Want to learn about horses - what DO you ask for first? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-08-2015, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Want to learn about horses - what DO you ask for first?

So I've semi-recently started doing some horse-logging (despite do nothing with horses ever before barring the odd photo). Whilst I've done a little long reining with that its not a regular work experience event and when it is happening it about the job more so than teaching the "student" (which is not to say that I receive no instruction, just that its not the primary focus of the day).


Thus I've been looking around for some more experience and guidance and there's a possibility that I'll get some from the college I attend. I've still no idea if this will or won't go ahead; nor how regular nor what content it will focus upon.

That said there is the dreaded question of "well what do you want to learn" and "what is there to learn" - to which many like myself can only give the answer of "well everything really". Which is to say "I've not got a clue really".


As a result I'm wondering what you'd ask for were you in my position; what kind of areas would you want any teaching or expect any, to focus upon and which would prove the most long term beneficial.
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-08-2015, 03:43 PM
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driving and horse logging is a good area to get some focus on. find someone who does it and ask if you can be a working student. it's a very dangerous job if you don't know what you are doing.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-08-2015, 08:45 PM
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Find this magazine and subscribe, or get a copy. https://www.ruralheritage.com/new_rh...ex_green.shtml

They have people who work Drafts, from cane mills to logging and everything in between, and they hold classes too.

You should be able to find someone in your area.
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-08-2015, 08:47 PM
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Farmer Brown's Logging With Horses
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-09-2015, 06:35 AM
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I understood that you want to do MORE with horses than just the logging, and want to learn different aspects of horse ownership, husbandry and / or riding and driving, correct?

If you want to learn "everything" about horses, I would probably start with learning about natural behavior and husbandry.
In my experience, we get volunteers every once in a while who want to "learn about horses" - unfortunately, most of them flake out the moment they realize that the vast majority of the work is not glamorous. As a horse owner, I have no shortage of interest from complete beginners who would like to come out at their convenience and ride my horse. But none of them want to work, get dirty and commit to coming out on a regular basis. So most of the time, for a horse owner (even more so for a barn manager), the time they put into teaching a volunteer has little reward.

So my suggestion would be start helping out with daily chores, be curious, keep an open mind and ask lots of questions. There's a lot to learn about feeding, pasture management, anatomy, behavior and body language, health care etc.
Once you have shown that you are reliable and you can make some personal connections, people are going to be much more willing to take the time and teach you how to ride and drive.

If you prefer to go straight to learning riding/driving, I would expect to pay for formal lessons.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-09-2015, 10:17 AM
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Your state draft horse association is a good place to start and I'd recommend adding the Small Farmer's Journal to your list. A good animal husbandry class should cover the basics while in school but there is no replacement for hands on. Unfortunately every experience is different and you can't cover it all in a book. Signing up for a school that covers what you are interested in is not only about the basics such as harnessing, hitching, attaching to equipment but it is also about the work. Having the reins in your hands and doing the job is the best teaching experience. That said there should be someone at your side for the first few go rounds or at sticking points (like corners or the end of rows) to answer questions and help you through. Two best experiences IMO are Horse Farming with the Russells in Poplarville, MS and Jason Rutledge's workshops. The second I met many many years ago and have kept up with so have not actually been to a school but heard raves form those that did. Now that DH is doing more and more and my child is getting interested I think I will send them that way. I've heard a lot of good things about the Amish schools and I have attended Lynn Miller's workshops. They are great for those interested in the actual equipment.
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-09-2015, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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My thanks for the input all!
I mistakenly forgot to list where I am - far out in the UK here so sadly the US draft groups won't be a huge help. There is a Horse Loggers association which found me my current work placement. I will check out the magazine and group you link to Palomine as it looks like it could prove to be a very worthwhile resource!

Regula - I certainly agree it has to be a two way thing and I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty; Indeed I already am when working with the horse logger and also at the Punch trust (I mistakenly also forgot to mention that in the opening post). The downside is that such learning as I do get is in little bits; great if I could do it every day or for a good block of days a week; but not as ideal when its only once a week (and the tree logging work only involves horses when needed so its not always regular, though should be more so now at this time of the year). That's why I've also branched out and tried to see if I can get any more experience through the college which I attend.

I do agree that if I want 100% focused teaching its going to cost me, sadly that isn't on the cards at present since my primary direction is into conservation in general so training in tools there is soaking up what money I can dedicate to learning (chainsaw training/exams are not cheap :().

My main concern is that what I'm currently learning is "on the job" skills as they are needed with a little build up. Whilst I'm being taught well my worry is that I can end up with gaps in my understanding due to the fact that its "as needed" skills rather than ground up tuition. And since I don't know what I don't know I'm simply looking for the rough concepts to look for and to ask for in help with. I don't want to end up in a situation where I can't advance in what I am capable of due to the fact that I'm missing some key elementary skills (or where I'm given a task requiring such skill where the person giving me the task assumes I know due to my already performing more than basic "on the job" learned skills). It gives me something solid to say to those offering me guidance when there are opportunities for things to pause and take a little more time to learn than just work.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-09-2015, 01:56 PM
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there are other UK members here who would help you. you could just ask, "can you take me under your wing and teach me more about horses"?

some of the folks will gladly share their knowledge and hroses with you.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-10-2015, 06:33 PM
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Go to Draft Horse Friends on FB..it is a group and should be people there who are from UK, or know some who are.

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post #10 of 12 Old 10-10-2015, 06:35 PM
Green Broke
 
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Is Herefordshire in UK? Try this man....Doug Joiner.

Horse logging equipment


HEY...they have courses to learn!!! Says in Childer Wood????

Working horses in forestry, agriculture, tourism and education

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