Monday, November 10, 2008
It's a matter of Preference
When I get a horse that is coming into training, there are some basics that I want to know. Is it up to date on everything? Has the horse ever experienced any lameness? And what do you feed it? That's all I want to know. Seriously that's it!
The last barn I trained out of the owner would always tell the my clients, "She doesn't want to know ANYTHING about the horses training."
Now you can tell me she's "broke", or she doesn't clip, or she is bad with her feet. Those things I'm fine with. But I do not want to know anything about what the horse has done under saddle. Now why is that??
It's because I want to start every horse from ground zero. I want to experiment and test the waters and give the horse the benefit of the doubt! I don't want to know that your horse may buck or rear, all that will do is keep my mind concentrating on when she's going to buck, instead of me concentrating on actual training. I start every horse as if this is their first time being saddled, bridled, lunged, and more. Why? Sometimes, horse people LIE! Plus if I do it this way, then I know I'm taking every precaution in mine and the horses safety. I ground drive EVERY HORSE I have in training. I want to KNOW without a doubt that your horse, turns and has brakes! Then I go through the motions of first backing the horse as if it's his first time *and it may be* and then I mount up and go from there. If the horse really is what the owner said it was, then this process will go much faster. But if the horse isn't then I will know in advance what I'm up against. Most horses will give me tell tale signs of what their mommies and daddies have already done with them, and that is terrific! Some won't and that's OK too. If someone is hell-bent telling me that their horse is broke, then I tell them that THEY need to get on it first. Usually that helps me to weed out the liars from the honest.
What this really is for me is more of an evaluation. If I go through ALL the basics with your horse, then I'm also able to find any gaps in his/her training. So that way you really are getting your moneys worth in training, plus a very happy owner and horse! :)
Now while it's not always a fool-proof method, as sometimes your beloved horse just really needs to get that buck out LOL, it really does make my job a hell of a lot easier.
So my question would be, what methods do/would you use when first meeting a potential mount, training horse, etc?