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So I am a teenager, I have experience riding English pleasure, Western pleasure, bareback, and with both a bit and without one. I've been reading books and observing a few of my ranch raised friends (who are much more experienced in horsemanship in general than I) in the hopes that I could pick up a few things that might help me along the way (unfortunately, said friends say they can't or don't want to teach me directly). I have many books on the psychology behind horse behavior/training, all sorts of different methods, I've watched training clinics of some of my favorite natural horsemanship trainers, and I have practiced maintaining a calm and patient attitude. (considering I used to anger easily, I consider this an accomplishment).

Overall though, my question is this: If i'm able to afford the cost of owning a horse, should I consider starting to work with horses and learn along the way? should I seek out professional help in teaching me to train horses? I'm not sure if it's a god idea to start trying to train by myself without the supervision of someone who is more experienced. I've seen too many horses who were trained horribly and the consequence is very bad (and dangerous) habits, and even a few who actively try to kill anyone who rides them.

So what opinions and advice do all you experienced people have for me?
 

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Book knowledge is great for some things...
For other things, practical and hands-on experience from doing, by being watched, instructed and yes, doing it wrong so you learn right from wrong we have all done too.
Forget "training" with not years of experience handling and riding behind you...
There is so much you need to know, to learn before you even start to think about this task and endeavor..."training"
You honestly would do best to take lessons from a good instructor with good lesson horses so you learn how to first before you ever try to apply what you think you know and don't getting hurt.
It takes years of riding, riding different mounts and learning fundamentals to build a base of knowledge where you can do without tons of supervision.

Those videos you watch are all edited severely, and only show the easy horse to work with, the task accomplished and it took 2 minutes where in honesty it may have taken weeks or months to teach....
Don't be fooled...
Good trainers who start a horse from halter work to riding partner took months to do their work correctly...every day and have many "tools" to teach a horse who not understand one approach is taught the same thing from a different approach...
If you think you have that knowledge to do such...good luck to you.

I will go so far as to say your first horse bought should not be green but a older seasoned veteran who can and will teach you many things you will never learn from a green horse...
School-masters are worth their weight in gold to someone starting out and think they have learned so much from reading, watching others do and watching videos...
Lessons, good school horses to teach you and then a older, been there done it for a first horse owned is the way to go and be safe during this grand adventure...truth!
:runninghorse2:...
jmo..
 

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It is much more satisfying to work with a real human being. You can ask questions, and watch them dealing with the same horse you will deal with. It takes a while to get the movements down. Videos make it look easy, but this is a physical activity, and body awareness, gained through REAL practice, has everything to do with it.
 

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I wouldn't worry about owning a horse right now. I think your main focus should be getting experience with many horses. If you can find a trainer that will give you lessons in exchange for working at the barn that would be a great way to gain knowledge and improve your horse skills. You can take lessons and also watch lessons. You can also help out when the farrier, vet, chiropractor, etc. is at the barn and learn what it takes to responsibility care for a horse.



I have a green horse (hence why I have a trainer) and I can ride her but I need lots of instruction so I spend over half of my riding time on a sweet 23 year old lesson horse so I can improve my riding skills without upsetting my horse. I took riding lessons as a teen but wasn't prepared for all the things that make a good owner.
 

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Standard advice:

If you are green, get lessons.
If the horse is green, get a trainer to work with you and your horse.

The greener you are the more experienced and calm your horse should be.

Riding skills are a completely different knowledge set from horse-keeping skills. To own a horse (even boarding, but absolutely if you will keep at home) you need both.

Teenagers have a problem specific to them, which is that very often, they are just about leave home, and will be both time and cash poor for at least a few years after that. They may move around a lot, and the immediate future is often full of surprises. In other words, it's a lousy time to buy a horse, but a good time to soak up all the knowledge and skill they can, to use later when things settle out.
 

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Funny you should ask this.....I was thinking and driving.....

We tend to think of horses as having buttons. We push here and get THIS response, push there and get a different response, pull here, get a stop, etc. That is just not how it works.

Get on a green horse. Think about what action we are trying cause. Push button, no response. Adjust, which is sometimes pushing harder, sometimes moving the button. The millisecond that horse responds minutely in the correct way, there must be an immediate release of the (whatever adjustment we made) This goes on for every.single.thing.

It is these CONStANT adjustments and releases that allow the trainer to eventually get the desired cue in place, but it does not start out that way.

Horses also seem to learn a lot of lessons in time off. Trying to drill things into a horse doesn’t work for me (one of the reasons I am not a fan of some big name tv trainers’ methods). Horses don’t forget if they have some time off (at least, mine never have....). They usually come back better.
 

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So I am a teenager, I have experience riding English pleasure, Western pleasure, bareback, and with both a bit and without one. I've been reading books and observing a few of my ranch raised friends (who are much more experienced in horsemanship in general than I) in the hopes that I could pick up a few things that might help me along the way (unfortunately, said friends say they can't or don't want to teach me directly). I have many books on the psychology behind horse behavior/training, all sorts of different methods, I've watched training clinics of some of my favorite natural horsemanship trainers, and I have practiced maintaining a calm and patient attitude. (considering I used to anger easily, I consider this an accomplishment).

Overall though, my question is this: If i'm able to afford the cost of owning a horse, should I consider starting to work with horses and learn along the way? should I seek out professional help in teaching me to train horses? I'm not sure if it's a god idea to start trying to train by myself without the supervision of someone who is more experienced. I've seen too many horses who were trained horribly and the consequence is very bad (and dangerous) habits, and even a few who actively try to kill anyone who rides them.

So what opinions and advice do all you experienced people have for me?

First, I commend you on your efforts to get a well rounded equestrian education. Reading various books, watching various videos, and observing various riders helps one understand that there are many different methods being employed for training and riding horses. Some are better than others. Even among the better methods, one may be more useful than another in a particular situation. Having a good selection of tools can make the job easier if one knows how and when to best use each one.

Most good trainers will admit that they have made mistakes in the passed and wish they had know more at the time. All still make mistakes from time to time.

Riding the same horse helps a rider develop a closer relationship with his partner. He also learns that the same horse may respond differently at different times to what the rider perceives as the same cue. Many factors may influence these responses.

Riding a variety of horses teaches a rider that all horses are not the same. Again, a rider may need to vary how he rides.

A good instructor can help any rider improve his or her riding. In addition to the knowledge the instructor brings, he or she can also observe the rider in any situation and provide immediate feedback.
 

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To own a horse is to train a horse. Unless you own dozens. But if you ride the same horse regularly, you are training that horse. And he trains you, using the same principles. "This will profit you. This will profit you not." How I work with my horse and how my horse works with me.

Because of the widespread preconception that you can only learn, in a sort of intuitive way, by doing, and that reading or even thinking seriously about riding is rather pointless, too many young riders are doomed to groping too long in a forest of problems solved long ago. I can recall my astonishment, when I first began to collect books on the techniques of riding, at finding, in books written two or three centuries ago, minute descriptions of "discoveries" that I had made for myself only after a long period of trial and error...Once we become interested in learning about riding, and are not content to repeat interminably the same errors, there is much that we can learn." - William Steinkraus, Riding and Jumping, 1961.
I'm just a backyard rider of Craigslist horses. But the best advice I've had in dealing with my horse's problems has never come from someone I hired. Every big step forward came from reading and then applying what I read. Go to the member journal section of HF and read there. Folks describing the slow changes and what has or hasn't worked over several years for them. My favorite - no offense to any others, but this has been wonderful reading for me - is this one:

https://www.horseforum.com/member-journals/why-i-gotta-trot-645777/

egrogan, SueC, DanteDressageNerd, Knave, phantomhorse13, Avna, Hondo, knightrider and others. I don't post on many of them, but there is excellent reading about struggles in real-time, not compressed with highlights for the crowd!
 

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I was really young when I was first sat on a pony and 8 when I got my first pony. He must have been carefully selected to be long suffering and never the type to take advantage because I have no bad memories of my time with him. I’m sure it helped that he was kept on the racing yard where my Grandfather had a couple of horses because there were always people around to keep him in check and make sure I was doing things properly.
Even though I always had a pony or a horse of my own I still spent all my free time on various yards in my area and soaking up as much knowledge as I could.
One of the most important lessons I learnt is that people do things differently but still have the same success. I soon realized that you always need a Plan B (and a C and a D) when Plan A fails and it’s on,y by spending time around experienced horse folk that you learn those things first hand.
Book and videos are great but real people and eyes on the ground are better
 
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