Trainer Selection Question
I am a new member to Horse Forum and am hoping to get some advice from those of you more experienced than me. I am in the process of finding a trainer to help me with some issues I'm having with a new horse of mine, the most significant being not standing still while tied and pulling back. Anyway, I had a trainer come out to do her evaluation and let her know about the issues I was having. She proceeded to solid tie her to the hitching post and tried to saddle her, within just a short amount of time my horse was violently pulling back, almost overturning herself, so much so that she melted part of the leadrope due to the friction. I was extremely frightened that she was going to injure herself. The trainer assured me that we couldn't let her get away with it and she needs to learn that she can't pull back... I agree that she needs to learn but is this the right way to go about doing this? Should I keep looking for a different trainer? Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated...
It would certainly make me take a closer look at her. Ask for references and then call and check them. Ask to see where she trains and see her ride one of the horses she has trained or if you're a good rider ride one of hers yourself. By seeing the holes in her horses you can better gauge the holes that your horse will likely have. If you see anything that really bothers you then move on and repeat with another trainer. I am amazed at how many people are willing to bring thier horse to a person they have never met and leave it for a month on a strangers word that they will care for it properly. That's fine with me because I don't have to go through the hassle of validating my credentials but if I were on the other end I would be much more cautious.
I think I would keep looking. I have had good luck with a successful reining trainer, meaning a person who actually goes around with clients to shows. And with some behavior issues a person who is John Lyons certified was very good as well. I suspect there would be some very experienced trainers in your area.
You obviously don't want somebody hurting your horse. At the same time, if your horse is securely tied to a post (i.e tied short, at least wither height, and not around anything it can get hung up on) then a process of "sacking out" can happen. Basically it entails the safe, slow, proceedure of teaching a horse that petting, brushing, saddling, picking hooves,etc., all without pulling back, is ok. A scared horse will probably pull back a few times, but if done properly, the horse shouldn't hurt itself and soon learn that its better to stand quiet then pull back. Depending on the animal...It'll take a few days or weeks before they become totally comfortable...
A trained professional will be able to assist in this process without hurting themselves or the animal...
Hi Laura. There is no 'right' way to do things, especially when it comes to horses. There are only opinions. You need to find a trainer that has similar views as you do about how horses should be handled...it sounds like you were upset about the violence and fear your horse went through during this training. Personally I think there is no excuse to put a horse through what you are describing... will it work? maybe. Are there other ways? Surely.
Ask the trainer(s) about the theory behind the techniques they use. Do they view the horse as an animal to be dominated or gentled? Do they know WHY their techniques work or are they just doing something they were told?
Tied properly and left to fight if it so chooses is the horse's problem not yours.
I would choose a trainer that doesn't back down, I don't want cruel punishment but I want a firm handling of my horse.
The best trainers I have watched over the years didn't walk away and try another day, they handled the horse, no matter what it threw at them.
I train the same way.
A horse won't tie?? IT gets tied alot and left to sort it out.
I put a filly in training with one of the top reining trainers in the country. She was somewhat of a pull back. I didn't know this when I bought her. Apparently the VERY (I can express this enough) well known breeders I purchased her from NEVER tied her while they were working with her. Yeah.
Anyway they pretty much tied her and let her fight. It wasn't extremely ingrained in her yet and it worked. She quit pulling back. This is a common method (although somewhat an old school one) for problem solving a pull back.
On the other hand, you should not hire a trainer that you feel uncomfortable with, for whatever reason. If you fear for your horse, for any reason, go a different direction. Its your horse, your choice, your money, and you have to live with it. Also, I'd recommend on shopping around and getting references on multipul trainers anyway. See which one works best for YOU (and, of course, your mare).
I do believe the OP is asking what we thought - not trying to be brow beat for her question. Unless I read wrong - the OP wanted an evaluation - not a training session.
OP - YOU need to be comfortable with the trainer. There is not one single question I forbid by customers to ask. Yes, there are times when they may not 100% agree but I try to explain why so they understand.
MLS.. I think we should help her with both. Obviously she is on comfortable with the tie and let them figure it out method so lets give her alternatives that she can ask the trainer about if she is uncomfortable attempting them herself.
**When I start any new training such as tieing, clipping, bathing ect... I wear their butt out first. Make them praise the lord that they get to just stand there.
There's a "new" training contraption called a tie pole or a "naughty pole" basically is a tall pole that has a swivel top with a lead rope attached and the theory is if your horse can move his feet he won't pull back as much.
If your horse still pulls back when tied to one, tap their butt or their should and side step them over... change the subject a little.
Tie your horse to a tree (a big sturdy one) and tie their the rope above their head. Tie a rope around their their girth area to where it CAN"T tighten if they pull back. It should be tight but it shouldn't be too loose either. Loop the end of the body rope up threw the bottom of the halter and tie it up next to the first rope. What this does is it puts more pressure on their girth instead of on their neck so they are less likely to break it.
You can also search "teaching a horse to tie" on youtube. That might be helpful as well.
Don't listen to RiosDad, you're fine being in horses. It's a legitimate question. He is right though in that sometimes your horse is going to get stressed out, and as long as he is safe, it's okay. Your horse needs to know how to stand. He also needs to learn how to give to pressure. If he pulls when tied, would he also panic if his head got stuck some other way? That's the reason I teach my horses to hobble. I never hobble, but if my horses get tangled up in something, they know to stand until I come get them.
Certainly check the trainers references. Watch them ride/train, and treat them like you would a sitter for your child. There is nothing wrong with tying a horse and letting him figure it out for himself so long as it is in a controlled environment and done correctly. I have known people who have left their horses tied for 12+ hours straight. This I do not agree with.
However if you are uncomfortable with this method, or your horse does not seem to make improvement, there are trainers who will use different less invasive methods for you and your horse. It's important for your trainers methods and training practices to mesh well with yours because you will have to pick up where your trainer leaves off.
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