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Monty's First Ride


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7/23/13, Valley Falls, OR - At long last, I finally got Monty into a trailer and transported to the house.  Between my aborted attempts to get him loaded, I continued his training , to include his first ride.

Everything continues to go well here in Oregon.  The daytime temperature have been hot, but the nights are cool and good for sleeping. For nearly three weeks, I had 1 1/2 hours of driving each morning to feed and train the new horse. Thankfully, that’s all behind us and we can now get on with some more camping trips and other fun things.

Even though there are many, much more talented horse trainers, I’m blogging on Monty’s training. Hopefully, those that have not had the pleasure to work with green horses can pick up a few pointers. (I know every time I have an opportunity to watch someone train a horse, there’s always something I can pick up).

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Being essentially a wild horse when I got him, Monty was very timid around people and inanimate objects. I didn’t have any luck with all the normal techniques for loading a horse (like backing him up, then leading him forward, until he got the idea he could step into the trailer).  When I put him on short rations and left hay in the trailer overnight; he would still go hungry rather than climb a couple of steps into the trailer to relieve his hunger.  Finally, I ended up building a small pen/chute behind the trailer with round pen panels. A couple of snaps with the driving whip (three feet behind him) and he jumped up in the trailer and started eating the hay.

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After my first unsuccessful attempt at loading him, I decided to continue his training.  Here, I’m teaching him to stay on the “Whoa” command and only walk up to me when I say “get-up”.

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I always like to teach a horse to drive before I climb on his back.  In about an hour he had a good understanding on how to respond to bit pressure.


Horses seem to learn the best when only one new thing is introduced at a time. After teaching him to drive, I put a grain sack on the saddle so he could get used to weight.  If he has fully accepted you as dominant (after the round pen join-up training) he should stand still without being tied while he’s “messed with”.


This picture was taken moments after I climbed up on him for the first time. You can see that he is pretty calm as there is only one more new thing to be learned.  He previously learned how to drive and had weight in the saddle, now he’s getting a combination of the two things.


This is Monty’s second ride, after we got him home.  I’m already starting to teach him to neck-rein.  To turn left - I first lay the right rein alongside his neck, then follow it with a pull on the left rein.  In just a few minutes, he learned to start making his turn to the left when the right rein as laid alongside his neck, avoiding most of the pressure on his mouth when I pulled on the left rein.

He’s not too bad for a free horse!