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4th time under a saddle...and a wreck. Now what?

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LCP

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I have a question for those of you who are experienced horse breakers. I am in the process of breaking a 3 yr old gelding. This is pretty much my first time breaking a horse myself. Things were going well until today - had a bit of a wreck.

Today was the 4th time putting the saddle on. The first two times went pretty well. Last time he bucked quite a little but settled down. Today he pulled away before I got the cinch fastened. You can imagine how that ended up. Calamity. Thankfully he didn't hurt himself or the saddle or me.

So my question is, how do I proceed now? How long should I wait to saddle him up again? Any suggestions on how to do it better next time are appreciated.
 

leanin' H

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Well you can't let him win. I would tie him good in a spot he can't hurt himself and saddle him and leave him saddled for half a day. You'll have to watch him but he's gotta learn you run the show. I am a huge fan of sacking a horse out and then using a rope to create pressure points which he has to yeild to. I am sure you have a system that you are following. Remember that going slower makes it go faster. And a horse throws a fit for a reason that makes sense to him while not neccesarily us. :D If he learns bad behavior = pressure (which he dislikes) and good behavior = the pressure ceasing, he will be fine. Good luck, be safe and keep us posted. :D
 

JF Ranch

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How much time do you have? If time is short, I'd advise finding a trainer. You cannot hurry this thing. Good luck though, good ones are few and far between and they aren't cheap.

If you have lots of time, you need to start over. As a beginner, I suggest you start watching RFD-TV. Clinton Anderson, Pat Parelli, Chris Cox, Craig Cameron and others have excellent programs on how to go about it. Each of them have DVD's for sale and they are excellent but I tend to like Anderson's techniques. They will cost less than a trainer, but you will need to view them over & over while you try what you've learned. In a nutshell, you need to get your horse's respect in some simple yet specific ways. A two year old might have been a better choice to start with. I like to start working with them as yearlings.
 

LCP

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The pressure and release concept is what I've been using with great results. This is really the first problem I've had at all. It really is amazing how fast they can learn. I'm just hoping that this bad experience can be overcome.

The first couple times I saddled him I used an old busted saddle with no stirrups and he did very well. These last two times when he acted up I was using my normal saddle which is heavier and maybe feels different. My face must have been white as a ghost watching him kick and buck and roll over - I was pretty sure that I'd have a vet bill and a broken tree or something. Once he got rid of it he came right back to me. (I am working in a round pen still). I might have been more shook up than him at that point!

Needless to say, when I try it again tomorrow it will be with the old saddle.
 

canadian angus

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Was taught this from my Australian friends, lie it down and start over, works like a damn on most horses. Work him all over and then let him up, and trust will be there.

CA
 

Faster horses

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canadian angus said:
Was taught this from my Australian friends, lie it down and start over, works like a damn on most horses. Work him all over and then let him up, and trust will be there.

CA

While this is good advice for an experienced hand, I don't think it is
the right thing for a novice to try. Laying them down is one thing,
but how you let them up is as important or even moreso than
laying them down. And if you don't lay them down correctly you
could injure the horses' knees.

Sounds like a lot going on with this young horse to me and now he
is scared. I vote for getting professional help. It doesn't take many
mistakes to make a bad habit. Seems like horses tend to learn the bad
things faster than the good things. That's why there are professionals
to help with horses. If you can't get a live person to help you, then
at least do what JF Ranch suggested. I remember Pat Parelli with good advice:
"green on green=broken bones" and we sure don't want that.
Good luck and be very careful. Your horse is scared now. The next
time you try to saddle him could be worse. And you could get kicked...
 

LCP

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I guess it doesn't seem to me like the trust was necessarily broken. Once both of us realized we were ok, I spent 10-15 min reviewing things he already knew (picking up his feet, putting the saddle blanket on him, etc) and he did fine. He wasn't afraid of the saddle afterwards either - he was checking it out while I was looking it over for damage.

I haven't a clue how to lay a horse down (other than with tranquilizers??) so I won't likely be trying it this time. Thanks for the advice anyway CA.

While I am a novice at breaking horses, I have used them all my life around cattle. I think today I did not bring my A-game to the round pen - not attentive enough to the horse's body language. He was not ready for what I was asking of him. Lesson learned.
 

OldDog/NewTricks

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leanin' H said:
Well you can't let him win. I would tie him good in a spot he can't hurt himself and saddle him and leave him saddled for half a day. You'll have to watch him but he's gotta learn you run the show. I am a huge fan of sacking a horse out and then using a rope to create pressure points which he has to yeild to. I am sure you have a system that you are following. Remember that going slower makes it go faster. And a horse throws a fit for a reason that makes sense to him while not neccesarily us. :D If he learns bad behavior = pressure (which he dislikes) and good behavior = the pressure ceasing, he will be fine. Good luck, be safe and keep us posted. :D


Tie him High (with a quick release knot) so he can't pull back much...
When I was young I use to SACK them out or just BUCK-m-out but I've learned different (The Hard Way)

You should Not have let him win yesterday - that makes more work today.
It's Hard to Break Your Horse From Here
 

VB RANCH

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Are you throwin the saddle on then screwing it down tight
if you are, you cant, shouldnt even with a broke horse,
put it on tight enuff to stay, then walk him off a ways,
then snugg it up, when you have it tight, you should still
be able to get your fingures under the chinch by the latigo, EASEY
if you round penned him with a long rope, then do that when you got a saddle on him
just keep on him, when you both screw up
go back to some thing you both can do
then move ahead again
If you ain't never broke a horse befor
you really got your hands full
NOT imposible tho
GOOD LUCK
 

Big Muddy rancher

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LCP said:
I guess it doesn't seem to me like the trust was necessarily broken. Once both of us realized we were ok, I spent 10-15 min reviewing things he already knew (picking up his feet, putting the saddle blanket on him, etc) and he did fine. He wasn't afraid of the saddle afterwards either - he was checking it out while I was looking it over for damage.

I haven't a clue how to lay a horse down (other than with tranquilizers??) so I won't likely be trying it this time. Thanks for the advice anyway CA.

While I am a novice at breaking horses, I have used them all my life around cattle. I think today I did not bring my A-game to the round pen - not attentive enough to the horse's body language. He was not ready for what I was asking of him. Lesson learned.


"While I am a novice at breaking horses, I have used them all my life around cattle. I think today I did not bring my A-game to the round pen - not attentive enough to the horse's body language. He was not ready for what I was asking of him. Lesson learned."

If you learned that you probably had a good day.

Just back up a little and work up to where you were and progress as he allows you.
I think your doing just fine. Be careful and don't get either of you hurt.

Everybody has to start with the first one. :D
 

LCP

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Thanks for the advice everyone. This morning I worked on getting him ok with something around his belly (rope) and this evening was able to put the saddle on again pretty easily. He gave a couple little hops and that was it. No quite the same as before though because this saddle is about 30 lbs lighter and has no stirrups. We'll get there though.

BMR I think you're right. I needed some training more than the horse.
 

High Plains

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LCP, I'm not a horse trainer, but I play one in the movies!

Nah, it sounds like you've got your head right and will do fine. No reason to quit unless you're dealing with a truly wild one that wants to fight you. Otherwise, it sounds like you just had a misunderstanding or some bad timing on one day and that's no deal breaker. If he acts like he likes you for the most part then you can surely back up and go slowly forward again. Sounds like that's what you've done and I'll bet you'll get it licked before you know it!

Good on ya' for taking up the challenge and also for asking questions of others that have been there. Pulling for ya!
 

leanin' H

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High Plains said:
LCP, I'm not a horse trainer, but I play one in the movies!

Nah, it sounds like you've got your head right and will do fine. No reason to quit unless you're dealing with a truly wild one that wants to fight you. Otherwise, it sounds like you just had a misunderstanding or some bad timing on one day and that's no deal breaker. If he acts like he likes you for the most part then you can surely back up and go slowly forward again. Sounds like that's what you've done and I'll bet you'll get it licked before you know it!

Good on ya' for taking up the challenge and also for asking questions of others that have been there. Pulling for ya!

Me Too!!! :D
 

flyingS

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I am probably going to start a discussion here. Whatever you do, do not tie your horse up and saddle him and leave him stand. I will explain, first off it is not safe for your horse or for you if you aren't experienced. Second your not building his confidence, your just showing him that if he throws a fit he can't get away from whatever you tie him to. Third, you are actually punishing him for doing something good. You do not want him to buck, but when he quits you don't want to punish him. Start back at the basic's and build his confidence. He obvisously was looking to you for release or he wouldn't have come to you. It would take me a long time to explain what I would do and it may not make sense to you either. If you want one that you can ride to hell and come back with the devil by the tail you better have his trust and you better make sure that he thinks whatever you ask him to do he can get done without being forced. Just my opinion and advice, it free so it's not worth much.
 

Bruce

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leanin' H said:
High Plains said:
LCP, I'm not a horse trainer, but I play one in the movies!

Nah, it sounds like you've got your head right and will do fine. No reason to quit unless you're dealing with a truly wild one that wants to fight you. Otherwise, it sounds like you just had a misunderstanding or some bad timing on one day and that's no deal breaker. If he acts like he likes you for the most part then you can surely back up and go slowly forward again. Sounds like that's what you've done and I'll bet you'll get it licked before you know it!

Good on ya' for taking up the challenge and also for asking questions of others that have been there. Pulling for ya!

Me Too!!! :D
Me Three!!! :D
 

Bruce

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Hi LCP just an idea for you, next time you try that saddle on your colt put your pad and saddle on as usual but before you go to the cinch, run your hand under the pad, under the saddle from front to back ( have your hand flat and under the "bar's" of your saddle) With a good fit you will feel even pressure/weight on your hand all/most of the way (generaly somewhat heavier at the front lessenning as you move back) any bump's/pinch's, or gap's can sure cause trouble!!
 

Faster horses

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flyingS said:
I am probably going to start a discussion here. Whatever you do, do not tie your horse up and saddle him and leave him stand. I will explain, first off it is not safe for your horse or for you if you aren't experienced. Second your not building his confidence, your just showing him that if he throws a fit he can't get away from whatever you tie him to. Third, you are actually punishing him for doing something good. You do not want him to buck, but when he quits you don't want to punish him. Start back at the basic's and build his confidence. He obvisously was looking to you for release or he wouldn't have come to you. It would take me a long time to explain what I would do and it may not make sense to you either. If you want one that you can ride to hell and come back with the devil by the tail you better have his trust and you better make sure that he thinks whatever you ask him to do he can get done without being forced. Just my opinion and advice, it free so it's not worth much.

Good advice! IMHO
 

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