Things a young horse should see/do

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
24,356
14,765
113
40
Suffolk, UK
Help me write a list? I like a list 🤪

I’m trying to think of all the things I want to introduce Niko to before I back him, due to my set up some things take a bit more effort (eg stabling) and require planning and others I just forget about.

He’s done all the baby basic handling plus;
✅ bit (needs more)
✅ saddle (needs more)
✅ mounting block/leaning over
✅ bridge
✅ river
✅ cows
✅ small traffic/trailers
✅ garden stuff (lawn mower/strimmer/ leaf blower/wheelie bins etc.)
✅ horse and cart
✅ met horses out
✅ roadworks
✅ dogs

❌ pigs
❌ sheep
❌ saddle bags
❌ splitting off from friends on the trail
❌ lorries/buses
❌ motorbikes
❌ arena mirrors
❌ Indoor arena
❌ outdoor school
❌ high-tie/hobble/corral
❌ busy traffic (up close)
❌ a show
❌ tents
❌ Level crossing
❌ train
❌ umbrellas
❌ drone
❌ tunnel
❌ off roading

This is as much about keeping me occupied until he’s ready to back as for his benefit 😉
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
7,222
4,223
113
Yorkshire
Flappy maps, especially from above? Or is that too old fashioned now? I still like a good old paper map lol.
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
8,345
1,762
113
London
I expect the horses I hack to tolerate anything we meet. But others on our yard do not.
Not useful but to add to your list
today we met a teeny baby squirrel,
Heavy horses in the distance pulling heavy mower - even if those horses live on the same yard, a working pair in the distance and the red paint on the mower is a fearsome thing. We had our first ever spook and unsolicited canter.
A young hooded crow that would not vacate the path.
As well as UK style dark umbrellas, we meet Japanese sunshades brightly coloured. I was out with YO in my early days and she asked the group of women to lower their sun shades. They didnt understand.
A body protector. I hung mine on the hitching rail while I groomed her this morning (it was so hot) and she sniffed it all over before she was willing to ignore it. I figure she had never seen a bp before except on a rider.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
24,356
14,765
113
40
Suffolk, UK
I expect the horses I hack to tolerate anything we meet. But others on our yard do not.
Not useful but to add to your list
today we met a teeny baby squirrel,
Heavy horses in the distance pulling heavy mower - even if those horses live on the same yard, a working pair in the distance and the red paint on the mower is a fearsome thing. We had our first ever spook and unsolicited canter.
A young hooded crow that would not vacate the path.
As well as UK style dark umbrellas, we meet Japanese sunshades brightly coloured. I was out with YO in my early days and she asked the group of women to lower their sun shades. They didnt understand.
A body protector. I hung mine on the hitching rail while I groomed her this morning (it was so hot) and she sniffed it all over before she was willing to ignore it. I figure she had never seen a bp before except on a rider.
He’s seen the horses and carts, that’s about as close as I’m going to get to heavies and a mower, but it does remind me to add tractor to the list.
 

Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
4,267
5,020
113
65
Pushchairs. People with massive backpacks. Ramsey never got over those 2 things! Also runners in big groups.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jessey

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
18,967
6,946
113
61
Surrey Hills
Definitely backpacks, clothes - jackets, hats, hi-viz, putting on and taking off as well as seen at a distance.

Ice cream vans that play music. Horses are a very convenient height to buy an ice cream from and it entertains the locals
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
10,046
8,079
113
Ladders, preferably being waved about above someone’s head! Belle had a total meltdown at a BT engineer getting his ladders off the top of his van once.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Huggy

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
8,345
1,762
113
London
Like ladders waving - One thing that scared my old share out of her wits and I have seen other horses too including Maisie, is those high rise lift things the tree surgeons use when dealing with moth and infestation? Like a stretched up neck of a dinosaur or giraffe. Luckilly where I now ride, the tree people usually arrive a van and I can circuit a parked van without feeling a failure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Huggy

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
8,345
1,762
113
London
We had the army exercising one day. A block of infantry men - a rectangle - with the men in the squad shouting at every step. I remember my young escort waving at them to shut up! They never returned to our part of the tracks,
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
24,356
14,765
113
40
Suffolk, UK
We had the army exercising one day. A block of infantry men - a rectangle - with the men in the squad shouting at every step. I remember my young escort waving at them to shut up! They never returned to our part of the tracks,
Yes I can take him out around the army training areas, which reminds me we should go by the school at lunchtime too
 

Frances144

Remember me?
Dec 21, 2011
5,823
2,515
113
Shetland, UK
www.myshetland.co.uk
I think if he trusts you, then everything just comes from you saying "it's ok" and off you go.

You can't tick all the boxes, but you can just be there for him so that your relationship is more important than the boggarts that live in the hedge.

I also think that over-stimulating a youngster about everything is not particularly good for them. Slow and steady. Life will throw what life will throw. Your relationship is the important bit - when your horse knows that when the chips are down, they look after you! Every horse should know that. Not today is Thursday and it's time to be introduced to the bin lorry.

But that's just my opinion.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
24,356
14,765
113
40
Suffolk, UK
I agree you can do too much, but I’m not doing masses, just a little something every couple of weeks and not always new stuff. He’s a bit of a monkey see, monkey do kind of a guy, but also quite anxious, so I think the more he sees while I’m on the ground it will make it easier for him to cope once I’m on board, he’s certainly much more confident from this approach so far. Unfortunately I’m not likely to have a companion for many early rides so by then I want him to really trust me and that I’m not putting him in a bad situation and trust has to be learnt.
 

Frances144

Remember me?
Dec 21, 2011
5,823
2,515
113
Shetland, UK
www.myshetland.co.uk
Daughter has similar type horse. He looks to her for the reassurance that everything around is fine. He believes her. She doesn't "show him things" - we don't have that easily around, but the work she's has done (just little things) has led to the bigger things being ok.

I wouldn't have a list. I wouldn't tick stuff off. I would just see what life throws at you and how you react will reflect in how your youngster reacts based on the relationship you have.

You can over-think these things.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
24,356
14,765
113
40
Suffolk, UK
Daughter has similar type horse. He looks to her for the reassurance that everything around is fine. He believes her. She doesn't "show him things" - we don't have that easily around, but the work she's has done (just little things) has led to the bigger things being ok.

I wouldn't have a list. I wouldn't tick stuff off. I would just see what life throws at you and how you react will reflect in how your youngster reacts based on the relationship you have.

You can over-think these things.
One of the reasons I put more thought in is because of my set up and surroundings, if I don’t he’ll never be away from the mare who he always looks to for direction. I don’t have stables, or a yard out of the field, I’m not on a livery so only me around, no machinery or vehicles coming or going. He’d be seeing an awful lot of these things daily on a big yard but he’s not. I had to plan and organise for a man to come and chat near him because he went to pieces if a man spoke near him when he first came to me.
The list is for me not him, I have the memory of a goldfish and like to have lists for inspiration. I don’t plan to March through the list trying to tick everything off as quickly as possible at all and I don’t really think I’m doing much compared to what a lot of people do with 3yo’s, if I took him to a show he’d probably see two dozen new things in a single day.
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
9,353
5,289
113
For me the bigger issue is that he learns he can trust you. You can't desensitise against everything, and even if you do you may find he accepts something at home but not when out, but if he trusts you then if he comes across something he isn't happy with he'll turn to you and you'll both be fine.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
24,356
14,765
113
40
Suffolk, UK
For me the bigger issue is that he learns he can trust you. You can't desensitise against everything, and even if you do you may find he accepts something at home but not when out, but if he trusts you then if he comes across something he isn't happy with he'll turn to you and you'll both be fine.
I believe to learn trust you have to do something occasionally that’s slightly outside of their comfort zone in order to build more trust on a basic foundation.

It’s not about desensitising, it’s about a horse who came with zero experience of anything other than a field where he was turned out, his only interaction with 2 women. When I viewed him It literally took me minutes to even be able to touch his shoulder with the breeder holding him. I’m just letting him see the world before I try to do it on his back.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kite_Rider

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
24,356
14,765
113
40
Suffolk, UK
I’m actually quite offended that anyone that’s read my diary about him thinks I don’t care about building a good and trusting relationship with him.
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
9,353
5,289
113
I’m actually quite offended that anyone that’s read my diary about him thinks I don’t care about building a good and trusting relationship with him.

That's not what was said, rather that if you have trust then the rest will follow.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Frances144
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Cheyenne Ideas for things to do with my young horse? Training of the Horse and Rider 5
Doodle92 Things are going well *ironic laugh* Cafe 1
Doodle92 When you get things just “slightly” wrong. Cafe 2
Jessey How things change Competing 13
Kite_Rider Odd things happening, anyone else? Forum Technical Help & Site News 6
A All things horse!!! Cafe 8
Trewsers Top ten useful yard things and why Cafe 32
Jessey Odd things since upgrade Forum Technical Help & Site News 38
N The strange things you see for sale Cafe 5
Trewsers In hand things Training of the Horse and Rider 22
C Five things you love about your horse Cafe 9
Huggy The smallest things make him happy... Cats, Dogs and other Animals 14
mystiquemalaika What small things make you happy? Cafe 23
N What silly things have you said to your horse, that's been overheard Cafe 7
Bodshi Resurrection of 'Things you don't expect to see out hacking' thread Cafe 21
L ' You dont do things by half eh Lauren?' Cafe 10
Trewsers Things to try Cafe 18
Jessey Least favourite things people say Cafe 39
MrC Little things Cafe 2
domane Two Things.... Cafe 5
Trewsers Thursday things Cafe 24
Star the Fell What’s were the last three things you bought? Cafe 15
domane Just to even things up! Cafe 2
Jessey Relearning things you already knew but forgot Cafe 19
Trewsers Things you do as well as keep horses Cafe 28
N What's the strangest things you have taken on a hack? Hacking 12
R looking up things I haven;t learnted yet Cafe 4
Jessey The most satisfying things Cafe 18
Jessey Names for things Cafe 44
Jessey Stuff and things Cafe 6
Jessey Remind me of good things about autumn/winter Cafe 38
L Having things 'just incase' Cafe 6
Kite_Rider Making things - updated Cafe 20
MrC The things we do :) Cafe 12
LyndaB Different horse......learning new things Older Riders 8
No_Angel Idolo tether tie (or similar things) Horse Care 4
Native Lover UPDATE.....Hopefully things looking up again :D Cafe 4
misty Strange how things go full circle! Cafe 17
Kite_Rider Things I can do one handed. Cafe 12
N Sometimes the camera captures things you wish it wouldn't Cafe 5
squidsin It's the small things Cafe 8
Trewsers Monday's exciting things! Cafe 8
Trewsers I got a new yard brush (and other Monday things!) Cafe 18
OwnedbyChanter Things that drive you mad but are actually a little silly Cafe 60
Trewsers All good things... Cafe 9
N People say the most ridiculous things Cafe 16
Wally Note to self, do things the correct way round. Cafe 5
chunky monkey 6 things you discover when you get two (or more) horses Cafe 15
N For those who have things "just in case" Cafe 26
Jessey Things to do Training of the Horse and Rider 17

Similar threads

newrider.com