Everyone A Horse Trainer? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 10-14-2010, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Everyone A Horse Trainer?

I have been seeing more and more inexperienced people taking on young and sometimes untouched horses with the concept in their heads that training horses is easy. Maybe you have had luck in the past with little issues that your horse has had or maybe you got to be the first one to sit on an unbroke horse but that doesn't make you a trainer.

Horse training is difficult and it takes an unlimited amount of patience. They test everything you have and then some. It takes a long time before you can make a fine trail horse out of that filly you bought at the auctions yesterday or to turn a beaten abused horse into a loving kids pony.

Please leave things like training horses to the professionals or get a professional to help you. Do it yourself and you could ruin the horse all together no matter how much you love him.

Please Please Please do not play trainer like you played mommy or daddy when you were little!
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post #2 of 44 Old 10-14-2010, 06:58 AM
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While I agree with your statement in general...

I got 2 unhandled, delayed in growth yearlings (one also abused) as my first ever horses. Otherwise they'd go to the meat plant (which eventually happened to most horses from the place I got my 2nd yearling from). So is a meat plant a better choice for them than me "ruining" them?
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post #3 of 44 Old 10-14-2010, 07:36 AM
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hmm, I think you need to open your mind a bit. Whilst i do think that there is a HUGE problem with total novices buying young horses, even more experianced horse men and women need to start somewhere with young horses!! where do you think all these trainers got thier experiance?

I've just bought my first youngster, I've competed to a very high level and can school a horse under saddle, I can handle problem horses on the ground and have successfully re-educated several abused poines. That said, up to this point every horse I have owned so far has been broken in before I got it. This is the first pony i'm haveing to handle right from the start! Yes I am getting some help from people more experianced then me and yes, once he is lunged, long reined and has had a saddle on him I will be sending him away but that is purely down to the fact that my back will not take a heavy fall.
I'm an experianced horsewoman, but even I have to start somewhere with youngsters.

So I will continue with lunging and longreining my lad (spent the morning with an instructor and an older horse learning to long rein as I've never done it before) and teaching him about the world around him and I will get great satisfaction in doing so. It may have taken me 3 weeks to get a roller on him for lunging but I'd much rather me do it slowly and with love then to send him away where they will bung it on him and expect him to get on with it.

I've seen so called proffessionals comepletly ruin good horses because they have tried to rush them, I've seen one young dressage horse that cost a fortune turn into a rearing bucking monster that in the end did severe damage to itself and its rider, because he was pushed too far too fast due to one "proffessionals" pride and view that they can have a horse broken and doing dressage tests in 6 weeks or less.

Sorry but I'll do it my way thanks, and if it takes me a year to be able to get a saddle on him then it takes me a year.
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post #4 of 44 Old 10-14-2010, 08:09 AM
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I see what you're saying, but I offer this counter point.

Anyone with the money can own a horse. Even if they haven't worked a lot with "training" horses before, everyone has to start somewhere. Yes, it an ideal perfect world, everyone would have a mentor to help them learn the process, but I think as long as someone is open to suggestions and willing to get help when they're having trouble, let them mess around with their horses, figure out what works, and learn that way.

I think it's a bit of an elitest attitude to say that you have to be super experienced to be a horse trainer. How do you get experience without actually doing it? You make it sound like it's on par with rocket science and it's really not. Sure, it takes patience, hard work and dedication, but it's very rewarding, and people enjoy the satisfaction of seeing their work pay off.

That was assuming the person does have basic horse knowledge though. I wouldn't approve of someone who has never had any horse experience before getting an unbroke, unhandled horse and expecting to be the horse whisperer. People should have some basic safety knowledge and experience with handling horses so they don't end up getting hurt.

It does irritate me to see people advertising themselves as professional horse trainers/instructors when they don't have the experience. Like, the teenagers at my old barn... random craigslist ads...etc. But that's in a different vein than what you're talking about I think. That's more "false advertising".
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post #5 of 44 Old 10-14-2010, 08:48 AM
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You are very right about so many people thinking it's no big deal, but what do we expect when there are so many training DVDs out there that skip right over any issue the horses have that might make the trainer look bad and give the false impression that every horse falls right in line with their chosen training method because they're just SOOO good? That's one thing I do like about Chris Cox, I saw an episode of him taking a greenie into a big creek and getting into a pickle when the bottom dropped out from under the horse, but they showed every bit of him going for a swim!
However, I also bought a foal and did all of his training from the ground up. Granted, I was apprenticing with a trainer at the time and he wasn't the first horse I'd started. (Thanks Judy Sebree, I couldn't have gotten it done without you! Especially since my turd was more ornery than the average mule). People do need to understand how back breaking and heart-wrenching training can be, and seems even more so when the horse is yours, but I also understand how stressful and scary it can be to go to a trainer. Even if they come highly recommended there is still the potential for disasterous results. Working with trainers as I have I've met some excellent horsepeople that I would never hesitate to let ride my horse, but I've also met some that should never be allowed near a horse let alone train one.
If a person is able to objectively evaluate their horses issues and honestly say they can handle them, go for it. But if something is too much or we don't know how to handle it we need to have the gumption to admit it and find someone that can, even if it's expensive. 30-60 days under a reputable trainer is much cheaper than the potential medical bills for you and your horse when a train wreck happens.
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post #6 of 44 Old 10-14-2010, 09:59 AM
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I disagree with the point to be honest! I have never had the money to buy perfect, broken or schoolmaster horses so I have always had to buy ones with problems or ones that are unbroken. I learnt to ride at a riding school then moved on to helping a lady with her variety of horses(she had 25 :O) and over the years iv gained experience but I wouldnt call myself experienced as you can always learn more.

My first ever pony was a broodmare who I broke in and she ended up as a successful PC pony- I started her all on my own and she was never sent away.

My second pony was a complete nutcase and the owner couldnt cope- I was his last chance! I ironed out most of the kinks and to be honest the ones that were left were his personality.. Being very forward and hot.

My third and final pony (hopefully) is an unbroken 4 year old. I did my research and he is a tb x as I wanted something with potential but not a complete nut. I bought him from his breeder and so far he is doing well. Come from completely unbroken and in the field with his mum to hacking out alone and company and just starting light schooling.

Yes maybe I dont break them completely correctly or use all the gadgets etc I should (ie lunging) but I have common sense and horse sense and I have managed to produce good horses, all the while learning more. As someone said above 'everyone has to start somewhere'!
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post #7 of 44 Old 10-14-2010, 10:00 AM
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Wow... you would rather see a horse end up staying at an auction and being sold for meat than have someone "ruin" it? so many horses end up there already, and unless you are just unkind if the horse isnt broken whats the big deal if you cant saddle it up and ride? thats not what ALL horses are for, there are pasture buddies and retired horses.... its kinda people like you that make me not want to talk to horse people... you think that your way is best and you have to push it on everyone else...

I am having problems with a horse right now... i took him on knowing he had little quirks not knowing at all what i was getting into... but does that make it wrong for me to take him on? just because i dont get paid to train horses doesnt always mean i dont know what im doing... some horses challenge you more than others and yes they do test you at most every chance they get.. but you dont leave them at an auction to die...

I honestly think that a horse would rather be "ruined" and loved than alone and dead because ppl like you think that people like me and most other people cant train a horse how it needs to be trained... & honestly as long as the horse does what you want, as long as your not showing in something, who cares if it is trained correctly? its your horse not the worlds!

~*~ You only get one truly good horse in life, cherish him while you have him ~*~
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post #8 of 44 Old 10-14-2010, 10:29 AM
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There are certainly qualities and a level of experience that goes into being a good trainer. There are definitely situations that require those qualities and that level of experience to safely and efficiently handle. Even outside the "problem horse/colt starting" sphere, it takes experience, timing, and feel to teach more advanced concepts to broke horses. Most good, successful trainers spend time working and learning under a master, and this is where it shines.

To me, it is very difficult for anyone with a basic understanding of horsemanship and common sense to truly ruin a horse. Part of that common sense is knowing when you're in over your head and need to seek professional help or advice from another source.

Should someone who has only ever taken tourist trail rides buy a weanling to raise and train alone? No. In other threads, other members have posted about what they term "Disney syndrome", or something to that general effect -- city kid meets wild horse, they inexplicably bond, and they win some great event together, and everyone lives happily ever after, with no broken bones or bad habits. Some people incorrectly take this as a representation of real life, and then trouble starts.

I see a middle ground, perhaps someone who has owned well-broke to finished horses, taken extensive riding lessons for some time, and wants to move to a horse who has less in the way of formal training, or perhaps is a bit younger, and gain experience with a more difficult horse. With common sense, I can see that that working out well. Not a great deal different than moving to a lesson horse with more issues than the schoolmaster. Just matching horse to rider level.

A lot of extremely proficient riders, competitors, and professional trainers out there are self-taught in one respect or another. There's just a difference between a fairly seasoned rider taking on a measured and understood challenge and a complete newbie living out Black Stallion dreams. One has a good chance of ending well, one doesn't.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #9 of 44 Old 10-14-2010, 10:31 AM
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I have to agree with everyone else here, I'm no professional at training horses, but I can at least get most to the point of trail riding safely for just about anyone. And that's not experience with 3 or 4 horses, that experience with 50+, which is in no way a lot to some people here, but since I just got into horses 2 years ago, I'll think it suffices. Anyways, every horses I work with teaches me a little more. A lot about horse training is the common sense aspect of it. I don't really get on a unbroke horse unless I already am pretty sure of what it will do. When I first started training my thought was, jump on, hold on, and see where this horse is at in its training as a lot of them were rescues that I had no clue what they're story. Now I can tell from the ground before I'm bucked off, reared off, etc. But anyways, I could go on all day, but this is whether people like it or not, an age of self-taught skills. When people can jump out on the www, or order a dvd, or read some books, that's what they'll do rather than hire a trainer. No, those things can't perfect you, but a lot of people aren't looking for perfect, they're just looking to create a safe mount, not take you to the world championships.
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post #10 of 44 Old 10-14-2010, 10:36 AM
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Oh, and it takes a long time to take an auction horse a safe trail horse? It took me 90 days before I could put my 8 year old nephew on my mare and have him go off alone on the trails. Yes, I said alone. This may not be the case with every horse because of personalities and what not, but it does not always take a "long time." When I got her you couldn't catch her, she didn't tie well, couldn't touch behind her should or she'd cow kick at you, etc.
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