've been concentrating on groundwork and general handling and yesterday he seemed much better (he suddenly realised he could go backwards when asked!). So now I'm wondering, at what point do I get on? I have access to an outside menage. I'm not the most confident rider at the moment as I've had about 8 years of just RS / occasional hacks on friends horses, and his tendency to respond to situations he doesn't like by rearing has worried me slightly.

On the plus side, the possibility of biting and kicking doesn't seem to ever occur to him, he's happy to be touched on any part of his body, and his reaction to scary things is mostly to stand very, very still and then snort (he hasn't shied once). He just likes to throw his (considerable) weight around. I don't want to ask for trouble by riding him before he's really settled, but I know putting it off just makes it seem more of an issue.

He's 8 but I don't really know how much he's done in the past. His previous owner bought him as a hack, rode him for about 3 months and then stuck him out in the field with another horse bought as her husbands hack at the same time. She said because she ran out of time, but I'm beginning to think she let him scare her as he seems genuinely surprised about being asked to stand still, not barge about, not bash people with his head etc.

Anyway, sorry for the mammoth posting!

Advice??
 

Flame_

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ASAP, the longer you leave it the harder it will be. Have you got a riding instructor who you can get to be there with you to help you?
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Booboos

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I would pick a time when he has just come in from spending a nice long time in the field, lunge him first (if he is OK with that) and ride him in the school, ideally with an instructor there to help you out with reacting the right way at anything he might throw at you.

Try not to worry about the rearing just yet, many horses rear or buck on the ground but would never dream of doing it ridden.
 

AutumnRose

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I agree with above. Pick a time when he's been out for awhile. Have you got a good instructor or more expereinced person you trust to help you out? If worried you could ask them to get on first? Try not to expect him to be naughty though because this will make you tense and won't help.
I rode my new horse the day after he arrived. I think it's good for them to get on with things and can be useful to occupy their minds. Don't wait too long or it'll get harder.
Good luck
 

Weezy

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I ride mine the day I get them when at all possible, and just get on with it. You need to do the same. IMO you don't sound 100% confident so I would ask a more experienced friend to give you a hand.
 

AmyMay

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My horse sat in the field with his new companions for the first 5 days of having him. It was very important to me that he settled with his fieldmates. So he didn't come in at all. When he did start comming in he was a bit of a stress head, but it soon settled down.

You've had him a few days now, so I agree with the others - time to get on. Do it straight from the field, and with someone there to give you a hand.

Good luck.
 

mrogers

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i rode mine the day i had him. In my opinion its the same as him going to a show.

He may be hard to handle because of being out for a year and now your confining him to a small space when all of the other horses are out
 

EquestrianFairy

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[ QUOTE ]
i rode mine the day i had him. In my opinion its the same as him going to a show.

[/ QUOTE ]

Not really, if i took my horse to a show it'd be new surroundings but the same familiar rider shes bonded with and knows her well.

In this case its a new rider to bond with aswell as new surroundings. My new horse arrived Saturday and i got on him for the first time today- yes he was a tit, but such is life- hes a baby!
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SunshineTallulah

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Probably having reduced turnout compared to what he is used to is also having an impact..

Good luck and get someone who knows what they are doing to help you, such as an instructor.
 

Firewell

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I agree with others, get someone experienced to help you and get on him ASAP, dont push him to do much but establishing some basics under saddle will help. It depends on different horses but my horse is best being ridden straight away when being moved. It puts her back in her 'box' so to speak, makes her feel secure and happy and gives her something to concentrate on.

Well done with the ground work as well, I think if you are positive and firm with him on the ground that will help.

Im not surprised he being bargy either if hes been more or less left to rot in a field, giving him ground rules (on the ground and ridden) will help him a lot. Also I know a lot of horses that have reared when being handled too who would never do it ridden.

I would give him the benefit of the doubt for the next month. If he hasnt been kept in and ridden for a while this will be a big transition for him.

Good luck!!
 

Puppy

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[ QUOTE ]
Probably having reduced turnout compared to what he is used to is also having an impact..

[/ QUOTE ]

That's what first struck me. Are you able to turn him out 24/7?
 
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