Agree with what you say Kiwi. Obviously mostly just the way it came across to me first time. The written word, huh? Easy to misunderstand.
In my opinion (so take it with a grain of salt)
Ha ha ha, and don't we all have enough of those!
Yep, even without misunderstandings, IMO most things are down to difference of opinions, rarely 'facts' so I hope you take my disagreements respectfully, as that's how they're mean - I hope I come across as discussing or debating, not arguing.... altho I know I don't always succeed!
there is nothing that can be achieved with a foal/young horse that can not be achieved with an older animal.
Agreed, as I hope I got across already. Just that physically, paddock life with little exercise, especially if cushy, soft paddock life, is not great for developing healthy, sound beasts, so for that reason I like to teach them at least the basics when young.
Also I think that with an older horse you can see if there are any holes in your training immediately - getting bucked off is a pretty good clue. Whereas with a foal that is incorrectly handled the problem may not be obviously apparent for quite some time.
Can't think of anything like that myself. What problems were you thinking of? Re getting bucked off, I tend to think of that as a 'whoops, slipped up on something previously & missed the signs'.
So the reason behind my point of view is that I don't think I am a good enough horse woman to muck around with a foal from day one. ....degree of consistency foals need but I don't think there are as many as you think. I think that it is important to question motives of people wanting to start breaking/training horses by getting a foal, if a person believes that it is guaranteed to be easy and risk free to train a foal then that person doesn't have the experience required to train any horse.
On your later points above, yes! So true. Motives can also be... naive. I don't think it's essentially much different training a baby from scratch than training a 'grown up', excepting that a grown up may have already had a lot of practice at certain attitudes that may either help or hinder the process. IMO there are not half as many good trainers
as some people think. As for your first comment above, I suspect you're mistaken.
If you are confident of your ability and successful in training older horses, you're likely to be just as good at training a foal. Consistency is not just needed for babies and if I thought a person wasn't good enough to deal with a foal I wouldn't think they'd be any better at training an older horse.
One thing I do think is easier with training foals(assuming it's done well) is starting the horse under saddle later on. It's not that the foal is necessarily easier to teach, but if you start then, the horse has already had a fair few years solid training under his belt(saddle
) by the time he gets to carry anyone, rather than being 'green'.