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SnowCowgirl 04-13-2013 09:20 PM

Finding a trainer to start a nervous, little handled horse
I have a four year old gelding who has been out on pasture for pretty much his entire life. He's only been handled literally a handful of times - I'd say he's been haltered less than 8 times, and to halter him I've had to run him into a squeeze or rope him. I did get to the point last time I was home where I could catch him but only if he was in the roundpen.

I've started several colts from the ground up myself and am confident in my abilities. But, I have always had access to a roundpen and arena, as well as the help of my dad.

I'm moving far away from home this summer and really want to bring the gelding with me. I'm for sure bringing my mare with me... but I want to get the gelding started under saddle this summer. For one because he is already four years old and two because I plan to breed River this spring for a 2013 foal and would like to have a saddle horse for next summer.

I'm stressing about it though because I have no idea yet where I'm going to be keeping the horses. I have a place for them at a relatives until I'm settled in, but I can't keep them there all summer. Once I DO find a place I have no idea if it'll have a roundpen or arena or anything.

My question is... how hard do you think it will be to find a colt starter who is willing to work through the gelding's nervousness and the hard to catch issue? I've been away from home lots this winter so wasn't able to consistently work with him... though he is halter broke, that's about it. He's super cheeky too... he tries to muscle through closed gates and fences, and has actually jumped out of my arena. I don't know if the majority of trainers only want quiet, well handled horses or what lol.

All I want is someone to get a start on him, to get him so he can be caught, and to ideally get him started under saddle (just a handful of rides really). I've never had to use a trainer before and wouldn't have to in this situation except that I don't have the facilities to do it myself.

My other option is to leave him at home and start with him next winter... but that means another summer of being a wildie and doing nothing. And then next winter I'm back to the same job where I work two weeks away from home each month... and it's -40 all winter, so in all honesty I don't work the horses much lol.

On that note... does anyone know good, reputable colt starters near Edmonton/Lloydminster area or north of there? (or north of Prince Albert, SK)

smrobs 04-13-2013 09:25 PM

I can't really speak for other trainers, but many of the horses that I get in aren't so different from your guy. Full grown (2-5 years old), never handled, with a touchy and resistant temperament to go with it LOL.

I actually like dealing with horses like that, a trainer never gets better if all they get is nice, calm, gentle, easy horses.

Saddlebag 04-13-2013 10:31 PM

Put this colt in the round pen, remove his halter and go in and stand by the rail turned away from him for about 5 min. Allow him to move around all he wants. When he's quiet, take a stroll across the pen keeping your eyes ahead and not on him. Stand with your back to him again. If he opts to sniff you out, just let it happen. While he's still checking you out, take another stroll. Horses like to follow things that move away. Each time you stroll across the pen, move a little closer to him. The reason I say stroll is you want to keep your energy low and him relaxed. When you are close enough to touch his nose, offer the back of your hand and wait to see if he touches it. If not, back up and see if he'll come to you. Again extend your hand. When he touches your hand, back up a few steps, turn and walk to the rail with your back to him. He's finding out you're not so bad after all and not a predator.

SnowCowgirl 04-13-2013 11:10 PM

I'm not worried about how to work with him... If I had the time and a place I would. He's fine once you get him in the round pen and even better once you have a halter on him. I'm just wondering how hard it will be to find someone to start him what with him being hard to catch and liking to test gates/fences and trying to jump them.

If I had a round pen and arena I'd be doing it myself but I really don't know if I will.

Also just realized my thread title says trailer not trainer lol, CRAP
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SnowCowgirl 04-13-2013 11:11 PM

smrobs, sounds about right!
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SnowCowgirl 04-13-2013 11:18 PM

My problem is time - I'm in camp til April 22, then when I get home that day I'm loading the horse(s) and heading south. I get to my family's place 2 days later, drop the horses and go to my college grad. A week after that I start work at my new location and will be finding a place for the horses then (hopefully)

I'm considering taking him straight to a trainer after I'm done at my college thing and not having to worry about him

How long do people reckon most trainers would want to take him for? Smrobs? 30 days? 60 days? I really only need him to where I can catch him in a field, and a handful of rides on him.
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smrobs 04-13-2013 11:38 PM

Something to that level, probably no more than 30 days...maybe not even that long, depending on the trainer.

The saddle training will be the easy part, though. Whether or not you get to where you can catch him in the field will depend on him more than the trainer.

SnowCowgirl 04-14-2013 10:58 AM

yeah I totally get that. I really think that with consistent, daily handling he'll settle right down. But like I said.... without a roundpen or potentially ANY kind of enclosure, I just wont be a position to work with him like that.

to be honest it'd be pretty darn nice to drop him off to someone, settle into my new place, find a place to board, get used to my new job... all without having to worry about working with him.

It'd also be nice to have someone get on him the first few times and reduce the possibility of having my butt dumped in the dirt haha ;)

The difficult part now is finding a trainer. there are LOTS of people on kijiji, but how do I know who is good?? He doesn't need to be tuned in, handled rough, or forced to do anything (though I do believe some horses DO need that). I think he'll benefit from gentle, consistent work at this stage. Just hard to know who to trust, y'know?

usandpets 04-14-2013 12:00 PM

Finding a trainer is like interviewing someone for a job. Meet with them and see if you can watch them work with a horse. You could ask around at stables/barns what they think of them.

I have to agree that most horses that go to trainers are not easy to work with. If they were, everyone and anyone could and would train.
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COWCHICK77 04-14-2013 12:12 PM

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I agree with smrobs, most trainers would like to take a horse like yours over one that has been manhandled since birth and ended up pushy and rude.

I think word of mouth is better for finding a trainer rather than an internet search if possible. Do you know many horse people in the area you are relocating to you could ask?

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