Project Horses

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Project Horses

This is a discussion on Project Horses within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What does project mean in horses
  • Horse research project idea

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    01-07-2010, 12:11 AM
Project Horses

I always wanted to train my own foal for a specific event and all the training done by me I was wanting a mare 2ish roan or bay.
So does anyone here have a project horse? If so what do you do with him/her?

Thank you
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    01-07-2010, 06:24 AM
I don't believe in project horses.
    01-07-2010, 07:02 AM
Originally Posted by Equestriun    
I don't believe in project horses.
What do you mean you don't believe in them?
    01-07-2010, 07:24 AM
You might say that I have a thing for "project" horses. I don't have the financial ability to go out and buy a finished horse, or to buy a greenie and send him to a trainer until the job's done. Both horses I've ever owned were purchased more or less saddle broke (my first horse better broke with a lot of miles under him, but with little "polish"), and all following training done by me, with occasional lessons and lots of research. To me, the training, work, and love I put in to my boys is more rewarding than the competition that I could be doing now if I'd bought a finished horse. I've never taken a baby and brought him from the ground up, but I'd like to try when I've had more colt starting experience.

To more directly answer your question:
I bought Scout as a very underweight pony of unknown breeding and uncertain training level. He's come a long way since last May, in both health and training. He now has a solid w/t/c under saddle, is soft and willing through transitions, learning lateral maneuvers, and has good ground manners. He has a long way to go to be finished (then comes the question of whether a horse is ever really "finished"), but he's made a good start. I currently do pleasure riding and basic dressage schooling, plus some trail riding. My future plans for him include progress with the dressage movements, some small local shows (hunt seat, maybe some dressage when he's ready), and generally keep enjoying my pony.

Be sure before starting a young horse with big plans later on that you either have the experience to start the colt and build a foundation, or have an experienced trainer to help/guide you. The same goes for later training, as you and your horse progress to and through choosing and training for a specific discipline.

@ Equestriun
What do you mean? I'm just curious. Coming from several years of 4-H where everything had the word "project" as a prefix, including the horses, maybe we're just thinking of a project differently.
    01-07-2010, 07:32 AM
Project horses can be fun, but if you have never trained a horse before I would highly suggest that you get a trainer to coach you. For my first horse I bought a project horse and I did not really have anyone to help me. Not smart. I was able to teach him lots of fun things on the ground, but I was never able to ride him very well because I did not know how to train a horse under saddle at the time. I ended up having to sell him.

I had lots of fun with him on the ground though, it was almost like having a giant puppy dog. I got him to be really respectful and responsive on the ground so that I could take him on trail walks. We would go walking through the woods together. I would send him over obstacles like logs and ditches and creeks and stuff and he would follow me anywhere I want to go. Afterwards we would take a rest in a little meadow and I would sit in the grass and just let him graze.

Keep in mind that I spent a lot of time getting him to trust and respect me in the arena before I got to the point I could trust him out in the woods like that. I am not a huge believer in Parelli, but I think that his games are good if you want some ideas for playing with your horse, but I would not use his methods exclusively. I did use them with my old horse though.

Have fun!


Edit: Equestriun, do you mean project horses in the sense that a person buys a horse just for the sake of training it quickly and reselling it to make a buck? If that is so then I don't really believe in "project horses" in that sense either. But that is not what Tasia is talking about here. She means buying a horse that is untrained and making it her project to train it herself.
    01-07-2010, 09:27 AM
Every horse is a project horse for me. I buy them young, or with very little training, and I do all the work myself. I get them pretty cheap and sell them pretty high. It usually takes me about 3 years to turn around a horse. I figure when I get bored, then it's time to move on. Better for both me and the horse that way. Each horse teaches me something along the way. I teach the horses how to be well-rounded respectable equine citizens while bringing out the talent in each one of them. They go on to teach their new owners many lessons.
    01-07-2010, 09:57 AM
GottaRide, I have no problem with that sort of a "Buy, Train, Sell" situation. That is how horse trainers are supposed to work. I'm only talking about the people that buy a horse cheap, work it for 30 days or so, hype up the price and sell in fast. That gives no consideration for the horse's dignity and is deceiving to the buyers.
    01-07-2010, 11:15 AM
Originally Posted by Jubilee    
GottaRide, I have no problem with that sort of a "Buy, Train, Sell" situation. That is how horse trainers are supposed to work. I'm only talking about the people that buy a horse cheap, work it for 30 days or so, hype up the price and sell in fast. That gives no consideration for the horse's dignity and is deceiving to the buyers.
um, not really.
Any good horseperson & trainer can assess a horse's ability, talent, personality, challenges, likes, dislikes, etc. within a few days time (at the very most). Some people can take one look at a horse & know what needs to be done to make the horse successful. The next "30 days or so" spent with the horse will build character, improve skills, enhance talent, and overcome obstacles. A good horseperson will be able to match horse to rider easily after that amount of time.

I've turned around horses in 6 weeks to a couple months' time. I can tell you what each of those horses will do in any given situation. I can even tell you how the horse's reaction is different when I handle it vs. when the new owner handles it. Every person that has gotten a horse from me is very happy with what they have. The horses are used, loved & well cared for. I'd say that's better for the horse's dignity than where they came from before I got my hands on them.
    01-07-2010, 11:40 AM
You are missing my point. Sorry, I did not go into depth to explain what I meant. I'm not saying that you can't train a horse well in thirty days, that is not what I am saying. A good horseperson is a good horseperson. I'm not saying everyone who buys a horse and "flips" it in a short period of time is a bad horseperson and a cheat. I have just known some people that truly don't have the horse or their clients best interests in mind and will by a bunch cheap horses, put enough work into them to give them an appearance of being broke, but fail to establish solid foundations (basically rush the training), then try to sell the horses for much higher price then what they are worth, often leaving the buyers with a mess to clean up (many times the horses have physical conditions that they cover up and hide until after they are sold) I have not come across many of there types of people, but they are out there. These are the types I am warning about. Those that care more about making a buck and could care less about the horse's physical or mental condition. Sadly, they are not uncommon in my area.

I'm also not saying that it is wrong to work with horses for money. I'm entering a career as a horse trainer myself, of course I want to make money. But the horses well being comes first, as does the interests of the clients.

I did not intend this to become a discussion all on it's own. Mostly I was just trying to figure out why Equestriun does no believe in "project horses." Can we get back to helping Tasia with her questions?

    01-07-2010, 12:36 PM
Originally Posted by GottaRide    
It usually takes me about 3 years to turn around a horse. I figure when I get bored, then it's time to move on. Better for both me and the horse that way.

My Gosh, I never get bored with ANY horse...

There is so much to teach them... you can teach them somthing new till the day they die!

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