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Fresh Horses

There was a time when a fresh horse was real important to a cowboy. In the world we live in now it can mean trouble to a lot of people. Spring is just around the corner where we live and people are starting to think about riding again. There’s a lot to consider if your horse hasn’t been ridden for a few months. A horse can build up quite a bit of energy just standing around all winter.

You should know your horse better than anyone else. You also know your abilities. Some horses are just the same as last time you rode them, while others can be a handful after only a week off. Horses that stand in a stall, or small coral tend to build up extra energy faster than horses that are in larger coral’s or pastures, where they can get more exercise.

If your horse hasn’t been ridden for a while it’s best to take a few precautions. You shouldn’t wait until the day that all your friends are there waiting to go trail riding, and then saddle up and go.When someone brings me a horse to ride, even if they tell me it’s well broke, I’ll saddle it in the round pen and turn it loose for a while. I’ll just observe for a few minutes. I can tell quite a bit about what my first ride will be like by just watching.

  • Does the horse run?
  • Does the horse buck?
  • Is the horse relaxed or tense?
  • Would I feel comfortable getting on right now?

There are several things to consider before climbing on a fresh horse. There are also several options on what you could do to take some of the fresh off. I like to drive my horse around the round pen (this doesn’t mean chase). I want the horse to understand that I am driving them, and that I’m in control. I’ve seen a lot of people do this, but all the horse does is run. I want to be able to drive my horse at a walk, trot, or lope. I also like them to stop when I ask.

I you don’t have a round pen, you can also do all these things on a lunge line. One of the most important things on a lunge line is that your horse gives when you ask him to. By this I mean, as my horse is going around me in a circle, and I ask him to face me, there should be no resistance.

Another thing I like to do is to tie my horses up for a while. I’ll do this even with horses I’m riding everyday, that are green and have tendency to be a little fresh. I’ll saddle them and tie them in a safe place, where I can watch them while I’m riding another horse. Standing tied also teaches them patience. If you have a horse that paws when it’s tied up, you should leave them until they stand quiet if possible.

If you’re going to haul your horse somewhere to ride, maybe you could saddle him before you go. Make sure this is safe with your trailer. We used to do this a lot when I was working ranches. We usually had stock trailers. When we got to where we were going, even a fresh horse would usually be pretty good.

There are lots of thing to consider if your horse hasn’t been ridden for a while. His feet might need a little attention. Even though he may be fresh, he’ll probably be out of shape. So don’t plan a big day his first day back on the job. Getting a horse too tired makes them more prone to injury.

I hope there are a few ideas here that will help you have a safe and enjoyable season with your horse.