Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Fred is backed!

I've been working with Fred a fair bit over the past 3 or so weeks.   I've been tacking him up and hand-walking him and I had bridled him a couple of times but I quickly reached the limit of my experience with starting a young horse - pretty much zero!  LOL. I've never actually worked with a young horse before!   I've always assumed that my nervous temperament (lol) wasn't a good match for a young horse. 
Con: sun sets earlier and earlier. Pro: beauty sunsets
Fred has the quietest temperament so far out of a lot of the horses I've worked with over the years. I actually keep forgetting he is only 4 and hasn't actually "done" much.  He does have moments where he gets a little wound up if he isn't sure what he is expected to do, but he settles right back down if you give him a break or have him do something different.

Since Fred is a halter horse, I don't have any expectations for him as a riding horse. I'd like him to be green broke at minimum, in case I sell him in the future.  With his temperament and size, he'd be a great husband horse or something. 
Early lesson - working on giving to the bit
I was looking around on Facebook wishing I had someone that could come out and do a few lessons with me on how to back Fred and install some of the basics.  I will send him off to a trainer at some point, but not likely until 2021.  I have no timeline and no agenda (which is sooo relaxing!) and lo' and behold, I found someone that would come to my house. She is a very kind lady that a few acquaintances have worked with, so I had a hunch she would be a good fit. 

We've had three sessions so far and she backed Fred last week!  He has been super good and not at all phased by having someone on his back.  He has way more whoa than go though, so that is kind of interesting.  He is not super quick at getting the concept of rein pressure (likely because he is chewing the ever-loving crap out of the bit!) and is a bit sticky with his front feet, but that will all come with time.  He has been good about moving his hind end though and can do a turn on the fore already. 

Rider up!  Sorry about the crappy pic - it was super cloudy! 
So far, we've been using my English saddle, which seems to fit him reasonably well for what we are asking of him.  The saddle fit is a bit of a surprise, since the kid is huge!  I've had to buy 3 new girths since March and I'm now up to a size 56"!  Same goes for bits.  I started him with a 5" bit and quickly realized that was too small. I could only get a 5.5" at my local tack shop which is just barely ok. I actually had to order a couple of 6" bits online.  I'm having fun ordering new stuff though, as I've had myself on a pretty strict spending ban.
Copper having a snack beside my shopping haul
And you astute readers are probably wondering why I'm using an English saddle when I typically would ride western.  Good question!  It is because he is so big that it would be a bit hard to throw my western saddle allllll the way up there (I'm only 5' tall and he is at least 16.2hh!)  All of my tack and, well, everything is for my 15hh horses of the past.  I'm totally not used to all of this monster-sized stuff!  More on my shopping binge next post!


  1. Is it normal for halter horses to not be broke or more trained under saddle? I don't know so I am curious!

    1. yeah, most aren't broke to ride until after they are done showing, if ever. Kinda weird imho - who wants to break a 9-10yr old horse? Some trainers also don't like the way their muscles develop being ridden vs being lunged/ponied. I think that is kind of silly, since a lot of judges like a more performance based build and reward that in the show ring.

    2. I should also add that a lot of them aren't the best movers (but look pretty set up) so people don't bother to ride them, which is kind of sad/odd.

  2. So exciting! That's wonderful that he's pretty unphased by the whole thing.

  3. oooooh this is so exciting!!! i knew you had been thinking about it but didn't realize it was so imminent! he looks totally relaxed about it all too <3

    1. yeah it is exciting. I just found the right person to help so I went for it. And now winter is coming...lol...so things will slow down.


Farewell Rip and Spunky (alternate title: What a f**ng awful week)

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