Thinking of training own horse(first time owner) - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thinking of training own horse(first time owner)

I'm thinking of buying my first horse next year and am thinking of just buying a yearling and training it myself. Im 15 and will most likely use the clinten anderson method.

Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of training a horse when I have so little expirence training? Would it be bad without having the ownership expirince?


Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 08:22 AM
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Green+ green = black & blue.
If you're new to horses, or basic ownership I would go for more of a trained horse until you get everything down. Work your methods on an older, already broke horse to see how you train & if there ate any difficulties. While every horse is different, you don't want something to go wrong with a young one.
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 08:26 AM
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9 times out of 10, green on green equals black and blue. I'm not saying that it hasn't been done, but for a 15 year old first time owner to take on a yearling and train it alone is begging for trouble. Please understand that I'm not trying to be mean or anything, just that an unbroken yearling training project is not an appropriate first time owner's horse, no matter how old the person is.

Firstly, how much experience do you have with horses in general? Have you taken riding lessons? For how long? Do you have a friend or family member who is into horses, who you ride/work with? Have you ever leased a horse? Have you ever worked with a youngster before? An older but still green horse? Seen/helped with the colt starting process in person? These are all experiences worth having before diving into the responsibility of horse ownership, even if you are looking at an older horse, much less a youngster.

For anyone's first horse, I would recommend a few basic guidelines.

Aim for a minimum of 5 years of age. Many five year olds have a solid start and handle on them, but the downside is that some still have a little of that youngster left in them that can make them a challenge for a novice owner to deal with - this of course depends on the individual animal. Some 5 year olds are real steady-Eddies, and some 25 year olds are nigh uncontrollable. The ideal range would be somewhere between 10 and 15 years. In that range, the horse can be generally expected to have a good handle, plenty of miles under it, and has reached an age where its temperament is pretty well settled.

Look for a horse that is already trained for what you want to do. Nothing drains the fun from horse ownership than yearning to get into the showpen or hit the trail when you've got to deal with basic training for another couple of years, or deal with problems. A good first horse is solid and controllable on the ground and under saddle at all three gaits, halt, rein back, and basic lateral movements (turn on forehand/haunches, leg yield, sidepass). Add to that good ground/stable manners. The horse should lead respectfully, load into the trailer without a fuss, and stand like a statue for the vet/farrier/equine dentist.

I very highly recommend picking up a copy of this book and reading it thoroughly: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585747149/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B002AS5BYK&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=097N9KWYE0RSZ8327331
It is a much more comprehensive guide for the first time horse owner than can be typed on a forum. Do your homework, find people who can help you in person, whether friends, family, or a good trainer/instructor. Look for a horse who can teach you something, not one who needs to be taught everything. At fifteen, you have an unthinkable amount of time left to delve into colt starting when you have more years of experience under your belt, and you have more tools in your toolbox to paint a solid, soft, light responsive, and willing partner onto that blank slate.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 08:27 AM
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Yes, it will most likely turn out real bad. You don't need ownership experience, you need training experience-big difference. There are lots of good riders out there who don't train their own babies for a reason- it's not easy. You can't learn feel & timing from a video series. You have no back up plan when you come across problems & things will pop up that need instant know-how to manage.
I've seen so many horses ruined by well intended people of all ages.

But let'd pretend that by some Gift Of God that you actually could do it without ruining the horse or hurting yourself or both. You'd be 16 when you got the horse, 18 or 19 when it was ready to start under saddle work. Do you plan on going to college or getting a full time job or boyfriend? Would you even have time to work with the horse in a consistant manner? What about finances?

If you were my child with this plan I would not allow it-period. I would allow lessons with a qualified trainer on a trained horse.
Again, this is not a good idea.

I'm sure others can give you more detailed reasons why this is not good.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 08:42 AM
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As a person who took the road you are thinking about I want to say it's something I would NOT recommend everyone (much less the first time owner) based on my personal experience. I know, it sounds nice and easy: you get a horse and train it, big deal. But the reality is - its not. It's tough, frustrating, and you have to be really patient and don't let the slowness of the process to bring you down. And as already mentioned you have to consider all the danger of working with 1000 lbs animal with mind of its own.

Plus sooner or later you WILL need a trainer for riding, especially if you want to compete.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 08:44 AM
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Horses read people better and faster than a psychiatrist. Horses look for leadership and quickly figure out that if you're not going to be it's leader and someone it can trust to be in that position, then it will be leader. Even older well trained horses can quickly take on this role with a novice and the relationship soon turns sour. The problem with using dvds is we could both watch the same part of one and you may see it one way, and I another because of differences in experience.
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 08:54 AM
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A horse's main goal in life is to do NOTHING! Just eat and drink. I can see my gelding's wheels turning all the time and will take advantage of the first opportunity of weakness to take the lazy way out! If you are just starting with horses you will miss these cues and it can head south fast. Like the rest I suggest starting with an older horse that has done that and been there. But, if you choose to go thru and get an untrained horse; don't go it alone, have a trainer or experienced horse person to help you thru the process.
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 09:19 AM
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I can't say anything about age because I started training at 14 but age isn't the important factor. Experience is. There is a large, varied skill set needed to train horses. Unfortunately we don't come with those pre-programmed.
It takes years to develop the seat, legs, quiet hands & intuitive thinking that training requires. Even though I'd been riding my whole life, had a mom & grandfather who both were trainers, had been immersed in it, I still screwed up a couple of good horses in my early years.

There's also the time & cost factor. Buying one already finished IS cheaper than going start to finish on one yourself. You will have at least 2 years where riding isn't an option but in that time you will still have all of the feed, farrier, maintenance, & vet expenses. Then it gets to an age where it's ready to be backed, you will then have the expense of time, blood, sweat & tears. If when it gets to that age and you find out that you aren't knowledgable enough to train it yourself you then either have a horse that you can't do a thing with or you fork out the money for a trainer to finish it, that adds up real quick.

Take lessons on a been there, done that horse. Buy one who's got the knowledge under it's belt, so you can gain that knowledge yourself. Learn from instructors, trainers, dvds while you are learning. Down the road you may find you want to take on training one but honestly mostly people don't.

I'd never recommend training their own to any first time owner or rider.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigem88 View Post
A horse's main goal in life is to do NOTHING!
gig, I have to disagree with you respectfully. It truly depends on horse. My paint LOVES to be taken out - she refuses to go back to the trailer when we go on trails, and she definitely enjoys showing off during a lesson. My qh while on lazy side gets very upset when paint is taken out, and tries to push her away and walk out with me when I bring the paint back. If I don't ride them several days (like last week) they are both ready to go out when I finally come to the field with the halter. So yes, many enjoy working in fact.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
gig, I have to disagree with you respectfully. It truly depends on horse. My paint LOVES to be taken out - she refuses to go back to the trailer when we go on trails, and she definitely enjoys showing off during a lesson. My qh while on lazy side gets very upset when paint is taken out, and tries to push her away and walk out with me when I bring the paint back. If I don't ride them several days (like last week) they are both ready to go out when I finally come to the field with the halter. So yes, many enjoy working in fact.
I have to agree with her on this. I have two that beg to get out of the pasture and one wont go back in it sometimes. It just depends on if they like the 'job' they have. All work and no play make horses miserable.


OP, Please don't. Many your age have trained, but it is about experience, so don't take offense about your age. Training horses is about communication and 'feel'. Two things you can only have by experience. You can read all the best training books and articles you want, if you don't understand their thinking, body language it will just end in disaster.
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