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It is funny that this topic shold come up and I know there are some very strong opinions here and I read Stacy's blog post and I think she was correct in refusing to train this horse. While I am SURE she could have gotten through to the horse, I don't think it would have been in the 30 day time frame or to the satisfaction of the owner.

The reason this is a very timely topic is we were just discussing this with my horse training brother and my wife. One of the boarders at the barn we board at just had her horse out for 60 days (to another barn and another trainer) of professional training. It is a very nice and well bred horse and she is really pretty and I am sure will make a great prospect for just about anything. However, after 60 days she is unable to lope or trot quietly, won't stand tied, constantly calls out to anyone who will listen, has atrocious ground manners, rushing past when leading, spinning around you etc. However, she can and will side pass, will eventually lope with enough encouragement and to show her off to the client, the trainer rode her without a bridle for a short time and she did move off of leg pressure only. He considered this horse done for 60 days and ready to go back to the owner. Watching the owner ride her, she had little to no control and the trainer told her he wouldn't recommend riding her out of the arena for at least 90 days or more as they get "used" to each other.

In contrast, my brother has had a little mare for about 45 days now and she started untouchable (in contrast, the first mare was easy to catch and loved people), bucked him off the second time he rode her (his fault, he realized he pushed her too hard and was getting cocky) and after 45 days is as calm and quiet as she could be. She lopes quiet off of a cluck, starting to get collection down, is ridden mostly in a side pull or simple halter, he has ridden EVERYWHERE including down the highway, on trails, over obstacles and today I made him wash mirrors off of her so I didn't have to get the ladder out! :) (Photo attached)

And the kicker is after teaching her to ground drive, he began riding his snow board behind her while she pulled him around the pasture. All this after less than 45 days in contrast to the first mare that after just a bit more time is less than half as broke. Now I understand that each horse is different, and each situation is different and it can sometimes take time and I do believe that owners do have unrealistic expectations of what to expect from 30-60 days of training but a rideable, well started reasonably broke horse is not out of the question in 30-45 days, let alone 60. Albeit, my brother is one of the most gifted horse starters I have ever seen and this the 10th or 12th horse I have seen him do this with in less than 45 days.
 

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Yep, she hit the nail right on the head. There are way too many owners who truly have unreasonable expectations as for what to expect after 30 days. That's one reason why I stopped training for the public; folks bringing a problem horse or one with a touchy temperament that had never been touched in the 4 years of it's life and expecting a dead broke, beginner safe horse in 30 days, then getting ****ed when it doesn't happen. Especially if I pointed out beforehand that it wasn't going to happen in the timeframe they wanted.

IMHO, that's not fair to me and it's certainly not fair to the horse...so now I train my own and take all the time I need to get the job done right, and I occasionally will put some miles and/or handle on a green horse for a friend.
 

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45-60 days may be enough time for a horse to come around for an experienced rider. In my opinion ( and I know someone will disagree) it take at least a year for a horse to be broke. The horse can be taught to walk, trot, lope, rope, etc. That is started and trained in my book. When the horse can do all this with distractions, consistantly with no correction needed, that is broke in my book. I have yet to see any trainer who can do that in a month or two.
 

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45-60 days may be enough time for a horse to come around for an experienced rider. In my opinion ( and I know someone will disagree) it take at least a year for a horse to be broke. The horse can be taught to walk, trot, lope, rope, etc. That is started and trained in my book. When the horse can do all this with distractions, consistantly with no correction needed, that is broke in my book. I have yet to see any trainer who can do that in a month or two.
Depends on your definition of "broke" for sure and I would consider a 45 to 60 days horse to be well started, but not racy, poor ground manners, soft walk trot, lope etc. Finished? No way but WELL on its way. I think it is always inportant for the trainer and client to have clear goal sets and make them realistic. In my example, the first mare I would NOT have been happy with what I got back...especially for the money paid which was nearly double what my brother charges. However, the owner is happy and is planning on sending her out for another 60 days to the same trainer soon. Maybe my brother needs to charge more!? :)

Cheers!
Les
 

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Depends on your definition of "broke" for sure and I would consider a 45 to 60 days horse to be well started, but not racy, poor ground manners, soft walk trot, lope etc. Finished? No way but WELL on its way. I think it is always inportant for the trainer and client to have clear goal sets and make them realistic. In my example, the first mare I would NOT have been happy with what I got back...especially for the money paid which was nearly double what my brother charges. However, the owner is happy and is planning on sending her out for another 60 days to the same trainer soon. Maybe my brother needs to charge more!? :)

Cheers!
Les
well started, exactly. to squabble on terms won't help answer questions here, but I think we're on the same page. Expect some results but not a finished animal. That's why a good definition has to be determined by client and trainer from the start.

as far as your brother's prices go, many people equate price with value...i know a shoer who doubted his business by raising his fee...more expensive must be better..lol
 

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I totally agree with her blog post. The man would have been peeved if the horse wasn't finished in those 30 days, and he was peeved when she said no to him- either way it was going to be a losing situation. Always set yourself up for success. As I've always thought, sometimes the owners are harder to train than the horses.
 

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I would never take in a horse for breaking if the owner tried to set a time limit on it because each horse is going to be different - depending on temperament and how much and what sort of handling they've had before they turn up on your yard.
A lot also depends on the expertise of the owner - far too many are no way as good as they believe themselves to be so where one person might be able to take home a horse that's backed, has a good understanding of the cues/aids and is ready to school on there are probably more that don't and the first thing that goes wrong they don't know how to deal with and it turns into a disaster that they will then blame you for
 

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As I've always thought, sometimes the owners are harder to train than the horses.
the owners are always harder to train. You cant make an impression on someone who thinks they are always right, and many people unfortunately fit that description. Others are stubborn, and get a wrong idea into their head and refuse to believe otherwise. I've had many people say that 30 days was enough time to get a horse broke, some that believed training could turn a naturally athletic, forward horse into a laid back couch potato, and several people who believed a trainer could magically change a horses personality in 30 days.

I think she made the right decision. That owner is lucky his kid didn't get dumped the wrong way, and end up paralysed or dead:?
 

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45-60 days may be enough time for a horse to come around for an experienced rider. In my opinion ( and I know someone will disagree) it take at least a year for a horse to be broke. The horse can be taught to walk, trot, lope, rope, etc. That is started and trained in my book. When the horse can do all this with distractions, consistantly with no correction needed, that is broke in my book. I have yet to see any trainer who can do that in a month or two.
I agree with this sentiment. I think you can teach a horse a lot in a short amount of time if you are experienced and the horse is willing, but it really takes a year of solid riding to get the horse to the point where they are "broke". Even with broke horses competing at advanced levels, it is said that it takes a year for a new rider to get the horse really going well. I think a lot of things take a year to be very solid on any horse though!! Coming from a dressage background - I give the horse a year before expecting a really solid change. A year before I expect the piros to be solid, etc.. etc.. I can teach a change in a week. But it takes much longer to be solid and ridable and 95% together and clean.
This is why it takes on a good horse with a good rider at least 5 years to get to the GP. Take a year to be broke, a year for the lateral work, a year for the changes, a year for the piros/tempis and a year for the P/P.

I don't think it is reasonable to expect an untouched horse to be trained in 30 days. And I think that owners need to realize this. The owners really are the toughest to train!! At the same time I see a lot of people being sweet talked and short changed when it comes to training. If a training situation is not working - then take the horse to someone else!! And if you want a good job, dont expect to stumble upon a diamond in the rough. The people charging the $$$ and with good reviews are the ones with the experience to handle your horse.
It is tough to tell an owner "no", but there is a reason you are paying the trainer the $$. Yes you are the client. Yes the trainer is going to do the best possible job they can (if they are worth their salt!) for you and your horse. But sometimes the requests cannot be done. It is the same reason children are put in grade school, you can't go to the grade 2 teacher and complain why the child is not yet reading at a grade 5 level. Another child in the class might be able to do it, but he is 1/1000. People see the 1/1000 horses and think their horse is like that, when in reality the horse needs to follow the scale at the rate which is comfortable for the individual horse :) It's all for the good of the horses - and good training beats fast training every time!! You will be happy to spend the extra $$ now and when the horse is 10 years old you will think how great the horse is with no holes in the basics and he can do anything now!! As opposed to the horse with the contact issues, the spookiness, the mounting fear, etc.. caused by rushed training :)
 
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Judging from some horses I've met, a horse can be green broke in 30 minutes...or less!

More seriously, the lady I've hired wants to know our goals for a horse. She'll then say if she thinks it is unrealistic based on her evaluation of the horse. And she insists that she cannot promise ANYTHING because each horse is an individual.
 

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Judging from some horses I've met, a horse can be green broke in 30 minutes...or less!

More seriously, the lady I've hired wants to know our goals for a horse. She'll then say if she thinks it is unrealistic based on her evaluation of the horse. And she insists that she cannot promise ANYTHING because each horse is an individual.
Smart trainer on multiple levels. Even if she's not great she knows the realities which is important.
1. No promises, because different horse learn differently and at different speeds.
2. What your plans for the horse.

There are two primary factors that come into play when training a horse.
The first thing is the horse.
The second thing is the trainer.

The greatest trainer in the world can take longer to reach a certain point in training a difficult horse than an OK trainer with a more responsive and easier horse.

And even what your training might suddenly be easier with a horse that was difficult with something else and visa versa.
 
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