How to recondition a broodmare who hasn't been ridden in a while?

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Posted 10/17/2010 12:16:03 PM
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I have a 13 year old broodmare. She has been bred a few times, and is a great looking girl. She is broke to ride Western and English, but has not been ridden in a while. She currently has a yearling filly. I would like to start getting her back in riding shape, and I am also not sure if she cares to remember her old training. There is a chance that she will act like a green horse isn't there?

For any ideas about how to get my Gem back into tip-top shape, please answer
 


OMG I HAVE A HORSE
Post #328497
Posted 10/17/2010 6:26:21 PM


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Gemstoneappy (10/17/2010)
 There is a chance that she will act like a green horse isn't there?

For any ideas about how to get my Gem back into tip-top shape, please answer.

yes, there is a very good chance she will act green.  I'd advise starting from the ground, and treating her like a horse that has had very minimal riding and handling.  Re-teach her to lunge, back up, yield her hindquarters and forequarters, go over scary objects, etc, etc, etc.  When you tack her up (after a week or so of groundwork), do it in the roundpen, acting like you are saddling her for the first time.  Do lots of groundwork with her tacked up.

After a minimal two weeks of groundwork, she should be in pretty good shape to start riding, and she'll also have a new respect for you and be more willing to do what you want. []

If you keep doing the same thing, you'll keep getting the same thing.

Post #328508
Posted 10/28/2010 9:11:26 AM


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I'd advise starting from the ground, and treating her like a horse that has had very minimal riding and handling.


I second that advice. You won't know how your mare will react to being back into work until it actually happens, every horse is different. When was the last time your horse was actually rode (how many years ago)?

Like On Par, I would also recommend starting with groundwork, roundpen, lunging type stuff. Putting her to work on a lunge line or in a roundpen should give you some indication to how she will ride and accept work.

When she's comfortable with the ground work, move onto riding. In my experience, most older horses going back into work after a period of time off don't have a problem with a rider on their back. They have a problem with working. So my advice would be to go slow, read her body language, and take baby steps with her until you feel that she is comfortable.

Also, sometimes it helps to have a buddy to ride with, makes your horse feel more comfortable.

What type of riding are you wanting to do with her? I personally think trail riding is a good way to get horses back into riding shape, because it's fun. It's keeps their minds busier than arena work for the most part.

Also, very important to remember to keep everything short at first. Think about what you would do with your own body getting back into shape. You wouldn't go for an hour jog your first day back. You have to build-up her muscles and respiratory system. Trotting is great for getting back into shape, so are things like collection, hill work and so on.

Good luck with your girl and remember to have fun and stay safe!
Post #329187
Posted 10/28/2010 2:07:37 PM


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I agree with the above posts. I don't want to invade but I have a quick question -- how long into the pregnancy can a mare be ridden and shown?

"The horse is made ready for the day of battle...but victory rests in the Lord!"
Post #329207
Posted 10/28/2010 6:13:13 PM


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CanadaDry'sgirl (10/28/2010)
I agree with the above posts. I don't want to invade but I have a quick question -- how long into the pregnancy can a mare be ridden and shown?

Not too long ago I remember reading an article in one of the horsey magazines about it. From what I can recall, as long as the work isn't hard and the mare stays healthy and sound she can go on pretty late in her pregnancy. But, then again, it is different for different mares. I'd speak to your vet about that.

Horse Trainer, Tack Shop Owner (We take tack on Consignment), Exercise Rider

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