Young horse - is this normal?

NooNoo59

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I have a 5 year old welsh d he is very green but pretty sensible. I have a couple of issues the first one is circling in the school, he is tricky on the left rein so if I start the circle he then throws the outside shoulder and sort of falls out and ending a banana shaped! I have been working on keeping my hands level and maintaining an even contact and using my outside leg and outside rein but he still does it. It makes schooling him pretty unpleasant. He also seems to be quite lethargic in the school and and shunts into a downward transition. Out hacking he is more off the leg but quite often wont stay straight and drifts into the right rein and coming downhills he is falling into the right rein and seems to struggle staying straight. He has had teeth checked, physio and new saddle fitted. I hack for about half hour and school for no longer than 30 mins with lots of walking. He is ridden once a week by a professional and goes better for her in the school. I am not a bad rider but I am really struggling with this. I have a good instructor who has improved me a lot. Any suggestions please?
 

Cortez

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Normal, yes completely - he's young, unbalanced and needs help to go in the right way and be able to carry you properly (horses are not born knowing this). There is a large difference between being able to ride, and being able to ride well enough to actually train and help the horse. If schooling him is unpleasant for you, imagine what it's like for him? The best recommendation I can give is to invest in a month or two of proper professional training, and frequent continuing lessons for you.
 

Littlebear

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Once you’ve had a few young ones you do become a lot more patient knowing that time, consistency and patience pays off!
Falling in and out, abrupt transitions, wall of death cantering etc all normal stuff at the beginning.
Keep up the lessons and having the pro ride to help give him guidance and confidence and I’m sure you will get there soon enough x
 

NooNoo59

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Normal, yes completely - he's young, unbalanced and needs help to go in the right way and be able to carry you properly (horses are not born knowing this). There is a large difference between being able to ride, and being able to ride well enough to actually train and help the horse. If schooling him is unpleasant for you, imagine what it's like for him? The best recommendation I can give is to invest in a month or two of proper professional training, and frequent continuing lessons for you.
gosh yes I hadnt thought about it from his point of view he probably hates it more than I do! We had a wrangle yesterday on a turn and I think I pushed the issue too much which culminated in a large buck, just the one thank goodness!
 

tristar

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do carrot stretches, then some gentle lunging, straight and round, introduce some little jumps on the lunge circle, so he fires up a bit, gets some fun, and loosens and softens also uses himself more as he gets excited

then ride, hack or school, try to improve his walk, it easier to get straightness from a relaxed but a going forward walk, instead of thinking about perfect bending too much at the mo i would think about getting him to walk straight on straight lines to start, while introducing bending cautiously.

you can do all the school movements in walk, circles serpentines etc and i find they are all easier to teach in walk because it all happens slower, do a bit more on the hard side , make it all big, and try to get him reach forward into the contact and relax.

i find it takes lots of time because of the need to stretch the muscles on the soft side so they become as long as the hard side, its the soft side that is the problem
 

cundlegreen

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Normal, yes completely - he's young, unbalanced and needs help to go in the right way and be able to carry you properly (horses are not born knowing this). There is a large difference between being able to ride, and being able to ride well enough to actually train and help the horse. If schooling him is unpleasant for you, imagine what it's like for him? The best recommendation I can give is to invest in a month or two of proper professional training, and frequent continuing lessons for you.
Well said! He's a welsh. They get bored very quickly, and take time to mature mentally and physically.
 

NooNoo59

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Also I started feeding a balancer back in January as we was very lean but he has now filled out. I think I drop the balancer and just feed the chaff ?
 

DabDab

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I actually like a young horse to fall out thru it’s shoulder in its early training ... it’s a good sign it’s got the concept of bending this is easier I’m my view to deal with than leaning thru the inside shoulder which creates the wrong bend
Ditto, the rein with the shoulder fall out is much more pleasant to train than the rein with the inside shoulder ploughing in until they get the aid to lift through the shoulder.
 

NooNoo59

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Hi again we have been continuing our routine as much as we can with this rubbish weather, we still have issues with the bend at times but it is improving, working more on straightness atm. The problem I am having now is I feel that I have lost my mojo a bit, I am so thrilled with all the things he does right so why do I concentrate on the failures, like last night he exploded on the lunge before my lesson and was unsettled and spiky, we did manage to achieve 10 mins of calm ridden work in walk but I am now focused on what if he does that with me on board? Could I cope etc etc..... I am sure you all get it. I think I have got my head round the fact that this is going to be a very slow process as he was incredibly green having been broken last April then turned out again until July then he was sold twice in 3 months then he came to me in November. He was 5 in June. Will I be able to cope moving forward, having a bit of a confidence crisis atm, I was 60 this year and I keep thinking I should be on an old plod now and not a very green young native! Any similar scenarios??
 

Melody Grey

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Luckily, mine has a completely different repertoire of moves reserved only for the lunge. I wouldn't worry unless the horse has been explosive under saddle previously? If so, may be trying to tell you something.
 

NooNoo59

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No he hasn't bucked once a couple of weeks ago but I think I put him in a awkward place at the time his go to naughty thing is being spooky !
 

Courbette

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I have the book '101 dressage exercises' and when I feel stuck for inspiration I pick an couple of exercises to try. The horse I ride was an older horse that I was told hadn't done much schooling and was quite unfit. I found warming up slowly and then doing a short session on one specific thing and then finishing on a good note worked really well. It stopped him getting bored and meant I wasn't overworking him.

I would imagine a shorter more relaxed session would also work well with a youngster. I have known a few be giddy on the lunge and perfect under saddle so he may see this as his time to let off some steam.
 
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honetpot

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I would also check that you are sitting straight. We all have a weaker side, including what ever we are riding.
I work in straight lines changing diagonals, working slightly more on the weaker side, but not enough to make them tired.
One of my youngsters on it first canter in an open field ended up in the diagonal corner, and going round a normal corner in Trot was hard work for a long time.
Ponies get brain dead quicker than horses, so as someone else has said if you work on one thing and it just gets it a little bit right move on to something it enjoys even if it has only taken 10 mins.
 

dorsetladette

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Love a welshie. (always had them). They mature very slowly and IME boys mature slower than girls.

I wouldn't worry to much about the schooling now - you have the basic's in place (plus a lot more from the sound of it). IMHO hacking out and seeing some of the world is the way forward now. You can ask for collection, bending, moving off your leg, etc while your both out enjoying the country side. It won't feel like schooling for either of you and pony won't bore of the work. Good old fashioned 'miles under his belt' will build muscle and create a much more balanced pony, while having fun too.
 

NooNoo59

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Love a welshie. (always had them). They mature very slowly and IME boys mature slower than girls.

I wouldn't worry to much about the schooling now - you have the basic's in place (plus a lot more from the sound of it). IMHO hacking out and seeing some of the world is the way forward now. You can ask for collection, bending, moving off your leg, etc while your both out enjoying the country side. It won't feel like schooling for either of you and pony won't bore of the work. Good old fashioned 'miles under his belt' will build muscle and create a much more balanced pony, while having fun too.
Yes I hack as much as I can but darker evenings will make that tricky but I can fix it up in the school once he has had a Welsh dragon moment at the lights and shadows!!!
 

still standing

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My horse is quite green still and also inclined to drift sideways when hacking (either rein). I find that getting her into a nice forward trot helps with her straightness and she has become much more evenly balanced now.
 

Pippity

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Luckily, mine has a completely different repertoire of moves reserved only for the lunge. I wouldn't worry unless the horse has been explosive under saddle previously? If so, may be trying to tell you something.
Yep, mine has her moments of auditioning for the Spanish Riding School on the lunge (bad habits with a previous owner, mostly under control now) but has never done anything of the sort under saddle. A fat little cob doing her best levade or capriole is hilarious to see!
 

Myloubylou

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Is there mechanical horse lessons you can do close by, I really recommend. I had one recently by a biomechanics instructor who made some adjustments to my position and I’m lucky to have an older school master to practice on and found she did correct bend on a circle much easier when I was sitting better & applying my outside aids - funny that!

with lunging I also have young welsh who is bit explosive on the lunge. She shakes her head and comes in at me (not aggressive but definitely dominant). I have been backing off and bringing her back to walk. Tonight after lunging the older one who is hoof perfect on voice command I got a bit annoyed (with myself) and when the younger one messed around I sent her on with the whip. We had a couple of explosions but then she settled and by the end she was working lovely at the end of the lunge, over her back. Think young welshies need firmness otherwise they take matters into there own hooves.
 

NooNoo59

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Oh he is a bit come on then if you think your hard enough! I have to stay quiet and firm easer said than done sometimes! So we don’t stop until he has calmed down and is working as he should. It just makes me edgy about getting on! Although I get straight on him to go hacking and he is fine. Will keep plugging on I am sure we will get there in the end. Sure he also picks up on when mum is feeling a bit down!
 

cundlegreen

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Is there mechanical horse lessons you can do close by, I really recommend. I had one recently by a biomechanics instructor who made some adjustments to my position and I’m lucky to have an older school master to practice on and found she did correct bend on a circle much easier when I was sitting better & applying my outside aids - funny that!

with lunging I also have young welsh who is bit explosive on the lunge. She shakes her head and comes in at me (not aggressive but definitely dominant). I have been backing off and bringing her back to walk. Tonight after lunging the older one who is hoof perfect on voice command I got a bit annoyed (with myself) and when the younger one messed around I sent her on with the whip. We had a couple of explosions but then she settled and by the end she was working lovely at the end of the lunge, over her back. Think young welshies need firmness otherwise they take matters into there own hooves.
All young horses need firmness!!
 

Hallo2012

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totally normal, like us they are all one sided.

whilst hacking is VERY important, if you ignore the schooling it will only get worse.

if he is falling out the right shoulder,in walk on left rein first teach him to leg yield IN from the fence to the 3/4 line, and then in trot.... to get that right shoulder under control and right hind under him.

then on a circle if he feels like he's falling out you can take up a bit of outside (right) flexion and close your right leg and straighten him.

you probably need to ride with more bend on the right rein and less on the left to help even him up.

i actually think the smaller buzzier ones mature much quicker mentally than big gangly sorts.

ive got a B stallion who is the quickest learner ive ever sat on :) ronni2.JPG
 

milliepops

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Hi again we have been continuing our routine as much as we can with this rubbish weather, we still have issues with the bend at times but it is improving, working more on straightness atm. The problem I am having now is I feel that I have lost my mojo a bit, I am so thrilled with all the things he does right so why do I concentrate on the failures, like last night he exploded on the lunge before my lesson and was unsettled and spiky, we did manage to achieve 10 mins of calm ridden work in walk but I am now focused on what if he does that with me on board? Could I cope etc etc..... I am sure you all get it. I think I have got my head round the fact that this is going to be a very slow process as he was incredibly green having been broken last April then turned out again until July then he was sold twice in 3 months then he came to me in November. He was 5 in June. Will I be able to cope moving forward, having a bit of a confidence crisis atm, I was 60 this year and I keep thinking I should be on an old plod now and not a very green young native! Any similar scenarios??
Just on this bit.
Coming into winter is a hard time on a green horse I think. They can get a bit silly with the changing season, the weather is more unsettled, it's darker and we all get a bit short on time.
I think that coupled with knowing your horse is still learning his job, it's natural and very understandable to have a little confidence wobble.
I find with the green ones you have to try and park the worries - and the disappointment of a session that doesn't go your way - and keep on plugging away. Bit by bit they come on almost without you noticing.

What I've learnt from my tricky ones is that if you are feeling particularly nervous one day (either from your own collywobbles or the weather or whatever) then just do the things that you both feel comfortable with and think of it as a day for topping up your confidence bank. I have one that is a bit of a spookpot at the moment, so if it's blowing a gale and he's feeling really daft sometimes we only do a bit of quiet work in walk and trot so we both stay relaxed and we can just tick the day off even if it wasn't what I wanted to be working on. The time is never wasted if you can use it like that, you can feel positive about it, because you did something you both knew and you survived whatever the challenge was.
With a more established horse you can push on through that feeling but sometimes there's no point doing that to yourself, when all you need to do is get on, ride round a bit, and get off, there's always another day and nothing to prove to anyone.
 

Fiona

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I bought a green spooky connie pony in my 40's, and now two years later I can say its the best horsy decision I ever made.

Best of luck OP, it will be worth it in the end.

Fiona
 

NooNoo59

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Just on this bit.
Coming into winter is a hard time on a green horse I think. They can get a bit silly with the changing season, the weather is more unsettled, it's darker and we all get a bit short on time.
I think that coupled with knowing your horse is still learning his job, it's natural and very understandable to have a little confidence wobble.
I find with the green ones you have to try and park the worries - and the disappointment of a session that doesn't go your way - and keep on plugging away. Bit by bit they come on almost without you noticing.

What I've learnt from my tricky ones is that if you are feeling particularly nervous one day (either from your own collywobbles or the weather or whatever) then just do the things that you both feel comfortable with and think of it as a day for topping up your confidence bank. I have one that is a bit of a spookpot at the moment, so if it's blowing a gale and he's feeling really daft sometimes we only do a bit of quiet work in walk and trot so we both stay relaxed and we can just tick the day off even if it wasn't what I wanted to be working on. The time is never wasted if you can use it like that, you can feel positive about it, because you did something you both knew and you survived whatever the challenge was.
With a more established horse you can push on through that feeling but sometimes there's no point doing that to yourself, when all you need to do is get on, ride round a bit, and get off, there's always another day and nothing to prove to anyone.
Thank you !
 

NooNoo59

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Thanks all very helpful sometimes on a large yard you can feel that lagging behind some. But I need to have the courage to know I am doing the right thing for my pony and me. You would at 60 that I would have sorted myself out to realise that but heyho!
 
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