How do you feel about sending horses off to trainers?
This goes for any horse for any kind of training, including rehabilitation. I've read lots of threads about people who buy a horse and then send it off to a trainer for six months to be trained for reining, dressage, bucking/rearing problems, and even just exercise. The horse returns fully trained and cured of everything, and the owner can then use the horse in shows.
But this gives me two impressions 1. That the owner isn't skilled enough to be able to train the horse these things by themselves, so they are probably not very advanced riders or interested in understanding the horse's psychology. 2. The owner is not willing to take the training with the horse, and the owner cannot understand where certain problems arose in the first place to cause such bucking/rearing etc. Or if it was competition training, the horse has been programmed to respond like a machine, and the owner will have no other choice but to treat it as such because they have not developed that "feel" with their horse since it has been gone.
Take in mind, this is training for extended periods of time over a few months, not a few days or weeks. So this doesn't really apply for someone who needed a quick fix for a quick problem. But it just rips me up when I hear about people who do this. Buck Brannaman said that your horse is a reflection of your soul. If you are an insecure, hectic person, your horse will reflect it. If you are mentally balanced and in control, then your horse will reflect that. But when you send your horse off to a trainer for months at a time and turn it into the horse you want, then you're receiving someone else's soul. You're receiving a horse who has become in-tune to someone else, and it's a bit like wearing someone else's shoes.
I understand that sometimes people have no choice but to send their horse to a trainer for a few months, especially for serious problems. But what I don't understand is why people wouldn't take the opportunity to see this as lessons. If your horse bucks, what's stopping you from being there with your horse for (if not all, then) most of their lessons in order to help your horse overcome the problem while also learning where it came from and how to prevent it? If you send your horse off to training for competition, why didn't you want to be there to help train the horse so you can learn how it's done, and gain a deeper understanding of your discipline?
3. The owner has gotten up in their age, and doesnt want any broken bones or to stop riding either, so off to the young trainer it goes. :)
I would only send a horse to a trainer if I could see it everyday or there about to make sure it is being treated fairly and kind
If I sent my horse to training, I'd be going, too (which is what I've done in the past). What is the point of sending my horse for training, if I'm not learning how to properly utilize that training? :p
I agree with you whole-heartedly. Beyond sussing out poor prior training/dangerous behaviours, I really enjoy the journey of bringing a horse along. My days of working through dangerous issues is long-passed, though.
Having said that, we have a coming 3 year old Gotland Horse (pony) that I will send for official training either fall of 2013 or spring of 2014, depending on his growth. His mind is more than ready. He ties, trailers, trims, clips, ponies our (30lb) son around not only in the arena and strange arenas, but also on trail rides, albeit always dallied. Our son likely has another year of being a passenger, or pretty close to it, so I see no reason to rush the horse. He hasn't been bitted but did pick up on direct reining in his rope halter in less than 5 minutes. My son doesn't quite have the drive/dexterity/stregth to use this tool, yhough he's starting to show an interest. Smartest, sanest and kindest mind I've ever seen on a young horse. It is a joy to pick his brain and teach him new things.
I will send this little guy to a trainer I've specifically chosen for him because I want to set him up for the best possible learning experience. I want him to learn about leg/seat/focus from someone who has the patience and skill to teach him. The lady I've chosen asks her mounts to work hard, with focus but celebrates each victory. This will be a great way to maintain his eager inquisitiveness.
My lummox (big, lazy, smart fjordX) needed some strong work ethic and confidence built into him, so he was sent to more of a cowboy. Not ones who DRILLS, but one who wouldn't fuss over anf coddle him. ETA: I've brought him through better form and grace with the help of an excellent coach.
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3- the rider doesn't have the time to spend putting the time into the horse to put a foundation on it the way they want.
Sending a horse to a trainer doesn't mean that the rider is incompetent or that they don't know what they're doing... That is a very unfair assumption.
I'm just kinda picky about training a horse that would be mine (even though I've never had one). It's your horse, you're going to be riding it, or your relative will be riding it. You're going to be feeding and cleaning up after it. It's basically like your child, same responsibilities and same love in a way. So when you send them off, they're basically learning to bond and become in-tune with someone else. Someone else is putting hard work into your project and making it the way you would want it to be. It just seems to me like you're sending off a painting to a professional painter and having them paint the painting for you.
I don't think enough people send their horses to trainers or wait to long. The best way to break a habit is to never let it begin in the first place. Also you have to learn how to ride a horse before you can train one yourself.
I drove my mom crazy because I refused to let her send my young horse off to a trainer to "get his training out of the way." For me, the only reason to buy a young, untrained horse is so that I can do the training. Therefore, I would settle for no less than being right there at the lessons, and I was blessed with the perfect situation, exactly what I wanted, which was basically to be trained to train my horse. That's how I like it. I won't condemn someone who sends their horse off, there's no reason to condemn them and I admire those who can decide when they need to step down and let a more experienced person take the wheel, but I personally would not do it unless I could at least go and watch them work with my horse.
I would never, ever send my horse somewhere without going to meet the trainer, seeing them work, seeing what they turn out and hearing opinions on them and their facilities. Plus, I would require them to be open to me visiting and hopefully allowing me to interact. I also feel that whoever trains a horse leaves something with them, and I also want to understand the training so that it's not wasted when I get them back. I wouldn't want to change things even minutely with a horse that literally just learned those things.
My 14 year old sister just recently tried to take charge and send her 3 year old off to training (I don't know why my mom let this happen) and, after telling me that I was stupid and that she "knows how to do research" (which apparently consists of looking at a website, not talking to the trainer, asking questions, going to the facilities, etc like I told her to) we sent her off to a woman who told us that the horse was a menace, who bit, kicked, and was so dangerous that we should just send her to auction and get rid of her because "she would kill one of us kids" if we took her back. She then proceeded to let her student sit on the head of the horse (that she was trying to make us buy to replace our "witch," who was supposed to be 4 but had a body more like a newly turned 2 year old), and make the horse lift her up to slide onto her back. The first time she tried, the horse lifted her head when she swung her leg and the girl started yanking on her mouth and aggressively backing her up like she had done something much worse than not want to lift a 90 lb person by a neck that looked too weak to hold her own head up.
Afterwards, while we sat listening to this woman tell us that horses are stupid livestock and should be treated as such and how fantastic she is and how qualified etc. etc., the horse, who was tied next to us, pawed and tried to scratch her head. The lady then looked at us and said, "uh oh, now she's going to get another hour tied up, so she learns to behave herself at the post."
We then walked over to my sister's horse, who was also tied up, and watched her elbow her in the face because she turned her head to her. Being that she was tied to a hitching post with about a foot and a half of slack in her rope, she almost fell.
Now, this horse is definitely not dangerous. Very spoiled, yes, in need of a nice firm hand to counter all the spoiling my sister has done, yes, not a horse to let my little inexperienced sister work with, but as dangerous as this lady wanted us to believe? Absolutely not. This all definitely enforced my requirements for sending my horse to training, to say the least.... The whole way home, I almost peed myself trying not to smack my sister in the head and tell her "I told you so!"
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