The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 59 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have just got done reading a western horse training book that was published in 1975 and I was thinking how different training is today from then. Training a green, young horse was only a 3 week process back then. The horse would learn everything including rollbacks, leads, and leg aids. Thing is everything they did then, we do now! So why does training seem to take so long these days? Are we as trainers making the training process harder then it needs to be?

Horses from 1975 are the same as today's horses. It seems to me, we seem to be "dumbing" or horses down. I know that not all horses are the same and they all learn differently but 3 weeks! Today a trainer usually takes about 2 months just for the groundwork!

What do all of you think? Why has a simple process turned so complicated?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
I'm from the old school and after about a month my youngster are pretty good out on trial, running alone, crossing water, sidepassing, good stop and steering, good back and know a few verbal commands like Whoa with the use of reins and walk from speed again without reins. They tie anywhere, cross tie and HOBBLE.
I do not teach leads the first month nor canter unless the horse is older, I leg them up a few months before cantering and if late 3 or even 4 I will not lope much.
I don't beleive in ground work, no lunging, no dinking around about climbing aboard and within 3 or 4 days they are running out in the open and running trails ALONE. I prefer alone.
Horses haven't changed just peoples attitudes.
I also raised kids 40 years ago and I watch my young neices with thier 3 year old , book raised/raising kids and I just shake my head as does my wife. People rely too much on books, what others say and NOT on common sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Old School

I just wanted to bring this up because the way I was taught it takes months just to get on the horse!
I believe that using common sense works just fine as well.
All of this ground work is crazy. Why don't we just get on the horse anymore.

I totally agree with the old school way of doing it. It makes more sense then ground driving and lunging every day for a couple of months.

Thanks for your opinion:D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
I just wanted to bring this up because the way I was taught it takes months just to get on the horse!
:D
I am usually on the horse within a day or two. The second last one as the previous owner unloaded him I asked if he would hold him while I put a saddle on him and then take me for a pony ride?? Before the horse ever left the yard to enter the barn he was giving me a ride. From then on twice a day he was saddled and rode.
I have never had a horse in the barn a week without riding, never.
Absolutely NO ground work. No stops, no lunging, no getting use to the saddle. The saddle goes on with the horse securely tied and at times I even crawl aboard with the horse tied solid to the barn wall. At times I get someone to lead him for me and if he bucks let him buck around the handler on the ground. With his head tied to a post bucking is really at a minimum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,320 Posts
I am with RD here. I learned most of what I know from my Dad and he was in the middle of his training career in the 70's. I like to be riding them within the first 2 days though I may take 3 if they seem to just need a bit more time. Sack them out, get the saddle on and I then tie their head around each way to teach them to be supple to the bit. That usually takes maybe 30 minutes on each side. Then trot them in a few circles until I decide they are ready for me to get on to minimize the risk of a buck. I then get on and go. They are trotting circles in the pen that first ride and I usually spend 2 or maybe 3 days riding in the pen, then it's outside and they never see the inside of a roundpen again. I have to do things slightly different than RD cause I very seldom have anyone to help me so I have to control them from the saddle from the start, no handler to lead them around.

I think one of the reasons that it takes so long now is that everyone is looking for that 'connection' with the horse before they ever begin to ride and the way that most people believe you get that connection is to screw around with them on the ground. I have ridden several horses that didn't know how to lead until after they knew how to neck rein. If you handle them right and mold their mind correctly, a lot of the groundwork that people spend months on will just happen automatically. My Mustang Dobe had never been handled when I got him. I got him on, I think, a Thursday and by that next Tuesday, I was riding him through cattle. He didn't know how to lead and the only real groundwork that was ever done with him was his first farrier day. Now, he is a very respectful horse with impeccable ground manners, will ground tie or stand tied for eternity. I never worked on it, he just picked it up as I was using him.

A lot of people believe that it takes a lot of time to build a connection with a horse and sometimes that's true but that doesn't mean that you can't be using him while you wait for it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
629 Posts
Actually, you can find plenty of people who train western horses for simple pleasure/trail/family riding that quickly. I don't think it's changed at all.

The reason for current western gurus to encourage so many people to do a lot of groundwork, is because:

Nowadays everybody and their brother own a horse. Horses used to be an expensive luxury, now you can buy one for $100 any day of the week, pretty much anywhere in the world. Most of those horse owners don't have the first clue that a horse is not just a large dog. Most of those horse owners are experiencing a wide range of behavior and training issues with their horses.

In 1975 people actually tended to have mentors who taught them about horses long before they owned one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,179 Posts
I strongly beleive that the best way for a horse to learn is by doing. Along the same lines as Smrobs and Riosdad, I just get out there and do things. They learn sidepassing and moveing hind/ribcage/shoulders by doing gates. They learn stops when i need to stop. They learn about water or ditches when I come across water or a ditch. They learn about cattle when I have to go get them off the big hill.

However, I also have been taking things a lot slower than both Smrobs and Riosdad, as I am about 827875812451289x less experienced. I'm out there on Latte riding trails, but I have a lead horse, and I'm letting her find her feet, within the tasks i'm asking of her. I took her to PC, and I let her have her head and find her own pace.

I also strongly beleive that a lot of people nowadays try to correct an issue before it happens - They never give the horse the opportunity to do things right on their own terms. I.e. They constantly hold their horse in at a walk because they are scared it will jog. They never canter on a loose rein because it has bolted. I strongly beleive that you need to correct once they have made the mistake, not before. On a horse that jogs, I bring them back, hard, then put them straight back on that loose rein. A horse that bolts? I shut them down hard, then put them back in the same situation. Constant correction before something has even happened creates a hard mouthed, sour horse.

I'm another one who is in the 'no groundwork' camp. I ahve horses to ride them, not to play with them on the ground. I beleive that if you have a problem in the saddle, then solve it in the saddle. My horses all learn as we go along to tie, pick up feet, ground tie, take the bridle softly, etc. I don't set out to teach these things, they come about due to correct handling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,679 Posts
The reason for current western gurus to encourage so many people to do a lot of groundwork, is because:

Nowadays everybody and their brother own a horse. Horses used to be an expensive luxury, now you can buy one for $100 any day of the week, pretty much anywhere in the world. Most of those horse owners don't have the first clue that a horse is not just a large dog. Most of those horse owners are experiencing a wide range of behavior and training issues with their horses.

In 1975 people actually tended to have mentors who taught them about horses long before they owned one.
You've hit the nail right on the head. I know a lot of people who have never had a lesson in their lives who go out and buy a horse because it "sounds like fun to play cowboy". At best the situation is a ticking time bomb. Weeks/months of groundwork is probably making the situation as safe as possible via DVD.

I do some groundwork with mine, but not nearly to the extreme that many take it (i.e. months of preliminary work before saddling, weeks of saddle acclimation, etc.). I can totally buy the idea of having a horse safe, sane and reasonably educated for a competent rider in under a month with a good trainer. Could I personally get one to that point in that timeframe...? Nope, not even if I put velcro on my pants and gave up groundwork. :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,113 Posts
I agree with Mercedes up to a point. It is not at all isolated to the western way of riding, you see just as much of the groundwork fanaticism in English too...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,455 Posts
If I had to ride on one of those little english saddles you can bet I would do some ground work!! I see alot of people that are just plain scared to get on thier horse so they use the excuse of groundwork untill they can work up the courage to ride. There is also that group that thinks that they need a bond to properly ride a horse and if you ride a horse without the bond then youare abusing the horse or commiting suicide. As I have said before all that ground work is great but eventually you need to mount up and get something done. Like many of the previous posters said I ride a horse a couple of times in the round pen and then I'm outside the rest of the time. Wtihin a month my horses are turning on both ends and backing really soft. Often they are sidepassing really well but sometimes it takes a while longer to get that just right. By the end of 60 days there are not too many jobs that I can't do on a horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,641 Posts
I only did so much ground work before I got on chance. lol Little english saddles do nothingggggg. Im pretty sure ill be getting the western saddle out again once I get back on Chance, within a few weeks. :) Even the horses I train now. I get ride the very first day I get them into my hands.

It took 3 days to get this recent horse, to accept the saddle, stand for mounting, and walk trot canter without bucking and fussing over leg pressure! :D I was very proud.

BUT I do make sure they can respect space before getting on them because if they cant respect me on ground I wouldnt expect them to respect me in saddle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,179 Posts
I can guarantee that I would sit out more in an english saddle than a western - Because it is what i'm used to. As long as you are used to your tack and it's good quality, it doesn't make a jot of difference what type it is (Unless you are roping, etc.).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
673 Posts
I once asked my former employer at a trail riding facility I worked at how he trained his trail horses.

His answer: "I rode them."

I wanted for him to say more...but that was his whole answer.

But to go the complete opposite way, at a show I was at once, a woman showed up with a beautiful palomino. She rode western pleasure. She blew everyone out of the water and won champion. My mom talked to her later about her horse, and she learned it was only the third time she had ridden the horse. She had broken her leg so she had trained the horse completely from the ground.

It's an interesting contrast.

I wasn't alive that long ago, and I didn't know before this thread about the difference in horse training, but if there really is that big of a difference, I think it has a lot to do with a general shift of political correctness. Just like how schools and parents are concerned with making sure their special snowflake knows how special he is, horse owners want their horse to know how special he is. Therefore they want to play games with their horses and bond with their horses, because they think their horse is like a live teddy bear, about to ooze out love if they squeeze it enough.

You may not like "natural horsemanship" trainers, but they had good business sense. They say a niche that could be exploited and used it to their advantage. I'm sure Linda and Pat are laughing all the way to the bank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
I'm pretty sure I may just as well get my head bit off for this one...I do alot of groundwork, did alot of groundwork. I took 6 months to get on my horse. I rode for years, lots of different horses, some "difficult" some "green" but every one of the horses I rode were schooling horses. Fri was my first untrained horse. No halter-training, no handling, no formal manners. Very fortunately, she's a pretty level-headed mare. Any other way, and we wouldn't have worked. In hindsight, was it a rash decision. Yes. Do I regret doing it? Absolutely not. I did so much groundwork, but not for the horse. For me. I had no idea what I was doing, not a clue, and so I had to go from K-12 in the shortest amount of time possible. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that maybe all this "extra" work is not for the horse. You get a horse like mine, and I know that any standard, experienced horse trainer would've had her broke in a month or so. I needed to learn, and I do think to a certain extent, I had to try to preserve her from any stupid mistakes I may have made had I tried to get on her before I was ready, or before I was confident enough. She was ready months before I was. I guess I should be embarrassed to admit that, but it is what it was.

At the barn I was at, people would harrass me all the time about the length of time I was taking. They would say "Just get on her." "She won't hurt a fly". I just kept thinking, I'm going to get on this horse and she will instantly call me out on my bluff. It took a series of events to cause me to feel like I was ready, and I'm glad I went at my own pace. I got on her and I was like "This is it!" and she was like "That's all?"
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
To ride a bucking horse to me nothing beats an assie saddle. Try loping down hill in a western saddle and then try it on an assie saddle. The assie really suports you, holds you back. The knee rolls on an english saddle are also very good. I sold my assie but often miss it if I have a bad horse to break.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
I'm pretty sure I may just as well get my head bit off for this one...I do alot of groundwork, did alot of groundwork. I took 6 months to get on my horse. I rode for years, lots of different horses, some "difficult" some "green" but every one of the horses I rode were schooling horses. Fri was my first untrained horse. No halter-training, no handling, no formal manners. Very fortunately, she's a pretty level-headed mare. Any other way, and we wouldn't have worked. In hindsight, was it a rash decision. Yes. Do I regret doing it? Absolutely not. I did so much groundwork, but not for the horse. For me. I had no idea what I was doing, not a clue, and so I had to go from K-12 in the shortest amount of time possible. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that maybe all this "extra" work is not for the horse. You get a horse like mine, and I know that any standard, experienced horse trainer would've had her broke in a month or so. I needed to learn, and I do think to a certain extent, I had to try to preserve her from any stupid mistakes I may have made had I tried to get on her before I was ready, or before I was confident enough. She was ready months before I was. I guess I should be embarrassed to admit that, but it is what it was.
Kevin basically said the same thing. I say the same thing. People lung to build up thier courage to get on a horse. If it took you that long, so what. You went at your own pace, hopefully enjoyed the trip and now you have arrived. You should be proud of yourself and what you have accomplished.
But if I am paying you by the hour I want results now. The faster a trainer gets on the horse the more value the customer is getting for his buck, that is unless he wants a ground horse, a lunging horse?:D:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Everyone has great opinions! I agree with the majority of you who just get one and not worry about fussing with the horse on the ground. Im thinking about trying this quicker way of training now that I see everyone has great results with the older ways of training.

Seriously I find ground work practically useless(like some of you I ride western). I've been working with my recent mare on the ground for a month now and I think its time to just ride. She is bored, I am bored. I swear my mare thinks that I am stupid for making her do all these lunging circles!

Thanks everyone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,179 Posts
I agree Rios, hence my saddle is a stock saddle :] I would say comparing saddles for safety and versatility, it would be fairly close between a stock saddle and a western saddle - Western saddle has a horn to rope with, but a stock saddle is really about the most secure saddle you can get.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
629 Posts
Kevin basically said the same thing. I say the same thing. People lung to build up thier courage to get on a horse.

Well, that's just a ridiculous all-encompassing inaccurate statement. Let me go tell all the riding masters from Piber that they're longeing their Lipizzaners simply to build their confidence.

Perhaps in 'your' world, that's the reason some people do it, and perhaps you've never had anyone teach you the art of longeing and so you truly believe there's no purpose to it. You can't do what you don't know. Perhaps you're even an old enough dog not to be capable of learning any new tricks, but the world at large should still be told that your statement is hogwash.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
Well, that's just a ridiculous all-encompassing inaccurate statement. Let me go tell all the riding masters from Piber that they're longeing their Lipizzaners simply to build their confidence.

Perhaps in 'your' world, that's the reason some people do it, and perhaps you've never had anyone teach you the art of longeing and so you truly believe there's no purpose to it. You can't do what you don't know. Perhaps you're even an old enough dog not to be capable of learning any new tricks, but the world at large should still be told that your statement is hogwash.
I don't think there are too many riding masters on our forum?? Sure you can find exceptions to everything every posted here but for the average person on these forums they are lunging to build up their own courage.. I see people posting that lung every time before riding?? Why would you need to take the time, the trouble to lung if you were not afraid???

If I offended MASTERS on this forum I am sorry.

I live right next door to a high end dressage barn with 50 horse and I have NEVER seen a single person ride outside other then the outdoor arena, never.
To me it is like learning to drive in a parking lot and then never leaving the lot and driving in the real world?????
 
1 - 20 of 59 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top