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How it the best way to gain more experience handling horses? I took lessons which taught me the very basics of handling and I was also taught the basics by a person I lease from for caring and grooming (owner is more self taught then anything). I would really love to learn more in-depth from handling horses to grooming to any other aspect of horse care. Anyone have suggestions? :)
 

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I learned by working at a dude ranch...no pay at first, but all the experience I could handle. If you have a training barn close by that has a reputable trainer who works horses how you want to..ie. Jumping, cutting, show..and see if they will let you apprentice.
 

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Just working around them is the best thing get to know them, and being with them.
I've been around horses for almost ten years I've never had lesson or any thing but I've got experienced horse people around me to help.
YouTube things helps me as well and watching others most of all is learn from your mistakes.
Hope I helped. Good Luck
 

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How it the best way to gain more experience handling horses? :)

You learn by doing, experiencing and sometimes making errors so the next time a situation arises you know what you are capable of doing and your reaction to that situation is adequate and safe.

You learn by watching, asking questions and having someone watch over you to keep you safe while you are learning.

The day anyone tells or implies "they know it all" is the day to move forward and away from that person as horses are a never ending learning experience for everyone. No one should imply they need not learn anymore or another way...life in general is always a learning experience daily...horses are no different.

Remember to listen to your gut... do what you are comfortable with and with time that learning curve of experience and knowledge will enable you to do more safely for you and for/with the horse.
:wink:
 

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It's time. Spend time around horses, watch people with the experience you'd like to gain, ask a lot of questions, and follow what they do if they're getting results that you want to get too. Since I bought my first horse, I've learnt so much. I've now friends with some of the local horse starters (what might be called "breakers"), my farrier is also a natural horseman so I watch how he works with the horses and ask him lots of questions to understand what he's doing and why, and I have some knowledgeable friends who also have horses so I watch and learn. Nobody will ever know everything as horses are dynamic creatures...but there are ways of observing their behaviour and language so you have an easier understanding of them. It's just time spent with them and around them really. Some of my experience came from volunteering with stables and horse farms in my teens and early 20's and some came from formal lessons too.
 

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Just do it! Make mistakes, learn from them, have fun, develop your own style, stay open to new ideas. It's a hands-on way of life and so very rewarding :)
 

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This question really hinges on how old you are. If you are on the younger side, I would suggest to sticking with lessons, and maybe camps when they become available to you.

If you are in your younger teens, offer to volunteer at a local barn. Muck stalls, ride, groom, clean tack... The experience will be good for you. I did this for a number of summers, and it taught me a ton.
 

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I was in the same position as you were at the beginning of September. I was posting ads online for free labor at stables to learn how to ride. Someone replied saying i should volunteer at my local therapeutic riding center, so i called ( it was ment to be) they were having orientation the next day, so i went out and its so hands on. I learned how to tack up a horse both English and western, how to groom, and pick feet, how to lead, how to feed..etc then i thought i would start taking lessons, so i did that for a month then my instructor said she doesnt usually lease a horse after 5 lessons but i had a natural riding sense an was great with the horses, so after a month in a half, im leasing a horse and riding on my own. SO i suggest doing what i did an volunteer anywhere you can, just jump right in and you will end up learning ALOT.
 

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I basically winged it when I was learning about horses and let me tell you, DONT do that unless you want to get injured all the time. I also did the whole lesson thing and hated it, though I got some helpful knowledge from it. The best way to get experience in my opinion is to get a horse you know is safe and just go for it, try every new thing you can and be open to everyones advice, not just trainers because Ive seen so many people get bad lessons or advice from people just because they said they were a trainer. It also depends on where you want to go with your riding career. If you want to be a show rider, learn everything you can at a local show barn. If you just want to ride recreationally, Id say go for it on your own with a trusty horse and some trusty friends.
 
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