Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/Getting Old Pony Into Shape

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Question
I have READ THE NOTIFICATION

Hi, at the barn where I ride there is a 30 year old pony named Queenie. She has little work, she does a short pony ride at a walk about once every other week, sometimes she goes longer periods of time in between rides. She hasn't been exercised at all though since october because pony rides are closed in the winter. However, she will be starting pony rides soon. I am 13 years old and am an aspiring horse trainer. The owner of the farms says I can get a paying job there despite my age if I can prove able. Therefore I have the task of turning Queenie into the best pony I can, and this includes getting her fit. Here is what Queenie must be like:
- able to trot and canter for short periods of time on the lunge and jump 1 foot
- be bombproof, trustworthy (she should be able to be loose and not run away)
- look nice and be healthy

So I did a few short test type things.. I had her on the lunge and she did some short trots but was stiff. It will take a bit to get her fit. Though she is quite trustworthy already, I had her loose in the barn and she just sniffed around, and didn't try to run off when I went to put her back in her stall. I'm going to give her a bath soon, she is very scruffy-looking and dirty.

So I guess I'm looking for tips on getting her looking good, and some excersises to get her fit again. Thanks.

Answer
Well I think 30 is too old to be jumping and running or even trotting, she is old and not being used regularly is even worse, an old horse does not heal or grow muscle as quick so she cannot put on muscle and get in shape so to speak.

The more time the horse spends out in pasture moving and walking the better, the more she moves slowly without a rider and more pressure on her joints, legs and hooves, the better she will be.

I would  not recommend working her like a young horse and trying to get her in shape, that will only cause more pain and pressure on her already old joints.

Not my horse and sounds like it is not yours, so that is my take on it. Obviously the people that own her will not agree since they are telling you to do otherwise.

Rick  

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training

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Rick Gore Horsemanship

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Visit Rick Gore's Horse Site: www.thinklikeahorse.org
--Rick is a student of the horse. I have over 450 free videos on Youtube about horses. I believe in and practice "Natural Horsemanship". I ride mainly western and don't use or promote spurs, bits, or whips. Reins are only one cue for the horse. Using the entire body helps the horse understand. I define riding as a human and horse working together for the enjoyment of both. Pain and fear should not be part of the equation. If you expect feel good advice, you will be disappointed. 95% of all my answers will include the problem is you and not your horse. About 90% of most answers that I give out are on my web site, so if you read it you will probably answer your own question and may learn a few other things. If you ask me a question that I answer on my site or video I will send your question to the question pool.

Experience

Rick is an experienced horseman with over 35 years of riding and handling horses. Rick grew up in Texas around horses and horse people. He has started colts, ridden many horses with behavior issues and worked with problem horses. (He believes that most horse problems are really people problems) He believes in and practices natural horsemanship and continues to read and study books by great horsemen. He routinely attends clinics, talks with and discuss horse issues with other clinicians and trainers. He has never met a horse that could not be fixed. Rick believes it is never the horse's fault and with proper handling, all problems can be worked out.

Education/Credentials
I have life long experience in being around and working with horses. Over the years I have watched good horsemen do the right thing and seen the wrong things done with bad results. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.

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