Just sent my horse to the trainers....
My 2 1/2 year old gelding was just sent away for 30 days training. I am green when it comes to training horses and felt this was the best option. He has some basic ground manners but needs to continue with these. He has been ridden in my outdoor arena; however outside is a different story. I am really impressed with them and like the fact they encouraged me to stop by anytime(which I will). I want him to be able to be ridden on trails and wherever else. They agree this one of the items they work on. Just wondering what to expect 30 days from now from anyone whom has a similar experience.
That's a hard question to answer. When we had a lot of horses, we'd send them off for two weeks. (This was after I had done LOTS of groundwork with them.) When they came back, I could ride them in the arena and out in a field across the road. I could take them down the road, but there was quite a bit of spooking. We worked up to that by taking a young 'un and an experienced horse at the same time.
OTOH, I've seen horses that have been ridden for 60 days and never left the arena. It sounds like your trainer is the right fit for you. From this brief description, I would expect a horse that walks along nicely, probably get a little nervous when he sees something new, but able to overcome it. Depending on what your trainer has available, he might know how to cross a creek.
My trainer will be taking my horse out in the field with cattle, and on the trails. How long will take for a horse to be become a solid, stable, safe horse with consistent good training? I would like to ride him daily when he returns.
Riding daily is almost a requirement. At this age, consistnency really helps.
How long will it take to get him solid, stable and safe? A lot of that depends on the horse. They learn at different rates, just like people. And what I consider solid might be different than your definition. What I look for in a solid trail horse is one that is willing, calm, adaptable, and responsive. For a really solid trail horse, I want one that I can ride one-handed.
To make a trail horse, I start out going down the road. One of the neighbors has geese that like to run at the horses and honk. We have a lot of pheasants around, too, so they get pretty used to birds flying up from right in front of them. When they get to the point that I trust them a little bit, I load them up and take them to my friend's farm. He has some pastures that are a lot rougher than the land around my place. I take them up and down hills, through all kinds of water, and along narrow trails.
With daily riding like that, it took me anywhere from six months to a year to make one solid (apart from the curb bit).
Typically I can get just about any job done after about 60 days. It may take me a while and not look very pretty but it gets done. After 120-150 days of riding they know everything they need to and can do it quite smoothly. After that it is just a matter of refining and getting more and more subtle with the cues.
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