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Greenie Mare
#1
Hi, I'm going to be a new horse owner around January 1st. I'm going to be COMPLETELY new to this. I've taken lessons every summer for about 7 years and know basic riding skills and basic horse care. I'm completely ecstatic to own my new mare. She's a 12 year old appendix. A beautiful true black horse. Maybe about 15 hands. She was a broad mare at one point. I think she had about 5 babies. She responds very well to my leg movements and is a quick learner. Unfortunately she is still VERY green. She spooks occasionally. I've gotten her out of the habit of spooking at everything in sight, but sometimes she still trembles or side steps out of the way of her "monster." We're teaching her now to go over jumps. Just crossrails and tiny verticals. She's a newbie at everything. But she trusts in me and looks to me for comfort when things get scary. I've been riding her off and on for about a year so I know what I'm getting into. She's a wonderful mare. She grooms easily, but when it comes time for bathing she still is very shaky. This past Saturday I went to the store and bought her a pair of splint boots for when I start riding her. [The arena isn't that wonderful, but it will have to make due.] Footing is bad and I just want to make sure she has extra protection. Well, I put one on her and she got scared. To make matters worse, I bent over to take it off calmly and a hoof pick fell right out of my pocket when made her go "OH NO!!!" So I proceeded to take off her boot calmly and when that was done, she spooked. She was in crossties so she jumped back, reared a little, and her hooves were shaking all over the place. I felt so bad. She's probably never had protection like that before in her life. I quickly grabbed a lead rope and got her quiet.

I know I shouldn't have babied her, but I couldn't see me just ignoring a 1,000 pound animals scare like nothing. She looks at me as her trust partner and I felt obligated to reassure her.

I was just wondering if there was any way I could break her into not seeing everything as if it were to eat her.

Here are some of my questions that I just want to get out there and see if any one has any feedback for me. I'm going to need all the help I can get, seeing how my mom knows very very little about horses.

-How would I go about breaking Picaboo into her splint boots? Lead her to a turnout area, put them on, and let her figure out for herself that they are OKAY? But I'm worried that in the process of that, she'll hurt herself. Or should I just lead her out on a lead rope and walk her around myself. I'm just afraid then, that if she spokes, I'LL be the one getting hurt.
-How do I break Picaboo of her spooking habits?
-How do I train her correctly so that my green mare will eventually turn out to be a very wonderful horse? (She has very little balance herself and I don't think she was lunged very much.)
-I'm going to need to transport her to the other stable I'm going to board her at. How do I go about trailering her without her having a heart attack? Haha, I know she's going to be a mess.
-How much is a good estimate of feed I should be giving her? I'm going to try riding her everyday, even if it's just for 15 minutes. Bareback, with my English saddle... just something to keep her going everyday. I'm going to do a good workout for her maybe 2-3 days a week.

I don't really know what else I want to ask at the moment, so this seems VERY decent for now. :] Does anyone have any questions for me? I'm new on this board and I'm happy to get acquainted with all of you. [/font=Arial Black]
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#2
Hi Tara! Welcome to [de]!!

I couldn't really tell from your post whether you are an adult who is just now getting into horses (like me, I started at age 50), or whether you still have the advantage of youth? In either case, I'm sure you'll find people here with stories similar to yours. Looking forward to hearing more about your horse.... and we love pictures!

I'll try to answer some of your questions, but others will be able to offer more:

1. My #1 rule of exposing them to new things is "Go slow". This applies to just about anything new to them. With the splint boots, first thing I would do is not have her tied fast, but rather have her on a lead where if she feels the need to move her feet, she can. Either hold her yourself or have someone help. Then I'd let her see and smell the splint, then rub it all over her and up and down her legs, before actually putting it on her. Do one leg at a time and let her get used to that before putting on more than one leg.

2. Spooking, to a certain extent, is natural for any horse and you can't drive out their instincts. But you can get them used to things so that their spooks are easier and more under control. Expose them to all types of things, like tarps, flags, ropes, etc much in the same way as the splints, slowly and one step at a time. I would never tie her while doing this, as she can panic and hurt herself if she can't move.

3. As far as training, I would recommend trying to find a local trainer that you can trust to help you. If you can't do that, at least find books and videos, etc, from one of the many trainers out there. Training always starts with ground work. You can never do too much of that. As they say, "What you have from the ground, you will have in the saddle."

4. Trailer loading for the first time can be a nightmare. Has she ever been trailered? If not, it would be best to introduce her slowly to the trailer, like all other training projects. Although it is done often, it is never in the horse's or your long term best interest to force them into the trailer for the trip home. If she can be worked with enough to accept going in the trailer, the ride home will be no stress at all for her.

5. There have been many good topics on here about feeding. Check them out. The basic rule of thumb for amount of food needed is about 2% of the horse's weight in feed per day, spread over at least 2 or 3 feedings. So, for a 1000# horse that would be about 20# of feed per day. Most of this should be pasture or hay, and a small amount commercial feed or supplement. The amount will then have to be adjusted depending on how she does... they're all a little different. The big thing to watch for in feeding is to make all changes gradually over the course of several days. Abrupt changes in feed can cause them to colic or founder.

Do you have experienced friends or a trainer that can help you get going and answer questions for you? That would be a big help. Also, you'll find that the people on this forum are glad to help, and the only dumb question is the one not asked.

Good luck with your horse. What's her name?
Hope to hear more from you as you go!


"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer


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#3
Hmeyer's got good points. That first one, go slow, applies to all the others. I know you may not feel like you've got the luxury to go slow on some of them, especially getting her in the trailer to her new home, but take as much time as you possibly can, introducing her to the trailer (even just to sniff it) days or weeks ahead if you can. When she's in her new home, don't expect too much of her for the first couple of weeks, it'll all be new and scary to her. Maybe just go there frequently so she sees a familiar face, and just lead her around a bunch (good time to practice some of that basic groundwork).

Another point that I found very insightful to how I think about it is hmeyer's point #2... horses will be alarmed by things, it's natural to them. What your real goal is, is to teach them how to handle that alarm in an appropriate way. "Turn tail and dash for home" is NOT appropriate, whereas "stand still and watch carefully" might be an acceptable alternative... but the horse might need to be taught that one if the first one is the only spook reaction she knows. Aside from that, it's a matter of moving as many things as possible gradually from the "unfamiliar" category to the "familiar" side.

Good luck. You've got a really good thing going for you in that you already know this mare and she knows you, that's a great head start.

'plash
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#4
Thank you for responding back to me. I'm 16 years old. (I know, doesn't seem like it.)

1) I know about first introducing them to what we may be using on them. For example, when I brush her or clean out her hooves I make sure she knows EXACTLY what I'm using on her. I let her see it and smell it and go slowly with her. Then she's absolutely fine. With the splint boots though, I'll try introducing them to her in an even slower fashion. Maybe just letting her smell them and rub them on her for a few days. But when I actually do try getting them on her and letting her walk in them what should I do? Should I just turn her out and let her walk around with them by herself? Or should I walk her around in a lead? (I'm afraid if I do that she'll freak out around me and I'll end up getting her. At least if she's off a line she can spook around herself.

2) My old trainer said she would help me out with anything I need. And my older friend has been riding for a while and has been on greenies before. My mom also said that if we need a trainer, I could get one. She trusts in me and listens to me when I'm very calm and reassuring with her, so I'm not worried. I know that with one consistent person riding her, she'll learn. It all comes in time.

3) About trailering, the previous owner had trailered her from her barn. So she's been in there before... But I know she will make this a BIG deal. Thank God the barn I'm at is well experienced with trailering horses and they will trailer her for me. The place I'm moving her to is only 5 minutes away. 2 streets. [I would consider riding her there if she wasn't such a baby.] I can't even imagine what she would do if she saw a car coming at her.

4) About feeding, I'm considering buying feed from her owner now, since she's the one that owns the business. I may make changes slowly, but for right now, do you think that's best? They feed her a 12% pellet feed right now and about 4 flakes of hay a day. What are your thoughts on sweet feed and/or oats? Also, my friend said that bran mash would be good for Peak when she arrives from the move? I don't know anything about that.

What I like about what I'm going to do with her is I'm getting a self-care deal. I go there everyday to clean, but they'll feed her with the rest of the horses for me. I get to spend one on one time with her everyday and I think that's going to make our bond closer and closer. Yeah, full care is nice, but I want to see my horse everyday. She's the love of my life. :]

Her "official" name is "Better In Britches."
Stable name: Picabo.
:] She's the most darling creature on earth.

I'll just send you a bunch of photobucket links of her:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v511/p...tgc/pp.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v511/p...010003.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v511/p...tgc/jj.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v511/p...itgc/j.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v511/p...469-11.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v511/p...2451-1.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v511/p...c/peak.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v511/p...010006.jpg

*Tara*
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#5
Hi Tara and welcome to DE, Picaboo is a lovely horse you are a lucky girl.
Colleen who hopes to have a horse soon.

The air of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears -- Arabian proverb

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#6
quote:
Originally posted by picabootara

3) About trailering, the previous owner had trailered her from her barn. So she's been in there before... But I know she will make this a BIG deal. Thank God the barn I'm at is well experienced with trailering horses and they will trailer her for me. The place I'm moving her to is only 5 minutes away. 2 streets. [I would consider riding her there if she wasn't such a baby.] I can't even imagine what she would do if she saw a car coming at her.

4) About feeding, I'm considering buying feed from her owner now, since she's the one that owns the business. I may make changes slowly, but for right now, do you think that's best? They feed her a 12% pellet feed right now and about 4 flakes of hay a day. What are your thoughts on sweet feed and/or oats? Also, my friend said that bran mash would be good for Peak when she arrives from the move? I don't know anything about that.


Her "official" name is "Better In Britches."
Stable name: Picabo.
:] She's the most darling creature on earth.

I'll just send you a bunch of photobucket links of her:






Hi Tara;
Welcome to the Forum. Great folks here with tons of experience.

When we brought Hookie home he was a green 18 month old who had never been loaded before. We had to trailer him for almost two hours , the majority on a 4 lane highway. After consultation with our vet she suggested a mild tranquilizer that would ease the loading and have the added affect of keeping him calm at our barn as he acclimatized to the new surroundings. Worked like a charm for Hookie. You may want to talk to your vet to see if he/she has any suggestions. Shouldn't be very strong for a 5 minute ride. I would think that if your horse has had 5 foals that she has probably been trailered before. Perhaps you could arrange for a trial loading to see just how she reacts and perhaps work a bit with the aid of your coach to resolve any issues in advance of the move. Patience and time works well here.

As far as feeding goes Hmeyer is right on with the quantities and gradual introductions of anything new. I suggest that you check out the ration balancer rational post for a feeding program that works well for us.

If you want the photos to appear directly in your post you just have to select the IMG part from photobucket and post it. Check out this post for some pointers. http://www.dailyequine.com/forums/topic....IC_ID=4764

VERY VERY nice looking mare your picaboo
Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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#7
She's a really pretty horse. It's great that you'll be able to spend so much time with her, that should help her adjust to the new setting a lot.

I'd leave her on the same feed she's on now, if it seems to be working for her. I don't think she'd need sweet feed or oats, she appears to be in good shape in your photos & doesn't seem desperate for extra calories. But there are others on this board who are more knowledgeable about feed than I am.

'plash
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#8
Thank you for the help. I'm trying to get a vet to come out and look at her on Saturday. We're just going to get a simple vet check to make sure she's healthy.

The only one thing that may be of concern is the indentation on her side. It looks like she's missing a rib. Could it be that she got kicked by another horse and it caved in? Old injury? It's not a bother to her at all. No breathing problems, no irritation from it. She's had it since I've known her. I'm sure it shouldn't be a problem. Correct?

I'll try talking with the owner and see if we can set up something where we just work on trailering for a little bit. Because I know that the moving day will be really stressful on her. She's going to be happy knowing I'm there to keep her safe. Everytime I enter the barn to go see her she nickers and goes back and forth in her stall until I come and say hi to her. Then she rubs on me and lets me hug her and kiss her face lots. She doesn't do that for anybody else. No one understands that special feeling except us pony people. Haha. Isn't it the best?

I know about the [IMG] for pictures. I just didn't want to cover this forum in a bunch of pictures. I figure it would be just as easy to click on them if people wanted to see them. :]

Also, about Picaboo's feeding, I'm just wondering if she's in such good shape because NO ONE rides her. Me and a few trainers ride her occassionally. There are a couple of other girls at the barn that ride her as well, but they don't like to at all. I'll just monitor her weight when I get her and go from there with any questions.
*Tara*
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#9
Good idea to have a vet check before your final purchase, even if you have known this horse for a year or so. No matter how well you like her you do not want to get saddled with a chronic problem that will show up as she gets older.

I looked at the pictures again and couldn't see the indentation you are referring to. I would follow the guidance of your vet for that. BTW On this Forum we LIKE pictures. We are "Hook(ed)" you might say.[Big Grin]

Good idea, if you can swing it, to do a bit of practise loading. If it works it will ease your mind, if it doesn't you have some time to work on it. It should help a lot if she trusts you AND listens.

You might want to get a weight tape to keep an eye on her after the move. It's hard sometimes to see any trends when you are with her every day.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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#10
quote:
Originally posted by Hook

You might want to get a weight tape to keep an eye on her after the move. It's hard sometimes to see any trends when you are with her every day.


Especially this time of year, when they are all furry and it's hard to tell what's under all the fluff.

A word of caution about how she greets you in the stall. The rubbing up against you is sweet and all, but she really needs to respect your space and not rub on you.

She is a very pretty mare!
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer


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