Day One – Moose

One of my projects for when the summer began, besides working on my books, was to start training my horse, Moose, for pleasure and trail riding. So far, I feel as if I have accomplished nothing with him. I have had the time to ride him maybe five times, and two of those five have ended up with me on the ground and considerably unhappy. Some background on Moose may be necessary to understand my frustration.

Moose is a mustang. According to the BLM, his freeze brand indicates that he was born in Kansas at a ranch called Grenola. His birth date is 5/1/09, so he just turned 3 years old. He has very good ground manners for being so young, and he takes a saddle and bridle very well. He will let me ride him and responds well to going and stopping and turning, but he will not move faster than a walk. I have worked with him on lunging and he knows what I expect when I say “Walk on”, “Trot” and “Step out” on the ground. He understand “Whoa” and will stop when I ask. However, it is when I try to give these commands from the saddle that we have problems. I have tried to trot him, both off a line and on a line, and the two times that I have done this he has bucked me off.

I cannot afford to keep a horse that I cannot work with, but I also am not ready to give up on him yet. He is still very young, and I realize that most people advise waiting until they are 4 or 5 years old to begin riding, and now is a very critical time in his training. I am afraid to ride him again, not only because I don’t want to be bucked off, but also because if he throws me again, I am afraid it will set the standard for any and all future rides and riders. I have decided that I need to restart him, and one of the methods I want to use is by Monty Roberts.

Monty has written a book called “The Man Who Listens to Horses”, and I am going to read it. I want to try some of Monty’s techniques, including Join Up. Supposedly, Monty can join up with a horse and have it saddled, bridled and ridden in 30 minutes. I don’t expect this with Moose, but I am hopeful Monty’s techniques can work with him. This is the link to Monty’s website: http://www.montyroberts.com/

Any advice from anyone who has used this method would be highly appreciated, as would any advice about how to keep Moose from bucking me off.

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