Horse is too green for my experience level - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-13-2014, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Horse is too green for my experience level


So I have been caught in a sticky situation. My mare I bought is clearly too green for me, I can't afford the trainers around here, and I'm not a good trainer myself. I'm stuck with 2 options-

1.) Keep her. Study on training, try to train her and see if it all works out.

2.) Trade her for a bombproof pony gelding, and send her to a place where an actual trainer would be her owner.

What do you think is best?

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post #2 of 20 Old 01-13-2014, 11:55 AM
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That will depend on whether you want the quick and easy or the long and tough There's nothing easy about training a horse although some are easier than others. Even if you had a trainer who gave you guidance it's still a lot of work.
It's a choice only you can make since only you can say if you're willing to put in the time and effort required or not.
I would never say don't do it, because I might be depriving you of an experience that might be meaningful to you.
I would never say do it, because it might not be something you're ready or able to deal with which at best would be waste of time/effort and result in you being even more unhappy about the situation (which could end up worse than it is) with your horse.

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-13-2014, 11:58 AM
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Depending on the issues that you're having with her, I would generally suggest to sell the horse. I know you can't afford to send her to a trainer, but would you be able to take a lesson or have an experienced friend come out and assess? It's hard to give you a solid answer from the internet, unfortunately.

Do you have a trade option already, or is #2 just prospective? If it's an option that has already been offered and there aren't any underlying issues with the gelding (eg ongoing vet care, intermittent lameness etc.) I would say go for that since you'd likely have a hard time finding someone willing to trade a broke horse with no issues for a green one.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-13-2014, 12:20 PM
Green Broke
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Green on green = black and blue. At least you know that she is too green instead of trying to work it out and getting one of your hurt. Can you just sell her outright and take some lessons until you are more experienced?
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-13-2014, 01:33 PM
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If you don't have anyone to help you it is generally safer and smarter to sell or trade for something more experienced. It doesn't necessarily have to be a trainer, but an experienced horse person at the very least will make it far easier and safer than doing it on your own.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-13-2014, 03:05 PM
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#2!!!!!! Your experiences will be so much more enjoyable on a horse who knows what he is doing.
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-13-2014, 09:39 PM
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One of you needs to know what your doing!! You need a trained horse that knows a lot more than you.

I know all of the Clinicians say they can teach you how to train a horse with DVDs. The truth of the matter is that you need feedback from someone watching and working with both of you. 99% of the novice people that try to train green horses without 'live' help end up with badly spoiled horses. You don't have to read very many of the questions asked right here to understand that most of these horses have problems because a green rider did not catch things when they should have or did not have the feel and timing to get the correct response from their horse when they were trying to teach it.

You definitely need a horse that is older and well trained. I would go further and would say that I would not buy one privately from someone if they were not willing to work a few times with you to help you learn how to 'push the right buttons' and get along with the horse.
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-13-2014, 10:52 PM
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I agree with Cherie, I would have never considered my one guy if the person who owned him, who also trained horses, wasn't helping me out since I'm green and so is my boy.
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-14-2014, 12:22 PM
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Realizing and admitting your own inexperience is a remarkably courageous insight and may mean that you're just the kind of person who could actually become good at this. So much of building ability with horses requires being self-aware and having the flexibility to adjust what you're doing. Between your choices, I think that both could be good or bad depending on what you do with them. I can tell you that it is possible to train your own horse being self-taught and eventually get good results because that's what I've done. There are a few things I could say about it, and I hope that these help you in your decisions. :)

1. It is true what they say, green on green make black and blue. There's a saying I've heard attributed to the French, to the effect of "it takes seven falls to make a rider". You will fall. I've had a bunch of wrecks myself. The question becomes, how good are you at getting back up?

2. This horse isn't likely to ever reach as high a level as she may have if you'd had her as a baby and were already a master horseman doing (most) everything right. This is because you're going to make all your mistakes with her and teach her things that you'll later have to fix. She probably won't become a champion - though stranger things have happened. More likely she'll eventually become like those old lesson horses who have learned to just overlook their riders' mistakes and aren't super-refined but hopefully, are forgiving and will get along with you anyway.

3. Throw away the clock and the calendar. If you can do that from the beginning you'll be better off. You'll never be finished with her and the training of a horse lasts the entire lifetime of a horse.

4. Develop a love for the process of learning about horses and study as many different teachers as you can. Avoid the trap of believing that any one teacher or method has the answer if it goes against your intuition about YOUR horse. Learning from good teachers is extremely valuable but remember that you're the one paying the bills and your judgment is what's going to effect the animal long after the clinic is over and the DVD has finished playing.

5. When you find teachers that you like, make an effort to go and see them in person. There are a lot of things that happen in working with horses that aren't always shown on the finished product of a DVD.

6. Make an effort to get yourself on video. You won't believe the things that video shows.

7. When (not if) you feel frustrated or at a loss there are two things that have really helped me. One, realize that even when you become a great master you will encounter situations that will stump you again and again. That never ends and is central to why horsemanship is a lifetime pursuit. And finally, when you reach an impasse just realize where the responsibility lies. It is with you, not with your horse. Make yourself better and you'll improve every horse you come into contact with. Be the rising tide that raises all the ships. Or as Chris Cox put it, horse trainers train horses but a horseman trains himself.

Or alternately, you could just get the more experienced horse and maybe enjoy riding more from the start. That could be the wiser choice and if I had everything to do over again I'd probably go that way. But I do have a soft spot for those brave folks who become determined to do this on their own.
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-14-2014, 12:41 PM
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Lessons also teach you what to expect from a properly trained horse. School horses that won't stand still or bite or kick or bolt or buck=lawsuits, so most lesson programs sell them or don't buy them for students to ride in the first place. Falls happen, but they are the same kind of fall you get from falling off of a ladder. Being bucked off isn't the same and only a fool or a great cowboy/girl gets right back on after getting bucked off. The rest of us school the snot out of same horse before thinking about getting on and getting bucked off AGAIN.
Most of us take lessons at a boarding stable, and then you can network and find a suitable horse that a boarder is selling. CHERIE is absolutely right that you will not learn what you are doing without an experienced trainer helping you. I don't want to take any business away from any good trainers, so know that a good trainer can turn many horses around. I always told my students that you will never be happy with your horse if you don't learn how to train him. Still, the vast majority of horses for sale have discipline problems, get bought my newbies, get sold at a loss and then somebody might make one into a pasture ornament and a money drain, that is, if you can get the beast into a trailer.
I don't know about anyone else here, but my horses each must justify the $ and time and attention I spend on them. Horse are not special snowflakes and the lucky ones have been properly trained and found a good owner or series of good owners.

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