I think it's because so many people don't ever get the chance to ride a truly accomplished horse, so when they find a horse that's a little above what they think of as average then that horse translates into "well-trained."
I know I suffer from that syndrome (haha). I've only ridden one or two really well trained horses in the entire 9 years I've been riding and both of those were in the last 6 months. I even caught myself thinking that today with Lacey. I was riding along and she was basically moving completely off my legs. I very rarely had to even touch the reins for anything. I caught myself thinking "man! she's well trained!" but when I started thinking about it, she's just in the begining levels of "well-trained," imo. She's adjustable in all gaits and she's a fun ride. She moves off leg well and she stops and backs with just weight shiifts. She has excellent ground manners, compared to most horses I've been around (she has areas that she could be better but I figure, better than 90% of the horses I've ever worked with is pretty good). However, I don't know if she can do lead changes, simple or otherwise (I plan to find out/train for them a little this summer) and I know she doesn't understand sidepassing. There are other things I include in "well-trained" that she doesn't do yet, like step into a canter from a standstill or walk, she's not truly balanced at the canter yet but she's getting there, she dislikes water (a well-trained horse goes through water without hesitation), and there are other things. However, for just mucking around and doing trails, Lacey is trained to the nines compared to your average trail horse, at least in this area.
I think people just don't expect enough from their horses. I mean, I never really expected much from Lacey, to tell you the truth, but look what I got! People around here are always telling me about what a good horse she is, when she really isn't that extraordinary. I mean, yes, she is very well behaved, but any horse can be like that with the right guidance.
That's just my take on it. I completely agree with you on this. I mean, the other day I was riding with a girl who was riding a bully of horse who was just pushing her all over the place and he kept stopping to eat, ON THE TRAIL, and she was talking about how well trained he was. Um, excuse me? haha
Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat
Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat
Rest peacefully, Lacey.
Last edited by Wallaby; 05-10-2010 at 08:45 PM.