Horse’s first solo hack

Samson for sale

Samson  Goes  Solo

So this is Samson, well on his way to being a truly great allrounder. He has a nice sensible attitude to work, and importantly new situations.

This is a video of his first time out on his own….

Samson has previously hacked out on these roads with another horse to babysit him. We repeat this until the horse is so comfortable hacking out that he can do it automatically. The next big step is for them to perform the task on their own.

There will always be a few goofy steps as they get used to the big bad world all on their own, but I think Samson did a good job.

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Introducing a horse to traffic

Sierra is a 2010, Irish Sports Horse, 16.2, green numnah in video.

She as backed before Christmas 2014, given time off due to horrible weather and for good behaviour. She has been back in work since February and continues to go from strength to strength.

This video is a good example of what we do with horses that need to be introduced to heavier traffic. Sierra has been hacked out on smaller lanes, with little traffic but varying vehicle sizes.

We placed her second in the group behind a calm, forward going relaxed horse. Behind her is Rocky a horse she is regularly worked with and Midnight, the most dependable horse. Starlights job is to guide her, keep her going forward as he can match her pace. Rocky is there for security and comfort while Midnight is the rear guard. If there is any trouble he come from behind her and urges her on.

Starlight is ridden a bit further out on the road than usual so that if there is any issue with Sierra, like her shooting forward when frightened, Starlight can cut her off and keep her behind him in her place.

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Backing a horse

Samson is an 18h 3 year old Irish Sports Horse. We are continuing to record his progress during his breaking.

Samson has proved to be a very easygoing, trusting horse which considering his size is a blessing. I would not fancy having a battle of wills with this guy. He accepted the bit and the saddle with minimal fuss.

This video records Samson’s first time being backed by a rider. How we do this is we have the rider lay across his back and walk in little circles to familiarise the animal with what we want him to do. It can get hairy at this point, and not all backings are as plain sailing as this was, but it helps when the horse is so trusting.

You must do everything possible to make the horse feel comfortable. We achieve this by petting, brushing, scratching and leaning into them. Each time he reacts positively to a new task or touch he gets praised. Dont be afraid to praise and reward when he is good. By doing this we hope that trust is built and he will react well to pressure on his back.

Gather yourself, slow your heart rate, relax but always remain aware, for laying across any horse for the first time can be unpredictable. Never attempt this on your own. You must allow the horse to react even negatively, remain in control of horse, rider and yourself. Never react loudly or negatively, but always reinforce the positive. This is where time spent in the stable grooming and socialising with the animal is extremely beneficial. He will know if he reacts well, that he will be rewarded. Each time we do this it is different for each horse. You have to be able to judge when to call it quits, or when to persevere. If its not working out for you, never be afraid to call it a day. Try doing something you know the horse is comfortable with, ask him to perform that task, reward him if he does it right. Always end the day on a good note. Tomorrow is another day.

This is video of Samson being backed for the first time. It is only a little snippet of what we do. When backing we will repeat the action up to 5 times depending on how well the horse reacts to the first initially backing.

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There will be more video of Samson’s progress posted.

Starting a horse on his journey

Breaking a horse the Cooper’s Hill Way.

Samson is 18hs at 3 years old. Even for the tallest of men, breaking a horse this size is a little more challenging. Luckily Samson has the sweetest nature, kindness and gentleness runs through his core. He is naturally curious and eager to please. Samson was not handled much as he has lived in a field for most of his life, but all that is about to change. This is a video of how we start horses, and with Samson’s bigger than average size, he will be trained to help his future riders. We will teach him a few little things to help make the smaller riders tack up and mount up a little easier. After all, we love to produce good allrounders that appeal to any rider. This is a typical video of how we start off with all our horses. Samson has been bitted for about 3 days, had his front feet shod when this video was take, approximately 5 days after his arrival. Feel free to follow us progress on our Facebook page.