To give you a brief background on my situation, I purchased a 6 year old quarter horse that had been ridden sporadically most of his life, about a year ago. I wanted to get back into riding and he needed a good home.
You could lead him, pick up his feet, saddle and ride him. However, he did not move off the leg or neck rein. He was just kind of all over the place with his body.
Also, he had been desensitized pretty well. You could throw ropes all over him without much of a reaction. Generally, he was/is a nice horse with an affectionate personality. However, he tended to be a bit lazy and he had poor ground manners.
In July of 2011, I decided I did not have the skill to improve his ground manners and make him proficient in collecting himself, moving off the leg, side passing and neck reining. I felt he was worth the hefty financial investment to have him trained by a professional. My goal was to have a "finished" trail horse.
I found a trainer at a local equestrian facility that trains for western pleasure. She had an excellent reputation and seemed very capable. Her training program consisted of five rides per week. Each training session was about 1 hour to 1.5 hours long. I also would get one lesson per week.
My horse has been in training for about 4 months, now. Due to the trainers show schedule and my work schedule, I have not been able to get my weekly lessons. I have had about 5 lessons during the last 4 months. When I did have a lesson, it was very helpful and I felt my horse and I were learning.
Also, I did go out and work with my horse on my own about 2 times a week.
So my horse will be coming home at the end of this week, because I am out of training funds. His ground manners are greatly improved and he has learned to move off the leg. He still seems uncollected, unless he is in a martingale, and he cannot side pass, or neck rein.
I have to admit, I'm a little discouraged. So I need reality check from everyone.
Is it reasonable to expect a horse to be profitent in what I requested in ~ 80 hours of training over the last 4 months, assuming the horse and owner are not nut jobs?
Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks for reading!