The "Finished" Horse

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The "Finished" Horse

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    07-23-2010, 03:41 PM
The "Finished" Horse

Do you ever consider a horse to be truly "finished"?

I can't say that I've ever ridden a truly finished horse. Even the lesson ponies had gaps or shortfalls in training if you looked for them. I've seen show horses educated to a level that, should my guy ever reach that point, I would die of pride and marvel at my good fortune, but were still in training to become better. To me, there's always a little further to go in training; to get him a bit lighter, a bit rounder, a bit more collected, etc. Of course, there does come a point for most horses at which conformation becomes a factor in performing to a higher level.

What are your thoughts? Do you have criteria for a "Finished" horse? Please, if you like, post pics or video of what you consider to be a finished horse in any discipline or equestrian endeavor.
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    07-23-2010, 03:52 PM
Finished and Green are tough words to use. They are both so vague! I hate both terms equally!

Finished to me means that there is nothing more to teach. I, too, have never ridden a 100% finished horse. Finished for their discipline? Yes. Finished all together? No. Some people think that a finished horse is one that does exactly as you ask when you ask. I think a finished horse is one that does what *anyone* asks when they ask. With that in mind, I doubt a horse will ever be finished with me! LOL
    07-23-2010, 04:12 PM
The only "finished" horse is a dead one. His training is finished.

There is always something new to learn.
    07-23-2010, 04:24 PM
Originally Posted by draftrider    
The only "finished" horse is a dead one. His training is finished.

There is always something new to learn.
^I like that! Succinct and accurate!
    07-23-2010, 06:09 PM
Green Broke
I don't believe in a finished horse, theres always higher to go in training, not just the discipline. If the horse is doing grand prix dressage, theres always more collection more moremoremoremoremoremoremore, and if they are pushed as far as they can go, how are they on the ground? Are they really really spooky? Will they trail ride without having problems?

To me there is always more to do, maybe im just greedy, lol.
    07-23-2010, 06:52 PM
I consider several of my reiners "Finished Reiners". Not b/c there is nothing more for them to learn of they are perfect but b/c they have proven among their pears that they can win at a high level. They consistently score 73-74s. They have won with several different riders in several different levels. There is very little for they to prove. So they are finished reiners. Which is different then a finished horse.
    07-23-2010, 07:22 PM
Originally Posted by draftrider    
The only "finished" horse is a dead one. His training is finished.

There is always something new to learn.
That's a great way to put it. However I also agree with nrhareiner - it really depends on what you mean by "finished". I rode the "finished" cutting horse several times (winning good chunk of money and getting close to the retirement age). Well... He KNEW his job, and I was more of a passenger on his back just trusting him to do it (perfectly). That's what I call "finished" personally.
    07-23-2010, 07:40 PM
Green Broke
Agreed with both draftrider and nrhareiner. It depends entirely on how you use the term.

I consider a finished horse to be as nrhareiner said, a horse that was progressed to a point in his training where he is consistently winning. You could have a finished level two Dressage horse for example, because you realize his conformation perhaps restricts him from going any higher and he is winning at that level. He is "finished" for his expectations, and now most of his work only involves polishing what he already knows on a regular basis. It's not that he can't learn new things, it's that he's finished for his discipline and his expectations.

I think the term finished really involves the rider or owner expectations - for example, Shay-las trail mare is "finished" because she's spent 11 years being as reliable as they come, she's satisfied with what she knows, she's been trained to what Shay-la expected of her, and she is considered finished now because you can just get on and ride and put some polish on once in awhile. This in no way means, to me, that she can't begin training as a barrel racer at some point. She would be a "finished trail horse, green barrel racer!"

    07-23-2010, 09:12 PM
I agree that there is always more for a horse to learn, but it is possible to have a horse that you consider "finished" for what they do.

I do not believe that anyone can ride a finished horse and personally the fact that "obedience" and "correctness" are so commonly confused is very irritating to me. The horse is always learning. To expect a horse to have multiple lesson riders on its back and expect the horse to maintain the same level of training that it would have with an experienced rider is crazy in my mind. It would always be capable of coming quickly back to that level with the right rider, but I wouldn't expect the horse to do whatever is asked of it because not everyone is going to ask correctly, especially the beginner rider.
    07-23-2010, 09:27 PM
I agree that a finished horse may not seem finished with a rider who can not ride that horse. My stallion anyone can ride. He will just walk around until the rider figures it out. However you will never get him to perform to his best. Then you put the same rider on my reining mare and if you can not rider her she will just stand there with her hooves crossed like I am not moving until you figure it out. Both finished horses but each is different in the way they handle beginner riders.

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