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There have been some threads recently about problems that I feel are caused by inadequate training and riding.

These are the prerequisits to training in my opinion.

-You need to be able to ride with no hands on the reins and no feet in the stirrups. If you can't do this then you can't isolate your cues from sloppy movement.

-You should have extensive knowledge of horses and how they move and think. If you have only taken lessons on one horse for a year it doesn't matter how well you ride you should not be training horses. If you believe that horses act like the horses in movies like Flicka, Black Beauty and the Black Stallion you WILL get hurt and you will NOT be a good trainer.

-A good trainer will have ridden many different horses. If you have been riding the same horse for the last ten years you don't have as much experience as someone that has ridden 5 different horses a day for the last two years. You learn something from every horse so the more horses you ride the more you learn. Internships/working student positions are priceless for this reason.

-You need good facilities and equipment. If you have a $100 thrift store saddle and bridles hung together with baler twine and duct tape you won't look very competent and be haunted with equipment faliures. You don't need a round pen but you do need an enclosure with decent fences and good footing for the first few rides. You don't need a million dollar barn but a good safe pen is a must.

If you ride well and think that you want to start a colt and if you have the things listed above then you should be sucessful. Failure IS an option and it usually spells disaster for the horse. Make no excuses for yourself or your horse. Don't let your ego or emotions take control. There is no room for ego in good horsemanship. Ask for help BEFORE you get in trouble and take the advice of experienced horseman that can show you the results of thier training program.
 

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Very good advices. I often see people that rode a single horse and they think that their riding skills are just perfect, but horses are different. For example I rode just 5 horses ( I still don't know how to ride in a proper way) and I saw a lot of differences. One of them had a terrible trot and I was barely able to keep my balance.

And besides of that some horses will be a challenging even for some experienced horseman. But if someone has luck to find a good-natured horse and he understand horse's nature in general he will be able to train his own horse without problem. The difficult part is when you take an adult horse that hadn't been properly handled. Then you should be quite experienced to deal with it.

I am very impressed when I see people that know how to impose themselves in front of a problem horse that is very agressive and dominant. I don't understand how they do it. A person like that will be able to deal with any horse even if the horse it's not trained at all.
 

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damnedEvans;540478 But if someone has luck to find a good-natured horse and he understand horse's nature in general he will be able to train his own horse without problem. [/QUOTE said:
This depends opn the riders goals. If the rider wants a horse to go where he wants and not hurt either one of them then you are right. Anyone can do that with a good natured horse that will fill in for the rider when he doesn't get things just right.

If you want to get the most potential out of your horse then an inexperienced trainer is not going to be able to do that. It comes down to how much you expect out of your horse and how much you are willing to compromise.
 

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Couldn't agree with you more. I am always amazed at people who have ridden their nice well trained trail horse for 10 years and suddenly think they are qualified to start their own. I have ridden tons of horses but I am still just on the borderline of qualified to train. I can generally get a nice broke horse but there are still so many of the finer points that I don't know. I am fortunate enough to have an excellent horseman readily available though if I come across a problem that I can't figure out or want to learn how to train something new or different.
 

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I don't have the experience to start a young horse and I wouldn't even attempt it.

And I'm not a total greenie either. I've been riding for close to 29 years now (from birth up :D) w/ about a five year break while I didn't have anything rideable. I had 4-5 years (8/9 to 13) of lessons and under the guidance of my trainer rode the greenies (my family was the poor one so I didn't get to ride the nice horses). I rode my 3 horses just about every single day from 13-18yrs and "finished" them and have ridden several other horses for other people. None of these horses were well trained when I started riding them and they turned out well.

Of course I did buy a fairly green 6 yr old right before I went back to college full time after only being back into riding for about 5 months, so I'm a little stupid. But I have access to a couple more experienced trainers and I'm not afraid to ask for help. And I actively seek out ways to improve my riding and training. Considering what we've been through the last 2.5 yrs we've done pretty well for ourselves.
 

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A friend of mine is dealing with this right now. She rode a couple well trained horses, even owned one of them and took lessons for several years. She got herself a very nice TB gelding as a 3 year old and a friend of hers rode him and they did well from what she says. Now she is trying to train him and they are having allot of difficulty since she knows what to do but not really how to teach a horse to respond to her aids.

She comes to me for allot of advice. Under my trainers instruction I have ridden and started allot of young horses throughout my youth and as a young adult. I even helped rehabilitate abused horses and bought one of my trainers slaughter house rescues who she helped me turn into a great horse. But I never went out and started a horse on my own till Aidan and I still don't call myself a "trainer". I realize now how very valuable 10 odd years of experience under someone who had a lifetime of experience and training was and still recognize I have many things to learn.
 

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This depends opn the riders goals. If the rider wants a horse to go where he wants and not hurt either one of them then you are right. Anyone can do that with a good natured horse that will fill in for the rider when he doesn't get things just right.

If you want to get the most potential out of your horse then an inexperienced trainer is not going to be able to do that. It comes down to how much you expect out of your horse and how much you are willing to compromise.
yes, agree with this. I was referring just at basic training, nothing special. For example I know horses that were never trained by an expert, they were trained by inexperienced people and the horses are great for riding. But just for a ride in the arena, and for some people that I know this is enough. But if you take that horse and try to learn him how to be a perfect trail horse he will be very different and in the same time challenging to train. So yes I totally agree that it depends on your goals.
 

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I could not agree with you more Kevin. Bout time some one posted this.

I get so tired of novice riders and owners thinking they have the skills to train a horse. Then they make excuses for why they turned out a barely green broke, unruly, unresponsive animal, after all Ponypoo is really just a bad egg that no one could train or she really just doesn't like to right hand lead changes...right?

I have been around horses my whole life and been riding since I could sit in a saddle. I have trained my own animals since my early teens and have produced responsive and light obedient animals every time. I have never been with a trainer or anything like that but have studied and worked my *** off to get to my skill level. Like Smrobs said, I can produce great animals, but there are still those fine skills that I have yet to learn and master. I do not feel qualified to train another persons animal. Or to call myself a trainer.
 

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I agree with all but your last point, only because I don't have a pen or arena :] I have a square sheep yard, but it has really dodgy fences that would give you foot long splinters if you rubbed up against them and is low enough that a horse with a decent jump can get out.

I have always been more comfortable outside any encosure - I am confident in my ability to stop a horse and curtail most hi-jinks and I would prefer to do it in the open without any fences to run into.

But - It would be nice to have an arena/pen to work on stuff with a nice footing. Not my place though so no chance.

But great post Kevin - So many horses bear the marks of being borken by an incompetent rider and never see their potential.
 

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Agreed. It never ceases to amaze me how many kids run around calling themselves trainers. I've been riding my entire life, 24 years. In that time, I've personally owned five horses. However, I also grew up being able to ride a countless number of horses - from our Arab broodmares as a child, to my aunt's docile lesson horses, to working with problem horses and friends horses. I have easily swung my leg over the back of closing in on a hundred horses, maybe not quite that amount yet. I have worked with a huge variety of breeds, and a huge variety of disciplines. I have been bitten, kicked, stomped, bucked off, reared on and bolted with more times then I care to remember. To this day, I only have one fully trained animal under my belt from birth to adulthood, but I have assisted and worked with a countless number of weanlings, yearlings and two year olds.

Am I a trainer? Not on your life. I will train my OWN animals - hence the entire reason for buying Jynxy, I was looking for a cheaper, quieter horse as a project. I am confident in my abilities to put basics on youngsters, and have never had anything but an almost perfectly mannered youngster within weeks to months of working with it. I would never ever dream of advertising myself as a trainer and taking on someone elses animal though. I've had people request I work with their animal, and I am honest about my abilities. If you just want him/her to learn how to accept a saddle, alright then, I can do that for you. I've never charged for any such service, because it's just one more bit of experience I can obtain.
 

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My favorite is the trainer who can do it all. There is event they can not train. They can train every thing from a HUS H/J dressage to WP and then of coarse they just have to through in Reining. I see that and I run so fast the other way my horse can not keep up.

While some of these events are closely related and can be easily cross trained there are some event that you can not.
 

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I will be the first to admit that I am new to horses, and am quickly learning that in order for me to ride the way I would like, I need to learn more. “Every time you get on a horse you are teaching it something, either good or bad” Therefore I feel that I need to learn both the good and the bad to know when I am communicating it to the horse. Not that I feel I will ever train horses for others, but I feel that a foundational knowledge is essential to riding well. This is one of the many reasons why I spend so much time reading on this forum.

Becoming a true horseman is a lifelong quest. I would also say that being a horseman doesn't necessarily make you a trainer. I myself have read a few books on training, watched a few DVD series, spent countless hours on youtube, and have come to the conclusion that although information is so readily available these days on how to train a horse, it has in some ways handicapped the industry. I don't feel that training a horse is rocket science, however I do feel that as with anything in life to do it well, it takes a lot of wisdom and knowledge and that knowledge comes through study and wisdom through experience.

All that being said, I agree with everything that has been previously brought up. I too have seen a growing trend of people frustrated and would be better suited and most likely more pleased if they put forth the investment into a qualified experienced trainer. On a side note this is one of the many reasons why I like to purchase my horses directly from a trainer, this allows me time to spend learning about the horse, how he was trained, how I can ride him, and so that I can spend more time with the trainer if necessary.
 

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I totally agree Kevin. Non-horsey people ask me... "so, do you train horses or what?" and I just have to laugh. I know I have a lot of learning to do before I even attempt to train. I still haven't mastered my riding yet!
 

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great post!

I have always gone by the belief that the people you meet who claim to know "everything" about horses are the ones who know the least. You could never be a good teacher if you don't accept you have a lot to learn.
 

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Brilliant post, Kevin! :D Excellent food for thought!

I'm kind of in the same boat as Macabre. I've been consistently riding nearly half of my 19 years, ridden over 2 dozen horses in that time, owned, managed, and handled my own horses since I was 14. It's been "my baby" the whole time. My parent's aren't horsey at all, and my younger sister got into it a few years after me. Shipping a horse away to a trainer isn't an option due to the cost and a lack of truly reputable trainers in my area. So, I do train my own horses. I had to milk my riding lessons for all they were worth, and I still read and study anything I can get my hands on that has to do with horses. I'm sure as heck not done learning.

My first horse was a mutt trail horse in his mid-teens; well broke but with little polish. I made my mistakes with him, but with help from my instructor added the polish, fixed his relatively minor issues, and walked out of a lot of local show rings in the ribbons with old Johnny. We "clicked" well and had 5 years of wonderful times before he passed away last spring of complications from an unknown tumor in his esophagus. After I lost John I bought Scout; younger, in poorer condition at the time (now he's got the opposite problem... he's turning into a porker), but less anxious, and a cleaner slate. He's like the anti-Johnny in his demeanor, but I still feel like we've clicked. I didn't start him from scratch, but from the point of cantering under saddle onward. I'm sure I'll make mistakes with him, too, but I don't plan on unleashing him on an unsuspecting world. He's my partner in crime, and I plan on him living in my barn for a lot of years to come. With any luck he'll become and continue to be a safe, sane, educated, willing, and somewhat versatile horse.

I may train, but I'm not a "trainer." If anything I'd say I'm a fairly advanced but timid rider. I have a bit too much self preservation to bail on to anything too rank anyway. The most I've done outside of my own horses is working a couple of stubborn/fearful trailer loaders for friends and family, and giving "freebie lessons" and working fussy horses for the younger members of my 4-H club. Maybe someday I'll feel experienced enough to call myself a trainer beyond my own dreamland, but probably not for a long time. Right now I'm content to screw my own animals up;that's enough work for me! :lol:
 

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I agree Kevin. Good info for the people wondering if they should train or not, very cut and dry and to the point.
 

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Kevin what a wonderful post.

While I have been on to many horses to even take a head count ~ I never would call myself a trainer.
I started riding at age 5 and even at that age rode many different horse. I always seemed to get the "problem pony". This kinda stuck with me and by the time I was about 13 I was riding some naughty horses. I had to sign my life away to do it. I was not such a great kid either so my parents never wanted to allow me to lease or to buy me a horse. It was not until later on at 15yrs old that my Dad saw potential enough in me to take some of his TB's (he is a TB track breeder) and re-train them for different diciplines.They came to me right from the track and I gave them some basics and a bit beyond. Did I do this all by myself Absolutely not! I always had a trainer whom I worked under. This continued for a few years. I had so much fun and it always seemed that I had a different horse to work with.
My lfie was crazy and I took a very wrong road in life. Horses no longer were my main focus for a very long time.
Finally now that I am on a more healthy road of life..lol
I am financially able and physically capable of riding and having horses in my life again.
Did I go out and hop on naughty horses thining I could do what I did years ago! NO Way!!!
Since I got my second horse this year, I sent her out to get some training and then while she is gone have worked very hard to gain confidence in my riding again. I had many non horse related injuries and really did not have the seat or position that I did years past. We are talking for the last 2 months 4-10 professional lessons a week! I call it rider boot camp.
Do I want to train horses....no... I truly love having the professional there to help me. I too do not know those "fine tune" points that are so very important!

I see people all the time get a horse that is way over their skill level and then wonder why the heck the "horse" is so bad or what ever have you.

I figure that in my situation ~ when my mare returns, I will be working exclusively with my trainer and my horse. My trainer will ride as well as myself. I will still ride lesson horses as it is a valuable thing to ride as many horses as you can. I have been lucky that the few horses I have been able to ride lately are not well versed in Dressage and thus they do all kinds of things that have helped to prepare me for when Candi comes home...
Please if your thinking of getting a yougster or greenie and training then yourself. Go out and seek a professional to lead in the process. It will be money and time well spen and much safer!
Halfpass
 

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Good post Kevin.

A few years ago I put 30 days on a horse. When the retired couple came to get him I told them he was not ready to be ridden by an inexperienced rider and would need more training. They promised to bring him back in a month when they had the money. Instead they kept him over the winter and the first nice day the next spring the wife climbed aboard. My wife works in the surgery department at the regional hospital and prepped her for back surgery later that afternoon. Inexperienced horse with an inexperienced trainer is not a good combination.

That said, I think that some of the most rewarding experiences I've had with horses happened when I started horses. I wonder if there is a market for trainers to help and direct an owner to start and train their own horse. HUMM--
 

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Yes, Rod, there is. Some of the better known names are Pat Parelli, Clinton Anderson, Craig Cameron, and several others.
 
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