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offinthedistance 02-08-2011 05:18 AM

Can you give me an idea of how long it takes...
I think it's really hard for a beginner to get their heads around the time it may take to train a horse to do a particular movement or to understand an aid for example.

We are flooded on the internet by trainers and forums who claim to achieve XYZ in two weeks, four weeks etc.

But how long do things really take to achieve properly? It's so easy to get despondent at how slow things happen and feel inadequate in our little attempts to get it right.

This isn't a bragging thread by the way. I don't think it helps the learner to hear how fast someone else can do something (to whatever standard). What I'd like to know is how much time did you put into a particular move or action for both you and the horse to understand it to a high standard that carried to another rider being able to achieve the same thing on the horse?

I also appreciate that the learning never ends and that great eventers for example may be nine, ten, fifteen plus years old.
I read so many good training tips from some of you that it would be nice to hear how long it may take to reach a standard you're happy with.

apachewhitesox 02-08-2011 05:50 AM

Well I have a 10 year old horse who I (with the help of a more experienced person) had to basically reteach to lead properly, move off pressure on the ground and lunge properly. He is a very domineering stubborn boy and gets bored easily so this makes it a bit harder. When I first got him he was very disrespectful to everyone. For example when you went to catch him he wouldn't run off but he wouldn't walk with you when you tried to lead him somewhere to tie him up let alone trot in hand. Now about two months later he is almost perfect in my opinion in hand walking, trotting, backing( he was quite bad at this), and moving off pressure. He also lunges a lot better now, I have also learnt a lot about improving myself along the way. He is still very much a work in progress, he still is difficult to lunge but is deffinitely improving slowly. He also doesn't obey just anyone so he still has quite a way to go.

mbender 02-08-2011 08:37 AM

Training starts the day you get a horse. It will be up to you and the animal on how long things progress. Frustration, and regression will play a huge part. Staying consistent and giving a ton of time to bond with each other helps in training. Whatever you do, make sure you just have fun and don't make it a JOB. Don't rush and do a lot of bonding. We are here for further questions. Don't hesitate to ask! Good luck and stay safe.
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Elana 02-08-2011 10:00 AM

It depends on what you are training and to what level and what you are starting with.

A finnished (ha.. training is never really 'finished') dressage horse takes YEARS from three year old starting under saddle (you never see winning Grand Prix horses that are 4 years old).

gottatrot 02-08-2011 11:44 AM

I think I know what you're asking...
When you first start training horses it is very hard to see any progress. You see people having horses in training for 30 days or read books about starting horses and it seems like everyone is doing things faster and better than you are so you must be doing something wrong.
As someone else said, there are so many variables in horse training. A lot of horse trainers have quick results because they train similar types of horses to do similar things. So say a Western Pleasure trainer takes QHs and starts them. He will have a formula for what he wants to do and *most* of the horses he trains will have a type of temperament he is used to. So he gets the result he wants within a short amount of time.
If you are a new trainer it will take longer to teach a horse because you yourself are not 100% certain of what goals you want to achieve and how to get there.
If you are training a type of horse (breed or temperament) that you are not used to training it will take longer because you will have to find new methods when your old ones don't work.
I firmly believe that there is no one method that will work for every horse in every situation.
The better rider you are, the quicker a horse will learn from your seat and hands what you want from them.
IF you know exactly what response you want and are consistent in how you cue, your horse can learn a simple command in a single day. For instance: if I press with my leg against your side, I want you to move away from the pressure. If you reinforce it for several more days, the horse will respond every time after that unless you "untrain" them by cueing differently.
The basics can come very quickly and can be taught to a horse in a matter of weeks. BUT refining this training and developing the horse's muscles and mind take a very long time. Progress is measured in inches. I really can only see progress if I try to look back at the end of each year and compare where we are now to where we were a year ago. That's how I motivate myself.
Just remember that every time you ride a horse you are training. The horse starts the OWNER'S training program the moment they get home from a trainer.
Don't get frustrated when you mess up. I used to think if I did something wrong I might ruin my horse. Horses are quite flexible and capable of relearning and unlearning things when we mess up.

Northern 02-08-2011 12:35 PM

As I'm sure you get the drift, the time it takes is dependent upon the horse & trainer combo, & the more experience/expertise/feel the trainer has, the faster the horse will respond. The worst thing you can do is to forget your "feel" of the horse & try to rush him; it'll take forever that way! That's why Pat Parelli says: Take the time it takes, so it will take less time!

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