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Backing horses extra exercises

(8 Posts)
Wallywobbles Mon 19-Sep-16 16:05:42

Not sure that the title really sums it up. I'm currently helping to back to Connemara mates aged 4&5. About 14hh. I'm not doing the riding I'm doing the rest. So grooming, picking up hooves ( one of them sits down every time I do her back feet).

They will be living and being used a couple of hours a week at an equestrian centre so need to be bomb proof. I'm in France so it doesn't compare at all to a British riding school in my experience.

I've lunged them, free jumped (if that's what it's called). Taken them to look at stuff. Had the kids run relay races around them. Walked them through narrow spaces. Put them in a trailer. Washed their feet. Showed them scary stuff, tractors etc. Hola hopped around them. Thrown horseball balls close to them.

But I'm out of ideas. Please can you give me some ideas.

They are being ridden 5 days a week fairly briefly 30 mins or so. So that bit is under control.

Wallywobbles Mon 19-Sep-16 16:08:05

This was their cheer leading initiation.

Booboostwo Tue 20-Sep-16 21:38:15

Long reining them around hacks and then bombproofing, e.g. plastic, bags, umbrellas, bicycles, cows, sheep, and anything else you can think of in as many different locations as possible.

Wallywobbles Wed 21-Sep-16 05:21:44

Thanks booboo. Done umbrellas and bags in sticks in the indoor school while doing bending round cones. They seem to take it in their stride.

Quodlibet Wed 21-Sep-16 05:29:36

Outdoor 'hazards' eg walking through water, opening gates?

Ditsy4 Wed 21-Sep-16 05:43:13

Yes to long reining.
Yappy dogs!
You seem to have covered most things.
Set up a course like a trail horse / quarter horse would do.
Dragging up my memory : sending in and out of horse box, opening gate when ridden, plastic to walk over, water on plastic, bending between poles. Straw bales side step along length, small Cavalletti jump,cloverleaf around barrels x3 and something noisy like a horn.
Sounds like you are doing a great job.

Booboostwo Wed 21-Sep-16 06:23:24

If you can try to repeat everything in different locations and under different conditions, e.g. if they have been fine with plastic bags while loose in the indoor also try them in hand, outside with the same bags. It's worth doing basic in hand work around distractions so stop-start-back up etc around car traffic, so they learn to concentrate on their handler.

Are they always trained together? If yes it's really important to start getting them used to doing things with other horses and eventually alone.

Wallywobbles Wed 21-Sep-16 11:07:14

I do most of the in hand stuff together but they get ridden out alone.

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