t: 01497 851764
m: 07794 935590 (Stephen)
07749 391714 (Julie)
I like to revisit what I consider to be truths every now and then just to check I got it right and see if there is anything else to learn. I am in the process of rebacking a nervous 9 yo mare with a friend and it has just reinforced for me the importance of 'working' with your horse from a young age to avoid all sorts of problems later. Briefly the potted history: The horse in question was unworked for 4 years or so then worked a little over the next year or so but already terrified of most things. The backing process was then started at which point said mare had 2 riders on the ground. Mare bucked off 2 experienced riders and went to another professional rider for 8 days but had him off regularly too. She was hacked out by the owner intermittently but only walk and trot for a good while after which for various reasons the mare was put out in the field for another 1 1/2 years. I came across her now about 8 weeks ago and started the full backing process about 6 weeks ago. We started from the beginning again and got on her after 3 weeks or so and she was brilliant. Unfortunately she regressed for no obvious reason and another 3 weeks later we got back on and now I think we have broken the back of her problems. This should never have happened of course. Techniques like Join Up or all the other various wonderful ways would be completely unnecessary if we just brought up our horses from the very beginning to behave properly and did 'work' early on (this does NOT mean riding, in fact I think it is difficult to justify riding a horse let alone competitively as a 2 year old or even frankly as a 3 year old and then it must be done with great care and understanding. BTW, I think this is the main cause of Kissing Spines, riding a horse too early.).
So, yes, early, consistent, sensitive work, particularly for a sensitive/low confidence horse like this is invaluable and saves many problems later, many of which unfortunately now will probably remain for the rest of her life, just like with children who don't get that necessary early grounding. Speak to us if you need horses backed or rebacked or just need some good, old-fashioned behavioural work.