Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
It really depends on the horse. I had a trainer work with my gelding Trooper, who had been spurred bloody on a ranch in Colorado and had bad trust issues. 5 weeks later, he was good for general riding again, and another year of regular riding has turned him into a pretty trustworthy horse.
I hired the same trainer to work with my spooky mare Mia. After 2 weeks, she concluded Mia never had the basics, in spite of the fact that I had ridden her for 3 years. I had as few injuries as I did, she thought, because Mia and I tried to work with each other. But I put her into professional training because when she started spinning up, she KEPT spinning up. She had been sold to me as a thoroughly broke horse for a beginner, but she was confused by bits and didn't know how to give to pressure.
The trainer and I talked about it, and started her back at the very beginning. After 8 weeks of training, she was ridden at a walk for the first time today, for about 5 minutes. But she is a very different horse than Trooper. She is very slow to learn. When she learns, she learns it solid. Her progress has been 3X slower than Trooper, with the same trainer.
So what should you expect? No one knows. But when I hire a trainer, I tell them up front to take their time. I'd rather have my horse get a solid foundation, whatever it was that I could afford, than to have the trainer take short cuts. IMHO, a trainer who says, "I can do X in Y days" is blowing smoke up your butt. Maybe he can with one horse, but not with another.
"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."