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Old 08-07-2007, 07:41 PM  
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Tuffy is back from the trainer

Well, I'm late in posting this one. The gal that was training Tuffy brought him back on July 29th. I had been throwing around not getting him back and selling him to her. The Saturday before she brought him back, Mom and I went by her and went for a ride. I wouldn't get on Tuffy at first because he still makes me nervous. The trainers boyfriend rode him out and then we swapped horses. I was surprised/relieved that Tuffy did really well. I told her that I was going to keep him and to go ahead and deliver him. She brought him back the next day and I didn't get a chance to ride him until this past Friday. He did okay. He was nervous and wasn't sure what to think of cars driving by on the road. He was all tensed up about a motorcycle that was on the highway (1/2 mile away), so thankfully we didn't run into any of those. We only stayed on the road for about 1/2 mile and then we hit a trail. He was much more relaxed there. We came up to a bridge and there was stuff laying on it so Mom and I both decided that we didn't want to mess with it and turned around to go back the way we had came in. Well, apparently my Dad and his buddy (Dennis) could hear Mom and I talking back there so they came crashing through the woods to see what we were doing. Not so smart on their parts! Both horses were trembling they were so scared. I had to get off of Tuffy because he was ready to run. It took a good 10 minutes after they came out of the woods to get him calmed back down but he was okay again after that. Dad decided he would go and clean up the bridge for us so we turned back around and went to the bridge. Tuffy did great crossing it. I walked him across just in case and got back on after the bridge. I must say, eventhough he still makes me nervous, he is a different horse. He's much more level headed and willing. I just hope we can get him past the nervousness soon. I'm sure he still needs a little more time to totally settle in, but he's been with me for almost 4 years now. He only had 2 months away. He still doesn't like to stand still for me to get on, but we're working on that. Dad insists that I have to hurry up and get in the saddle. I insist that he will learn for me to wait to mount up before he starts to go! I'm short and it takes some manuvering to get up on any horse.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:59 PM  
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Maybe you should check out someone in your area that specializes in trail training?

I came off my colt Dragon (the one in the avatar) while training him because he was so nervous. I was getting a drink and the ice rattled in the cup and he spooked and spun and off I came. Got hurt too, so I sent him to a trainer and told her the issues. I also was insistent that he needed trail experience.

She has had him for 3 1/2 months now and he is scheduled to come home in two weeks. I've been over to see him and he's doing great. We went on some trail rides (she rode him first) and he's a different horse.

She did lots of weird stuff with him to desensitize him, like tying plastic coke bottles half filled with rocks to his saddle (to simulate the ice in the glass) and plastic bags tied to his halter, etc. Once she had him desensitized and riding well in the round pen, it was out on the trails, going through gates, water, bridges, hills, etc.

Did your trainer take him out any or just do arena work?
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:04 PM  
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She didn't do arena work with him, it was all trails. I think part of it right now is he's testing me to see what he can get away with. As for another trainer, there are 2 others in this area and I wouldn't take my dog to them...
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:09 PM  
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Do you have a round pen available to you? You might want to try some of the stuff my trainer did to desensitize him.

She tied stuff all around the round pen, had kids running and yelling and whooping around it with the dogs, rode him while singing loudly (she says she can't carry a tune in a bucket) swung her arms, and did every strange thing she could think of to him, LOL!

She said he was still nervous the first couple of trail rides, so can you find someone to ride with a few times that has a really really calm horse that he can follow along with? Then gradually start letting him take the lead some, not all at once, just swap the lead off and on with the gentle horse and build up his confidence?
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:16 PM  
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Nope, no round pen. He is used to lots of noise though (dogs, kids, dirtbikes, fourwheelers, tractor etc.) We have done desensitizing with him also.
I never ride alone. We've had Tuff out three times since he came back and it's always with another horse. He did take the lead (on his own) for awhile on our last ride.
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