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#1 NightshadeArabs

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 01:00 AM

I have only ever started young horses and have been having a bit of a time getting Sadik to agree with me on saddling. I got him as a 5 year old, he is coming up on 6 now and I have been perfecting his ground work before really doing saddle stuff (I try to be very thorough with the ground manners) however I also like to work them wearing the saddle.
My problem, I can blanket him, put the saddle pad on, etc but he refuses to stand for the saddle. He will sniff it all day, but I can't walk up to his withers with it. He flies backwards.
Any suggestions?
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#2 Aimbri

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 01:04 AM

Do you have a Surcingle? If so, I would suggest starting him with that.

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#3 NightshadeArabs

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 01:08 AM

He doesn't mind the pressure, the blanket had a belly band, he didn't even buck when I put that on him.... I think its the look of the saddle.... time for horsey hypnosis?

I do need to get a surcingle anyway, but I will have to order it, all poorly stocked western stores in my area....
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Posted 03 January 2010 - 04:52 AM

It can be done.I have been working with my stallions who are 15 now.I started with a bareback pad and a extra hand.I lunge them first for about 10 to 15 min.Then had someone hold them while I rubbed the pad all over.Letting them go in circles if they needed.Moving at their pace.Treats help to.The saddle pad was easier for me to cinch up.Then I started bring the saddle in the round pen and letting them sniff it.Then with a helper we did the circles round and round.Placed it on their backs only for a moment and took it off at first.Now they don't mind the saddle to much.They still are little brats now and then about being sinched up.I just tighten it enough it would slip and when they fuss I'll lunge them a few laps till they want to come to my.And then tighten it all the way.
A english saddle might help you to.He might be more accepting of it instead of a big western saddle coming to eat him.And lot and lots of patience.
:PerspectMA19366318-0001: GOOD LUCK

#5 VanAlma

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 04:07 PM

I had a mare that was similar. She was the sweetest mare and wanted to please but was terrified of the saddle. It simply took time and patience and letting the horse come around. He is still clearly afraid of what it is. Maybe you should just set it in front of him while you brush him and completely ignore the saddle. It will interst him. He might nose it a bit and figure out it isn't a monster. You shoud also use it as a desensitizing tool like you would use a plastic bag etc. Just walk around him raising and and lower in it but not getting particularly close. This could be done in a ring or roundpen so he can run away, not too far away, but you are still using it around him and he is seeing it above his head yet it isn't coming after him. Just some thoughts about how to do it easily so he isn't learning that pulling back is the way out of this situation as that is what you are inadvertently teaching him right now if this is the pattern you are in. You need to set up situations where he will be successful, however small, and you will be, too.
I second the surcingle/english saddle recommendations as well. They are smaller, less cumbersome so you can set them on, not throw them on, and they weigh less but get the same job done.
Lastly, he is still young mentally. Make sure to treat him as such :PerspectMA19366318-0001: Good luck and please keep us posted.

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#6 NightshadeArabs

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 06:17 PM

As soon as the weather cooperates.... :PerspectMA19366318-0001: and I am not just watching it snow and doing horsey maintenance ( which I really don't mind) I will start trying again, thanks for all the tips.
I had not been trying with him after the first time he launched backwards (I ended him on the good note of sniffing the saddle) that western saddle is a little too big to stalk him with.
I have an Aussie saddle with completely removable stirrups, I will try that.
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#7 Roze

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 11:30 PM

Lots of patience is always good to have on hand. I started the four year old I got this summer. It seemed to take a bit longer to get him under saddle but he's taken off with flying colors now that he's figured out what we're asking for. Depending on his history he may have some extra obstacles to over come. Fortunately my guy wasn't handled so I didn't really have any bad habits to work out. Best of luck and keep us posted.

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#8 Cheryl L

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 02:25 AM

I start all of mine on the lunge line, then add the bridle. When comfortable with that, the surcingle. When they are comfortable with the surcingle, I add the side reins and leave the attached to the surcingle. They will dangle and flop, but that is okay. When they are comfortable with that, I attach them loosely to the bit. No pressure at all. Then I will add some pressure and lunge. When they are comfortable with bit pressure ie:give and take, then I switch to long lines. Before I even attempt to put a saddle on, I want 4 commands to be solid.....Walk, Trot, Canter and Whoa.
After a good work out is when I start to put a saddle on the back. They have burned off excess energy and are more able to settle down and focus on what you are doing.

#9 carolynw

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:34 PM

I started a 14 year old SBE stallion last summer that I had just purchased. His owner died when he was 2 years old & he spent the next 11 years hanging out in a pasture taken care of by his former owner's elderly parents. He remembered how to lunge, so I began there & with in-hand work, then on to lunging with the saddle. Finally I put my intern on him-crash-test dummy! But he had been riding him bareback up the hill to his paddock every day anyway with just the halter on:)

He was easy!

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#10 NightshadeArabs

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 04:54 AM

A little bit of progress, thanks to warm weather and a light weight treeless endurance saddle,

Posted Image

Have been long lining Sadik, working on gaits, with distractions, I just love my good boy and how often he reminds me of why I kept him a stud!
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#11 Century Oak

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 08:26 PM

We had a mare here that was an awesome trail horse, ride her anywhere and she didn't give any problems at all.. until it came to tacking her up. From the time she was broke to ride at 4 until she was a 12 year old she would shy at the saddle going over her back. Nothing helped this but it was something I learned to watch for and compensate for. Once it was on her back she was fine.

Another was afraid of anything over his head, no problem with the saddle but the minute you stepped in the stirrup and rose over his head, all bets were off and it was time to party O.o And not in that happy fun kind of way.

Looks like you are making progress with him though :5298_orcspash: We will be seeing riding pictures soon? :5298_orcspash:
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#12 SE Legacy

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:26 AM

We had a mare here that was an awesome trail horse, ride her anywhere and she didn't give any problems at all.. until it came to tacking her up. From the time she was broke to ride at 4 until she was a 12 year old she would shy at the saddle going over her back. Nothing helped this but it was something I learned to watch for and compensate for. Once it was on her back she was fine.

Another was afraid of anything over his head, no problem with the saddle but the minute you stepped in the stirrup and rose over his head, all bets were off and it was time to party O.o And not in that happy fun kind of way.

Looks like you are making progress with him though :) We will be seeing riding pictures soon? :bigemo_harabe_net-109:

I believe so much is dependent upon the horses temperment. If the horse is resisting and going up on its hind legs even for a few seconds, that might be a sign that the horse has had enough for the day. Or the month for that matter or maybe not a good riding horse candidate at all. Some lessons don't need to be learned the hard way. Accidents to do happen, afterall.

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#13 Century Oak

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 01:38 PM

I would agree :bigemo_harabe_net-109: Except that the stallion I'm referring to is now 20 years old and such an awesome ride, still a challenge but not from mounting up or rearing, just a sensitive and spirited ride but was a wonderful horse back in the day before I stopped riding him.

The mare never went up, ever... she just week EEEK whenever the saddle pad came at her despite however long she is sacked. An interesting point is that she was not egyptian by any stretch of the imagination :)
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#14 VanAlma

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 05:15 PM

I believe so much is dependent upon the horses temperment. If the horse is resisting and going up on its hind legs even for a few seconds, that might be a sign that the horse has had enough for the day. Or the month for that matter or maybe not a good riding horse candidate at all. Some lessons don't need to be learned the hard way. Accidents to do happen, afterall.

I agree and would like to add that if a horse is going up that is the handler / trainer that needs to modify and figure out how to make the training better. This kind of horse should be brought along differently and not pushed. Too many times, people push too hard to quickly with disasterous results.

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#15 NightshadeArabs

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 07:15 PM

Hopefully I can be putting up first ride pictures soon! That would be great, its just difficult to make progress when trying to do so around work, I can't wait until I can just focus on my horse stuff!
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#16 Bri Sha Arabians

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 03:40 AM

I know this is a bit off subject, however. We beging saddle training at 1 year old. They are much easier to handle, and start introducing the saddle to them at 6 months. We get them accustomed to the pad, or blanket. Let them wear it around, just keep flipping it up on thier back. No shy stuff there, the more movements the better. Then we place the saddle on thier back, 15 -25 pounds is not that big of deal at 1 or so. Sometimes we have a bright short yearling that is eager to please. We cinch it up and let them wear it all day in the pasture, we just leave them alone with it, of course keeping and eye on them, you can tie up the stirups to keep from getting them tangled, or a foot in them. We do the same with the bridle, except taking off the reins, we let them wear it all day to get used to drinking and eating with it.

We feel that when you can do these things at young ages it makes for easier breaking out when weight can be put on them. They get regular ground time as well.

Sorry if this was off topic but thought it might help others with young stock that might be a handful in the future.

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#17 NightshadeArabs

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 02:55 AM

That doesn't bother me in the least Sharon, in fact that's why I was so stumped when it came to Sadik, I had always started paying with them, leaning across their backs, making them carry stuff, for long before I would even think about climbing on, then when 2 1/2 to 3 comes around I just end up on their backs, less stress on them and me!
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#18 larapintavian

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 10:51 PM

Have to totally agree with Tenkenva and others here ... it's NEVER too late to start saddle training.

The first 'older' horse we started was the mare Elite Sabbah who was an 8 yr old with very little handling at the time. Second was a 9 yr old QH gelding that was given to a PCer. The third one was the SE stallion Serenity Taruf who was 9 at the time. All progressed very well. 'Ellie' was the most difficult because of her relative lack of handling .... she had to learn to trust people as well as being introduced to strange sights. The QH was much slower to learn, but once he 'got it' was rock solid for life. Taruf, the 9 yr old breeding stallion, after leaving Hansi's place as a yearling had had no exposure to dogs, children, traffic (we live next to an interstate highway), power equipment, etc. but he was fascinated by it all and watched everything with great interest before we started his formal work.

This may seem completely silly to you, but one thing we find especially advantageous with both the younger and older horses Chrissi trains, is how much these horses learn simply by regularly watching their stablemates having good experiences under saddle. Horses learn much more from observation than we give them credit for. Young stock who tag along while their dams are ridden just seem to expect to carry a rider too. Same thing with jumping ... our young horses, as well as horses who come in that have never jumped, take to it like a duck to water after regularly watching our more experienced horses having pleasureable rounds.

Taruf's paddock was where he could easily see the arena as well as a few cross country fences. After observing all the action around our place for a few weeks, he was allowed to stand in the ring with his halter on while Chrissi taught lessons. Since he'd already had his ground work done (although that had been in a round pen with solid 8 ft. sides and no distractions) it was a rather simple transition to riding him during those lessons and he quickly adapted to working with all the distractions, I think mainly because it was 'expected' and he saw the others doing it. Jumping, for him, also came willingly and easily as he simply expect it from watching the others .... every horse he saw ridden also jumped willingly. Same with Elite Sabbah and the QH, they both became solid performers just as easily as horses that were started much younger.

The horses we DON'T want to work with?? ... those that have had BAD EXPERIENCES (no matter what their age, breed, amount or lack of training,or their discipline). The younger they were when they had that bad experience the more set their problems seem to be. Chrissi has never been hurt by a horse that was not started as a youngster ... she has been hurt several times on horses that had had bad experiences, which is why she quit riding other people's problem horses a number of years ago.
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#19 Kristine

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 01:30 AM

Years ago a client sent me a lovely old stallion by *Patent out of a Fadjur grandaughter to be broke. He had bred a few mares when he was younger, time passed, and all of a sudden he was 17 and not broke, he had not bred a mare in years and so she made the decision to geld him and make an honest horse of him :)

He turned out to be pretty dependable, did parades, gymkhanna, trail ridding and mountain ridding!!

Although he was never for the inexperienced rider, the experienced rider could really enjoy him. She got quite a few great years with him and it was a great decision on her part not to write off even trying.



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#20 ponygirl

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 05:04 AM

I have worked with a few of the older ones getting them under saddle and find regardless of age it goes back to the horses personality. More than likely you would have had the same problem if he was three. this is just one of those situations where the horse needs a lot more sacking out and a lot of hands on from you. give him time to build his confidence and be confident with him. He will look to you for leadership and build trust. Always be confident with what your asking and continue to ask. this is what i did with my stallion when he would refuse. as soon as he refused, I ran him in a circle for 10 to 15 minutes. As soon as he stopped, I went to put put the saddle on. If he refused again, I repeated the lunging. the idea is he gets to rest when he stops and allows the saddle. It didn't take long before he got the idea. I do not have to even tie the guy to saddle him now. Give it a try. some take longer than others but they all eventually get the idea.
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