Who should train their own horses?
I am curious to hear the opinions on this question.
I personally think anyone has the ability to train their own horse, some horses are harder than others some riders learn faster. The key to being able to train your own horse is time you have to have time to ride. 1 or 2 times a week is not enough to train your horse. And you also have to think like a teacher. What does this horse know and what does he need to know in order to learn what I want him to know.
Next I think a person needs to develop some basic balance before they develop the ability to train their own horses. My clinics and coaching are about learning to train your own horses and I have one prerequisite for people who attend my clinics, They must be able to walk trot canter without holding the horn. With that basic balance in the saddle we can then work on discovering what type of horse they are riding and what type of basics they need to learn.
The bottom line for me is anyone can learn to train their own horse, it takes feel and rhythm on the saddle and the ability to pat your head and rub your stomach. ;O) But I have watched many riders learn about feel and rhythm once shown how to develop it.
All it takes is the desire to create wet saddle pads and to not look for short cuts.
That is a big and broad assertion! But one that I can entertain to an extent, lot of variables that come in to play though.
Some riders are capable of training many different horses, both 'difficult' and 'easy'. Some riders may only be capable of training the 'easier' horses. Some horses should only be trained by very capable riders, others may be more forgiving of errors on the riders behalf.
The riding time comment is very true, and something that is commonly overlooked IME. The bolded part I think is the most crucial part to the above paragraph and I would like to add to it "How will I teach him and how will I ensure that my teaching is effective?" This part is something that usually comes with experience, that is, the rider needs to have GIVEN many wet saddle blankets to many horses before they begin to fully understand the importance of that statement, what it means to a horses training and how to go about it.
Just as training the horse is an ongoing process, training the trainer is also an ongoing, constantly evolving process. Well, the good ones anyway :wink:
I agree Upnover, But that is why I said the ability to train in other words develop the skills needed, :o) and also I find if a person can w/t/l without holding on then I can start helping them to develop that ability.
I totally agree people need to advance or develop their ability but everyone can it is just a matter of proper direction and a lot of wet saddle pads.
I guess the reason for this questions was, I hear lots of questions on here about training your own horse and I hear lots of advice on how to, but very seldom do i hear the advice being given refer to the most basics skills needed first.
For example someone asks how to slow a canter or lope, and they get told about body control, collection, patience etc. and there are so many basics that the horse and rider both need to be able to lope or canter properly or even to do the things suggested as fixes that I often wonder how the person asking made out. :o)
Another example, I hear people suggesting that circles are great for fixing lots of issues, and they are right but from experience I can tell you very few people know how to ride a proper circle or develop their horses body control and acceptance to ride a perfect circle in the horses natural cadence. A perfect circle with a forward cadence requires control of both of the horses shoulders and hips and to get control of both shoulders and hips the horse has to accept and respond willingly to the riders hands and legs and most horses fail that simple requirement. :o)
The reason I mention this is because guiding into a general shape of a circle will fix some problems and cause other problems depending on the horses resistance points, But being able to do a perfect circle (horses body arced from poll to croup) will help many problems and not cause others.
This just is not the case in the real world of horses and people.
Few people have the time,facilities,or resources to train a horse and wind up hurting themselves or the horse in the end.
The horse ALWAYS pays the final price.
I commend your efforts to help but you are on a sinking ship in my opinion.
Sarah, I agree with you as well, lots of different horses require different types of direction from the riders to achieve the desired results. In order to be able to develop the ability to know what to do with each type of horse (and horses can change their reaction many times during their training ) the rider must develop their abilities.
Learning to train your own horse takes the same type of progressive learning as training a horse does. In other words anyone can learn but only if they learn to walk before they run and they learn basic adding and subtracting before they try calculus.
The real reason for me posting this is to start a discussion about what it takes to train your own horse and hopefully get some people to realize that it isn't a simple answer to their questions about how to most times. And encourage them to find help in thinking like a teacher about both their riding and their training question.
There are many people who can assist with this and even a couple events, such as Dressage and Performance Horse Development.
You also mentioned I should try English? I wonder why because there is really not much difference at the foundation level of training in my opinion, when you start to get event specific yes there is but more often than not if you think like a teacher the similarities out weigh the differences in my opinion.
For example striding to a fence requires the same foundation as running to a sliding stop or running between barrels. All require the ability to extend the and shorten the stride and to be able to that in the most effective way you need to have your horse accepting and responding softly to your hands and legs. (notice I said most efficiently, this is the difference between the winning riders and the ones that are not as efficient. :o)
What I meant by that is that when you start out learning in English, you don't have a horn to hold on to at all and it was just a comment on holding the horn/not holding the horn being a pre-requisite for being a rider i.e. how would you distinguish those learning English as there is no horn for an indicator :wink:
Apologies for the misunderstanding. I am in awe of the finesse seen in western riding, make no mistakes about that.
MareCare, I also agree with you, but if you read what I wrote I said people need to be able to spend the time and that would include having the resources, facility etc.
Also I made an assumption that when I said train people did would not think start under saddle, that is a totally different topic in my opinion, sorry if that caused confusion, I mean train in the terms of developing the horses response to riders cues after the horse has been started under saddle and is safe.
Also why my pre-requisite for attending a clinic of w/t/l - the horses have to be safe they can not be run aways and uncontrollable. There are many people who offer to teach people how to make their horses safe and controllable but for me having a knowledgeable colt starter is the most valuable resource to any trainer.
Being a horses first experience with people and pressure is something that is not for everyone I totally agree. I also do not envy the people who teach people how to start their own horses since results can be varied and sometime dangerous depending on the horse and handler.
No worries Sarah, discussing on line takes as much thought as training horse does, we need patience and sometimes a thick skin, :o) Holding on is holding on smart riders make it easy by having something easy to grab when needed!! LOL sorry couldn't resist, :o) I have rode in many types of saddles with stirrups at many different lengths ( if I get on a horse to feel what it is doing, for the rider at clinics I like to use the same length stirrups as the rider so the communication point is the same. )
And I admire people with the guts to run across country sitting on a postage stamp, and jumping fences If I was going to do that I think I would just cut the horn off my western saddle :o)
thanks for the discussion like someone else said we always learn and I appreciate all input and discussion when it comes to horses and training and coaching.
I maybe should start a new thread for this but am not going to simply because for me it follows the above posts.
What is our goal when we are training a horse?
For me it is quite simple, my END GOAL is to have the left jaw attached to horse left hock and the right jaw attached to the right hock. When I ask for the jaw with my rein I want the corresponding hock to come farther forward under my seat.
This is a simple explanation but it is the only one that I have found that translates to almost any event or skill required of horses and riders.
Depending on the event I am training the horse for, that connection may have to be achieved with very light contact or even just a signal from the bit. (Reining and Western pleasure are the only 2 events I know of that require really light (Signal) contact from the judges)
When I can get the horse to bring its hock forward to contact from the rein I can collect, guide,(turn (large or tight) or go straight) and transition (including stop), all in balance.
There are many different things that have to be accomplished along the way of the training to achieve this with each individual horse but that is my end goal and everything I do is based on developing the horses ability to respond with its hocks to my hands.
Anyone have a different way of explaining their end goal of training?
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