The last few weeks have seen a new intake of young horses at home in Qld, Australia. Some of these horses are now getting ready to go back to their owners. One of the common questions that get asked from owners is what do you do now. In answer to that question if they were my horses I would probably turn them away for a period of time. The exception may be if the horse was 5 years or older. I don’t think that there is any one answer that is going to fit everyone or horse.
For many people I would suggest that they ride their horse for another week or so in order that they at least get to know or get a feel of their horse before turning them away. If possible I would ride those horses outside of an arena, in doing so you are going to help those horses to continue to gain exposure to new environments and situations. For the most part I would do a lot of walking with some trotting as well. I would be looking at trying to get my horse confident with different situations and environments. That may mean water crossings and creeks or to where I could ride my horse with a flag. It does not always have to happen today, you may need to work towards being able to ride your horse with a flag etc.
You may find that your horse is okay today but tomorrow is different and they do not feel so sure. That is okay, ride your horse where they are at today. There will come a point where things will stick and it won’t matter if you have not ridden your horse for a period of time you will pick up right where you left off. I try to begin with the end in mind of what would I like in a good saddle horse. With time and more experience what we would like changes.
I have upcoming courses in New Zealand towards the end of this month in the South Island. In March I have courses in Sydney and in Victoria at Howlong. These courses are horsemanship based with some including cattle work and colt starting. For more information on courses please visit the the course listings page on the website www.davidstuart.com.au.
I look forward to catching up with everyone through the year.