Your Routine For Getting On A Horse You Have Never Ridden.

Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by Go the Distance, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    I quite often ride horses I have never ridden before.....I am riding one today. I may ride it to clock bush miles on it for someone, to try and help sort some issue out, to compete on the day*#) or just to get another notch in my pony riding gunbelt.

    If I have access to a round yard I prefer to throw them in there and chase them up a little bit, putting pressure on and taking it off to see how they react. I then saddle them do a few ground work bits and pieces especially work out if they understand the side yield for a one reiner and then jump up. If they are a real unknown quantity I may lay over the saddle and get someone to lead them forward and see if they hump up. I also get as much information as I can about the person who knows the horse. When it comes to 'what do they wrong' .......... I don't mess about with niceties basically you be honest with me and tell me what the horse did to dump you pet.......lets all be honest here. My interrorgation method is very well honed and extremely effective:D.

    So what do you do before you leap aboard a pony you don't know?
  2. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    Nowadays I generally only hop on those that have already been ridden sometime. If they're "unknown" (generally OTT), I'll take heavy note of body language when being saddled, then may lunge if there's been any restlessness, then mount in the roundyard. If it's got some kind of ridden history, I usually float down to the estuary and head off for a trail. This tends to distract the horse a fair bit, and the tracks are the width of a vehicle with heavy vegetation on the sides and very sandy (read soft), track surface. Should a horse start to send off signals, I could easily dismount and head home on foot to regroup in the roundyard.

    At my age now, if something were completely unknown, I'd send it to one of two trainers for a week :).
  3. myyky

    myyky Well-known Member

    If its a horse I know is quiet or at least ridden semi often I'll get straight on.

    With green/ott I do a little lunge first to see if there's any energy I should know about. Fitz I lunged then rode in a tiny roundaard, I thought maybe they were lying and he was actually bonkers. Could hardly get out of a walk :p
  4. samm

    samm Gold Member

    Oh generally a few valium and a couple of bourbons:p;)
  5. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Gone are the days where I would just hop on other peoples feral problem horses without hesitation! *#) :D

    Getting too old for that now and the risk level is not worth it. Dont bounce like I used to! I only ride our own horses. **) :))
  6. Anna E

    Anna E Guest

    Check if they have a lateral mouth and I can rely on a one rein stop.
    If they don't have one, or if the owner objects to me putting enough pressure on to know that I can stop them bolting/bucking if it all goes pear shaped, then I don't get on. Simple. I don't bounce very well any more.
  7. PF

    PF Active Member

    I don't get on strange horses anymore - too old for that! (and my own horses can be challenge enough). Back in the day when I was younger, braver and probably more stupid I would get on anything without any preparation at all, just hop on and hang on (if necessary)!
  8. katelol

    katelol Guest

    I only get on someone elses horse if they ride it first and it looks like fun. I won't ride naughty or difficult horses anymore either :eek:
  9. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    I used to be prepared to get on anything and everything, but I dont bounce like I used to and my back is too broken for the rouges now.

    I have always been very confident in my abilities to read horses body language, so would assess if I needed to do ground work first or if getting on straight away would be okay. I have always been confident in my horse riding and handling skills, so I figured I either got the body language reading right or I could deal with whatever the horse dished out at me.

    I prefer my own horse now.
  10. GoneRama

    GoneRama Gold Member

    For a suspect horse here's what I do (complete with photos)............

    Pretty much the same as AnnaE but I do a bit of ground work with the horse first to see what I'm dealing with. Having a play with the '7 Games' with a horse you don't know allows you to do a brief assessment on what the horse knows, how it reacts to pressure, what it's like on its feet, how soft it is to work with and numerous other little things. Recent experiences have taught me to definitely hear what the owner/regular rider has to say about the horse but draw your own conclusions about what the horse is like from your own quick assessment.

    A thoroughbred gelding I worked a few years ago before going to New Zealand. Here I'm just seeing how soft he is with a feel on the halter.

    I then check the one rein stop feature on the ground first, if I don't have that then I won't put a foot in the stirrup until I have it soft on at least one side but preferably soft on both sides

    Checking the one rein stop on a very touchy stock horse I worked at the beginning of the year who the day prior to this photo being taken had kind of made me reconsider my choice of saddle. My wonderful mother watching on, I knew what I was doing but far out it was good having her there to pick up on anything I was missing. Never refuse the presence of a knowledgeable set of eyes on the ground when you hop on a horse.

    Better view of testing the one rein stop on the ground this time featuring Snorts.

    I will also flap the stirrups a little, pat the saddle down a bit while I'm on the ground just as another little test to see what the horse thinks about a bit of movement from the saddle.

    I will then take the horse into either a half one rein stop or a full one rein stop (depending upon the horse), grab the pommel of the saddle and gently rock the horse from side to side until it braces against the movement. By doing this gentle rocking until the horse braces it sets the horse up with his feet spread so that he is balanced enough to not have to move when I put some weight in the stirrup. If a horse is standing with his front feet an inch apart then chances are he's not braced enough to handle a rider getting on and you're only setting him up to fail ie move when you get on which he has to do so he doesn't fall over. A gentle rock will cause the horse to spread his feet so that he is better balanced for the rider to get on.

    Here I am setting Snorts up.

    I will then put my foot in the stirrup while I face the horses ears so that I can read what the horse is up to. I don't ever prepare to mount a horse I don't know with my back to the horses ears. The ears will tell you a lot about what the horse is thinking and where his attention is.

    Excuse the look on my face here, yes, I was nervous, first time I was about to hop on Snorts.

    I will also point out too that when I hop on any horse (not just touchy ones) I always have my left hand with rein and mane on the neck, about 1/3 of the way up and my right hand either on the pommel (tall horse) or over the other side of the saddle (as you can see in the above pic). I consider it far too dangerous and not good for the horses back to grab the back of the saddle when mounting. It is dangerous because you have a moment of instability when you move your hand from cantle to riding position when you swing your leg over. It's a whole nother thread in mounting techniques alone!

    I will then go into a brace position where my weight is distributed evenly on both sides of the horse without having my leg on the other side of the horse. Should the horse start to move around, get tense or I just feel like it's not the right moment to hop on fully then it's easy to step down and away from the horse if need be.


    If all is good then I swing my leg over whilst keeping the horse in some degree of one rein stop with a secure lower leg and then I'll just sit there for a bit. Depends upon the horse depends what I do next but that's my basic procedure which can vary greatly due to how individual horses are.

    Hope that little novel answers the question.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  11. GoneRama

    GoneRama Gold Member

    But if it's a horse I know or have seen in action before and am happy with what I have seen then I'll just hop on it for the first time like I did a few weeks back with one of the station managers horses a mate of mine was trying out............... bareback with a bridle in 500 acres with 10 other horses and spend the next 10 - 15 minutes riding away from the mob on a loose rein wondering how long it's been since said horse was ridden last. Couldn't actually remember with that horse, would have to have been 10 weeks minimum since she was last ridden. Love that little mare :D Of course I don't do this with all horses, just this one I trusted having seen it ridden by several kids in the past.

    Horses that I've seen ridden before or I know have been ridden for a few years my approach will vary. Kenoath I hopped on for the first time in an all purpose saddle and halter and lead rope and he hadn't been ridden in 10 months. Love that horse as well :D
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  12. GoneRama

    GoneRama Gold Member

    Didn't read this entirely until just now but yeah pretty much I do what you do as well except believing 110% what the owner/rider has to say about horsey. We've had a few horse/rider tales over the years down home and I've had one recently that just didn't quite match up.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  13. Narelle28

    Narelle28 Active Member

    if a horse I have seen ridden why not I will jump on in the yard young horse we tie to another usually my big boy dozer and go for a spin. Yrs gone by if its a naught horse tie to the back of the tractor while we were ploughing gets alot of the bounce out
  14. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Yes well my routine I do let me down yesterday a bit got 'bucked' off a youngster but lived to tell the tale. It was typical QH/Appy I don't want to go forward because I am lazy stuff so I will just buck when you slap me on the butt! He soon learnt that bucking is not an option and towed the line:)). Nervous people that insist on buying QH's and appy's because they are 'quiet' are seriously misled:D. Give me a forward, highly strung arab any day.

    Anyway I am jumping on something else today I have never ridden before so I will use my usual routine and hope to stay aboard!
  15. Anna E

    Anna E Guest

    Good on ya GTD. You have more nerve than I have.
    I will be putting a leg over Savannah for the first time soon, and there's always that edge of tension there... (mind you, I cheated and stuck Lauren up there first!!:D).
  16. GeeJay

    GeeJay Guest

    Your a donkey GTD like me you learn either the hard way or with age you realise your body is more important than stuffing around with someone else's problem.

    I have dragged my old girl Flossie back into work she has had 3 foals so 5 yrs holiday, so the round yard first and ground work.

    Seriously it wouldn't matter what the breed Graeme learnt the hard way as well and THAT IS people set you up and I am sure Lena will remember the time I was set up with Ebony ( *******)#(
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2012
  17. Yep, and we BOTH rode her, trotted her and even got her into canter hahaha! I told the seller she was green and he said :" why wouldn't she be?';' Janet was the first and your were the second one on her back!" I nearly died there and then.:eek:
    And he was sitting and watching us saddle up the mare, riding her around when she wasn't even broken in!';' He must've had a good insurance:eek:
    That type of so called "breeders" and stud owners really erks me big time.
    Needless to say we bought the mare:D, Janet took her home straight away and broke her in for us.
    I will never ever forget the look on Janet's face when I told her the mare was basically unhandled, the bloke had lied to her she was broken in and going.:eek:
    Joys of buying horses from shifty breeders/sellers!:)*
    We both weren't very smart Janet, were we?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2012

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