Once the horse is settled, 'broke', goes anywhere and does not get afraid or spooky or worried, is listening and has a solid focus on its rider, THEN I can go to riding 1 hour a day and put serious training into the horse. I have always found that short rides before that time were pretty pointless as they were each a repeat of the last ride -- trying to get the horse's attention and trying to get something positive done on each ride --- and frequently failing. It is also no secret that drilling and going around and around an arena or small area for hours (or even an hour a day) is a good way to get a sour and resentful horse that dreads going there and doing the same thing over and over.
Whenever I cannot feel that a horse is doing something better each time I get off of the horse, I have felt I needed a different approach and a long ride or two is usually where I go.
I know this is not a popular approach by the comments I get when I mention it. I am curious if others have found that the same thing works? Is this just a 'ranch' and a 'ranch horse' thing as that is just how it works when you have to go out and do a day's job gathering and moving cattle or hunting a lost pair or ???? That was pretty much how I figured out that a green horse came back a different horse after a really long, all-day ride. This is what started me on my way to making really good trail horses that anyone could enjoy trail riding.
When I show trained but started them this way I used to tell people that wanted trail horses that "When I get old and decrepit, I'll take out trail riders and make trail horses. Meanwhile, as long as I can, I'm going to train good cowhorses."
Well, I was diagnosed with severe Arthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease by the time I was 40. So, I got to the trail horse thing years before I had planned on. [My son has just been diagnosed with the same things and he just turned 30 in December. I guess it is a genetic thing for sure.]
Just wondering is all if any others use this method on green or spooky horses.