Amish Training Methods & Management Programs

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Amish Training Methods & Management Programs

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    10-07-2009, 01:53 PM
Amish Training Methods & Management Programs

Hi everyone! As I mentioned in a few other posts, Noah was predominantely an Amish horse before becoming a trail horse at a vacation resort in the Poconos. I know the basic ideas of how the Amish raise, train and keep their horses, but I'm looking for any detailed info that anyone has. How are their horses kept (turn out, box stalls, types of footing)? How are they fed (pasture, grain, hay)? What kinds of training equipment & methods do they use? How do they do their farrier work? So many things seem completely new to Noah and I'm trying to get a better idea of what things need to be introduced slowly to him so he is comfortable with me and his new environment.
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    10-09-2009, 11:18 AM
I would say that the ways "the Amish" keep their horses are about as varied as any ways the English keep horses! I've been to Amish farms that keep their horses in huge, deeply bedded box stalls and have pasture turn out... the kind of place that rivals any other show barn out there. Difference is, no electricity (except maybe a solar electric fencer, or anything that could be run off a battery... maybe clippers?). I've also been to places that keep horses in tie stalls and their excercise is daily field work or they are in training, getting driven daily.

A typical situation for a horse getting broke by the Amish (though many, non-Amish use this method as well) is through use of a breaking horse. The harness is introduced to the green horse and the horse is hooked to a sled with an older, bigger, calmer, broke horse, and they are driven as a team. The green horse learns through experience. Of course it's not as simple as the way i've explained, either.

If your horse won't pick up his feet very well, it would be likely he was shod and trimmed in a stock. Though, again, there are some Amish and English that use shoeing stocks, and some that don't. I have a mare that was trimmed in a shoeing stock, but I had no problems with getting her to pick up her feet for trim and shoeing after I got her home.

Everyone uses different methods and keep their horses differently, so my advice would be to assume NOTHING!

Keep in mind that it also might take a couple months for your horse to settle in, especially if this is only his first or second time "off of the farm".

Sorry I have no specific answer to your questions, but hopefully I've helped to give you an idea or two.

Good Luck!
    10-09-2009, 02:15 PM
I know that he was shod in the stocks at the public trail barn he was at for the last year. He is fearful of having his back feet picked up. I guess I just want to be sure there isn't a piece of equipment or method that he might be particularly fearful of, or extremely familar with. Everything is so new, but he is adjusting and settling in. He's so curious about everything sometimes it tough to keep his attention!
    10-09-2009, 06:57 PM
Hi luvmyperch. I can't help you in regards to amish training methods (we don't have any amish in New Zealand). I was just wondering if Noah is uncomfortable when you pick up his feet. I got my first horse when he was 12 yrs. I had him till he passed away aged 31. In the last years of his life he became very shirky about having his feet done, particularly his back feet. He stiffened up in his joints and it made him uncomfortable to lift his feet for trimming. I had one particular guy do Tobys feet once, he wrenched Tobys hind foot off the ground and Toby booted him across the yard. This man got angry at my "badly behaved horse" I had an argument with this dude because he didn't believe that he had hurt my old boy. I had Toby for nearly twenty years and that was the only time I ever saw him kick. By the time Toby was in his late 20's he was a lot less tolerant of many things and was just generally more sensitive. Food for thought anyway.
    10-12-2009, 04:43 PM
Someone else mentioned that to me as well and I think it is an extremley valid point. He does have cracking in his joints, particularly in the back. I have started him on a joing supplement and hope this will help. Fortunately, I haven't seen any signs of stiffness or discomfort, but the additional weight when trying to hold his back feet might be too much for him to be comfortable with. The good news is that the farrier was out today for a trim and all reports from the BOs is that he was a very good boy (no more difficult than a normal draft) and he didn't try to kick the farrier! Hopefully, as his trust in all of us increases, he'll understand that we're not going to do anything to hurt him or scare him.
    10-19-2009, 01:20 PM
God love my farrier he would trim Bob on the ground almost. Bob couldn't hold his back feet up very high due to arthritis, so my farrier would get it about 3 inches off the ground just enough to clip and file and then stand on his head.
    10-21-2009, 01:21 AM
Thumbs up

Originally Posted by waterbuggies    
God love my farrier he would trim Bob on the ground almost. Bob couldn't hold his back feet up very high due to arthritis, so my farrier would get it about 3 inches off the ground just enough to clip and file and then stand on his head.
You just have to love a farrier who will go above and beyond the call of duty. What a nice guy, you are lucky to have him in your area.
    11-10-2009, 09:13 PM
Hi luvmyperch, Is Noak your first horse? Just wondering because I live only about 10 miles from your town. If you need any horse contacts or help finding horsey things in the area you can pm me. Good luck with Noah. I have a Percheron/Paint cross that I love.
    11-10-2009, 10:36 PM
Luvmyperch and Mollysmom - Am I safe to assume you guys are in the eastern part of PA? Just curious, cause if you're close to me, I'm always looking for new people to ride with...
    11-11-2009, 08:30 PM
Yes we are. If you look at a map our closest big town is Allentown.
I have met a few nice people from western Pa on another forum and boy they do a lot of trail riding.
Here is a link to the site..

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