Question: We have a 6 year old gelding that we bought 2 years ago, he had about a dozen rides on him. He had some issues, my daughter was working with him and he blew up, hurt her a little and himself more. He healed up from that and then wire cut himself badly and is just now sound again. After watching your horse training video I am looking forward to working with this horse following your training regime closely. I have never used hobbles. But thinking about is age, tendency to lose it when he gets scared and propensity to hurt himself I really think using the hobbles the way you teach is the ticket.
Here is my question for you: We are just coming into some days of gathering cattle out of our mountain pastures. If I work with him for two days here at the ranch and simply get him started (an hour a day for two days) is it a mistake to then take him on some long days in the mountains when he isn’t yet in shape? Getting tired in itself would be a good thing. I wondered if by going from zero to 100 in terms of what he is asked to do would make him mad and start a mental fight that would be unproductive?
Answer: I think riding in the mountains will be the best thing possible for your horse.
“I wondered if by going from zero to 100 in terms of what he is asked to do would make him mad and start a mental fight that would be unproductive?”
You shouldn’t have anymore “mental fights” with your horse after correctly working with him the first time, maybe a little difference of opinion now and then that you will quickly win by dropping one rein and pulling his head around to your knee and putting him in a tight circle until he settles down. Be sure you are using a snaffle bit.
The first day you work with him, be sure to take him out of the corral for as long of a ride as you have time for.
3 days later: First ride went great. I was hoping for more struggle with the hobbles to give him and I a chance to uncover some holes but he was very quick to give in to them. Same with each successive step. But the ride out through the field through ditches, brush, etc. went great. Gathering in the mountains next week.