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springer
Aug. 27, 2009, 05:49 PM
My 4 yr old Andalusian (Azteca A) gelding has just gone off for 30 days training with a local dressage trainer who I really admire. I know we should keep him there longer but we can't really afford more at the moment. What can I expect from this boy upon his return? He is pretty much unstarted, although he has had some good groundwork and has been backed. She will do him 3 X a week, roughly 12 rides. He's a very laid back guy so far. Opinions?

Sandy M
Aug. 27, 2009, 07:03 PM
I think a lot may depend upon his temperament. When I took my unstarted 3 year old to a colt starter, he led, tied, lunged, stood for the farrier/vet and loaded into trailers. After 30 days, he "sorta" steered, he walked and trotted on a loose rein, was quiet for short walking rides outside the area, would walk over small obstacles/cavaletti, and had made a start on the occasional canter on a loose rein. I don't know that a dressage trainer would do much more than that in 30 days with a horse otherwise unridden, and certainly after 30 days my horse had no "dressage" training unless you want to use the literal meaning of the word. I left my guy with the colt starter for approx. 90 days, and took him back occasionally over the next few months for "refreshers." She was working him 5 days a week, not 3. I worked him lightly at home for several more months before I went back to my regular dressage trainer when he was 4.

FWIW, colt starting and being a dressage trainer can be two entirely separate things. Does your youngster really need a "dressage" trainer at this point? A colt starter might be less expensive and you could get more time into a good foundation for him? ON the other hand, if your dressage trainer routinely starts greenies and you are more comfortable with him/her, then fine. WHile my colt starter was a "cowgirl," a lot of WB owners give her their colts to start rather than go to a dressage trainer for those basics of "yes, you let me ride you" and for basic manners.

EiRide
Aug. 27, 2009, 08:50 PM
My 4 yr old Andalusian (Azteca A) gelding has just gone off for 30 days training with a local dressage trainer who I really admire. I know we should keep him there longer but we can't really afford more at the moment. What can I expect from this boy upon his return? He is pretty much unstarted, although he has had some good groundwork and has been backed. She will do him 3 X a week, roughly 12 rides. He's a very laid back guy so far. Opinions?

Twelve rides is not a lot. I sent a very challenging filly to a guy who specializes in putting the basics on horses who have never been ridden and who takes in dangerous horses as the last stop before the meat man. He's terrific, really awesome at reading the horse and putting on the pressure without being unfair. All snaffles, no whips, makes the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard.

He rode every single day for 30 days and at the end of it my mare could be mounted from either side, walked, trotted, cantered, basic steering, halt, rein back, turn on haunches and forehand, sidepass, leg yield at walk, knew her leads, could be taken on trail and ridden over ditches, through creeks, swum in the pond, crossed bridges, ridden down the side of the road, first, last, or in the middle of the group, over logs, slide down banks into the creek . . . you get the idea. She's still not an easy ride and probably never will be, but she certainly got her basics put on her. I left her there a month in the fall, brought her home to turn out and grow up over the summer, and then took her back for a month this spring and have had her under saddle since. I also went down and rode 1-2 times a week while she was in training, so I could feel her progress and learn what he was doing with her.

On my home breds that I started myself, I typically have had them walking, trotting, steering nicely, and going on short, easy hacks by the time I had a dozen rides on them. Not as far along as my filly got (he had her cantering on the second ride and out on trail by the third) in the same time, but that's about what we were doing. She was way too much horse for me to start on my own, hence going to the cowboy. She did have a lot of ground work on her before she went, but he gets on all of them the first day and gets on every day for the month they are there.

littlemanor
Aug. 27, 2009, 10:22 PM
I can only refer to our own experience starting youngsters (ours and others), but I don't really agree it's the same thing to use a cowboy/general purpose "breaker" trainer, rather than a dressage trainer that has experience with and enjoys starting young ones, even in the first month. As a point of reference, here's one of ours after two weeks under saddle (actually, 5 days, then 3 weeks off because we went on vacation, then 5 more days)--he's a 3yo Andalusian cross, who'd been driven and sat on but no more. This ride happened to be in the pouring rain, so it's a bit blurry (I ought to ride in the rain more, he seemed to enjoy it, weirdly) . . . and he still didn't have the canter depart down so seamlessly, unsurprisingly--

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ibG6ldWs8w

Granted, I think he has a very good mind and is conformationally pretty well balanced--and we made sure he had good groundwork basics before I got on him--many youngsters (especially the baroque types ime) take quite a while longer to learn to balance themselves cantering under a rider. If you've done all the groundwork properly, though, you might as well start training the way you intend to go on, with at least the idea of contact and balance and rhythm. The one time we sent a horse out to a cowboy/natural horse type trainer, we regretted it.

Anyway, if it's a good tactful trainer, with experience starting youngsters, I don't think you'd get more for your money with a cowboy with a cheaper rate, just my biased opinion . . . (Though the more trail experience the better, sure.)

EiRide
Aug. 28, 2009, 12:04 AM
Anyway, if it's a good tactful trainer, with experience starting youngsters, I don't think you'd get more for your money with a cowboy with a cheaper rate, just my biased opinion . . . (Though the more trail experience the better, sure.)

I think kindergarten is kindergarten, whether you are going to be an engineer or a social worker or part of the Walmart Army!

The right match for the specific horse is the most important thing.

Bogey2
Aug. 28, 2009, 06:27 AM
Anyway, if it's a good tactful trainer, with experience starting youngsters, I don't think you'd get more for your money with a cowboy with a cheaper rate, just my biased opinion . . .

I think you will find that a dressage trainer (once the horse is backed, which it is) starts a horse differently than a cowboy. The cowboy teaches the horse to back off the bit, the dressage trainer asks the horse to reach for the bit.
I agree with those who said it depends on the horse as to what you can expect.

littlemanor
Aug. 28, 2009, 07:12 AM
The cowboy teaches the horse to back off the bit, the dressage trainer asks the horse to reach for the bit.

Exactly--this is just one of the problems you can have with starting a horse with a cowboy, and with some horses it can be hard to fix. There are other differences (one of the strangest was a horse taught to slow down/stop with use of leg, pretty frustrating)--we've "dressage started" some hors!)es the owner had already "cowboy started" as kindergarten to save money, and we'd spend at least a week or two undoing the effects of the cowboy/"natural" trainer. It's a pity that there aren't more dressage trainers who want/like to start youngsters--several around here want a horse solid w/t/c before they'll work with it.

merrygoround
Aug. 28, 2009, 07:21 AM
A good rider/trainer is a good rider/trainer, no matter what their frame of reference is.
My hat is off to those who can, in a short time, have that horse, comfortably, confidently and quietly going out over hill and dale, at all three gaits.

JB
Aug. 28, 2009, 07:46 AM
.

I think you will find that a dressage trainer (once the horse is backed, which it is) starts a horse differently than a cowboy. The cowboy teaches the horse to back off the bit, the dressage trainer asks the horse to reach for the bit.
I agree with those who said it depends on the horse as to what you can expect.

Depends - you can't lump all colt-starting cowboys into one mold ;)

If it's a Western-only cowboy whose goal with every horse is to ride in a curb bit on no contact, no matter what the owner says, then sure.

But having read this board for long enough, there are cowboys who first put a very good direct-contact foundation on a horse, especially when they learn the horse is an English horse who has to be able to accept some light contact. There are quite a few folks on this board who use cowboys to start all their Dressage youngsters. And they get started in a Western saddle ;)

Ltc4h
Aug. 28, 2009, 09:38 AM
I very much enjoy breaking/starting horses.
I may be the exception to the rule, but they all get started the same, basics are basics.
My 14.2 hand Qh mare has won over $3400 in the Reining pen and just scored a 72% on a 2nd level 4 this past weekend and will be showing Novice eventing next week. Ridden correctly they can do it all.
Also, a best case senario is worked 20-30 minutes x2 daily.
The youngsters can't work as hard but do better with short consistant training days.
What to expect after 30 days, depends on what foundation they come with and how they train, every horse is different.
Try to find a trainer who turns out horses you like, who you like as a person and who's theorys seem to mesh with your own.
Do be upfront and tell them what you would like to see in that time period and have them give you the same curtisy. They will/should have a general idea of what progress you can expect.
Very important- Do NOT go to any trainer who does not have an open door policy.

springer
Aug. 28, 2009, 10:00 AM
little manor... very impressed with your boy after 2 weeks! Lovely! And what you said pretty much sums up my reasons for choosing this young lady as a trainer. She has alot of experience starting as well as working with difficult horses (her father is also a trainer and has used her as a "jockey" for all of his- her whole life) I just feel more comfortable knowing he won't be roughed up. The cowboy mentality kind of scares me- and out here most of them only have experience with QHs.

littlemanor
Aug. 28, 2009, 11:18 AM
Thanks! I think most of the credit goes to this boy's wonderful mind, but over the years I have noticed they seem to get easier and easier, so I hope that means we're getting progressively better at it. (My husband does the ground work and longe training, I start them under saddle, and then he may take over the training and compete, which I hate doing, when they're stronger/further along.)

I completely agree about being leery of possible rough treatment--the one time we sent one out, the guy was praised to the skies for his starting by dressage professionals, and talked a really good line, but our boy had skin taken off his face while "learning to tie" (he cross-tied perfectly already), was never turned out, and when we brought him back (after an argument over whether we could) ducked way behind the bit, and slowed down whenever I used my leg. I know that's just one guy, but we went to him specifically because other dressage people recommended him (one of those later told us she had to take a horse away from him, after she'd told us to use him, for many of the same reasons).

Good luck with your guy, and have fun--I love the Andalusian crosses, we seem to have gotten quite a few of those to train for some reason--they can be very different from each other, but they all seem to be very smart!

MyReality
Aug. 28, 2009, 12:11 PM
I can think of trainers of every discipline that I will not send my horse to. I can think of trainers of every discipline I will send my horse to.

I happen to know somebody from the track, who is absolutely great in starting horses. When you see her start a baby, it looks like that horse has been ridden before... she has a great way of balancing herself on them, that the horse doesn't feel he needs to fight, the worst is they take a few quick steps... she also let the baby follow an older horse, then wean the baby away from the old horse, in a few rides. It really works... and amazingly quick, with no drama.

What it comes down to, you absolutely have to know this person, and trust this person. You cannot send just because you heard he is good or he is big name. Many "big names" use methods I do not like, even in the exact same discipline as me.

A "cowboy" does not teach a horse to "back off" from the bit in 30 days. The ones I know, babies wear a snaffle, all the aids the same. When the horses are older, of course they specialize.

It depends on the horse. 30 days, I expect the horse to allow rider to mount. Walk, trot, stop, steer. A little bit of canter. If you have done ground work teaching the horse to canter on a lunge line, after 30 days you should see more canter, no ground work, less expectation. Some horses do take longer no matter what.

Sandy M
Aug. 28, 2009, 02:52 PM
.

I think you will find that a dressage trainer (once the horse is backed, which it is) starts a horse differently than a cowboy. The cowboy teaches the horse to back off the bit, the dressage trainer asks the horse to reach for the bit.
I agree with those who said it depends on the horse as to what you can expect.

It depends upon the colt starter/cowboy. The gal who started my colt knew specfically that he was intended to be a dressage horse, and in no way did she back him off the bit. In fact, she goes and takes lessons with my dressage instructor periodically to improve her horses. For her own competitions - she does working ranch horse - so her horses must cut, rein, do trail obstacles and rope. She most definitely does NOT back them off the bit. I think that if you make it clear what you intend to do with your horse, they will start them correctly for you.

cutemudhorse
Aug. 28, 2009, 04:28 PM
Here's another vote for the good basics kind of trainer --- who doesn't have to be a dressage trainer. Good cowboys are hard to beat. I sent my babies to a reputable guy just for further foundation work, and the opportunity to be ridden out waaay more than I could do this summer.
In the first 30 days I would only expect forward, basic steering and definately stopping! And standing quietly to be mounted/dismounted. I don't want my young horses in any kind of frame at this point, so just a long loose rein w/t/c inside and out. Forward and respectful are key words. Waaay cheaper then a dressage/event trainer and when they came home I could get them stretching to the bit softly after just a few rides. They went along quietly long and low with Russell while they were there. I just told him what I wanted and also that I wasn't expecting too much for 30 days, bec it's not much time, and he rode 5 days a week. One mare stayed another 30 days for more trail experience.

You might consider, if possible, having someone come your place to ride your horse and paying per ride. That would be cheaper.

Sandy M
Aug. 28, 2009, 04:42 PM
Depends - you can't lump all colt-starting cowboys into one mold ;)

If it's a Western-only cowboy whose goal with every horse is to ride in a curb bit on no contact, no matter what the owner says, then sure.

But having read this board for long enough, there are cowboys who first put a very good direct-contact foundation on a horse, especially when they learn the horse is an English horse who has to be able to accept some light contact. There are quite a few folks on this board who use cowboys to start all their Dressage youngsters. And they get started in a Western saddle ;)


Absolutely! The gal who started my horse had started many $$$$$ WB babies for their owners and knew that my colt was destined for dressage. She put the basics on him, rode him initially in a just a rope halter, then a d-ring snaffle. She had me come down and ride him under her supervision on the weekends. She also went to my dressage trainer for some work to improve her own horses. She was not a WP type, but started horses for all disciplines and her own field of competition is working ranch - her horses have to rein, cut, rope and do trail obstacles. In no way did she back him off the bit. WHile I am sure there are exceptions, most dressage trainers I know do NOT want to start unbacked babies, and price their services accordingly!! LOL The gal who started my youngster charged about $570 a mo (including board). When I went on vacation, I left him with her for 12 days with a request that he be mostly trail ridden to get that exposure, and she only charged me $210. I know most dressage trainers would have charged me much more for putting 12 rides on him.

bornfreenowexpensive
Aug. 28, 2009, 04:56 PM
.

I think you will find that a dressage trainer (once the horse is backed, which it is) starts a horse differently than a cowboy. The cowboy teaches the horse to back off the bit, the dressage trainer asks the horse to reach for the bit.
I agree with those who said it depends on the horse as to what you can expect.


I don't know of any dressage trainer who is any good at starting youngsters who would be teaching a just backed horse to reach for the bit. You don't work on any sort of contact at this stage really....it is the basics.


A person good at starting baby horses....whether cowboy or dressage riders (or H/J or eventers) does not work on either reaching for a contact OR backing off the bit. You are just working on go forward...turning might be nice...and stop...and just getting a horse used to finding their balance with a rider on board....and NOT bucking that rider off when they put their leg on or ask them to do something. Good people at starting horses....do ask what the horse will be doing later in life but honestly....even ones who will be western horses are started with direct rein initially.

In 12 rides....most of my horses w/t/c and will have started going out on short hacks. Steering will not be confirmed yet....and the canter will be very green....hell, everything will still be very green. Depending on the horse, they may have gone over a pole or small jump as well.

But I think it is better to do more days in a row initially...and then back off (but the sessions should be short).

Bogey2
Aug. 28, 2009, 06:08 PM
don't know of any dressage trainer who is any good at starting youngsters who would be teaching a just backed horse to reach for the bit. You don't work on any sort of contact at this stage really....it is the basics.

are you kidding me? what do you consider "basics" then? running the horse in to a canter? pulling on the inside rein to turn them?
My horse was ridden by a colt starter his first three days under saddle (and me all three days) He was/is a great guy but he wanted the horse to back of the rein right away.
When he was picked back up by myself and my trainer we worked on turning with contact. If he would not turn, we stopped and moved the shoulders over then went forward again. That's basics for dressage!

Gloria
Aug. 28, 2009, 06:16 PM
If he would not turn, we stopped and moved the shoulders over then went forward again. That's basics for dressage!

Bogey, I think you will find many people consider "that" to be basic "ground" training, which comes with any kind of "good basic" training. Not sure what your trainer did but I would no consider what your trainer did with your colt to be "basic training". That was getting more of specialty thing. JMO.

Bogey2
Aug. 28, 2009, 06:49 PM
well, it is for a dressage horse I guess...he is 4 and has not suffered because of it.

springer
Aug. 28, 2009, 07:29 PM
I'm sure there are some sophisticated cowboys out there, but this is MONTANA. There is a woman close to us who is western, but very well rounded and VERY good, but she doesn't start them anymore. I feel that even at this very early stage, I prefer a classical approach- no lasso-ing (one guy here starts them that way) In Germany I am fairly certain that the basics are more dressage oriented than American cowboy. Am I wrong? And they seem to know what they're doing over there.

Sandy M
Aug. 28, 2009, 09:10 PM
I'm sure there are some sophisticated cowboys out there, but this is MONTANA. There is a woman close to us who is western, but very well rounded and VERY good, but she doesn't start them anymore. I feel that even at this very early stage, I prefer a classical approach- no lasso-ing (one guy here starts them that way) In Germany I am fairly certain that the basics are more dressage oriented than American cowboy. Am I wrong? And they seem to know what they're doing over there.

Rope it? Was it an untouched mustang? I delivered a 3 year old to the colt starter who led, loaded, lunged, tied. She certainly knew HOW to rope, but she never roped him. WHy would she need to? Whoever the guy is who was roping them was probably starting westen-only horses and perhaps dealing with straight from pasture, unhandled 3 or 4 year olds. My colt starter started with ground work, flagging, minimal round pen work (she felt he didn't need it), lungeing with a saddle for the first time, and in a week she was riding him using a rope halter. Just basic go, stop, turn. After 90 days he walk/trotted/cantered, mostly on a loose or long rein, he did big circles, trotted ground poles, etc. I rode him in that fashion for another six months. He is big, half-Arabian, and was a bit of a gawk - not really ready mentally or physically to be be pushed into anything more than that.

How much a trainer will be able to do with a total greenie in 30 days really does depend a lot on the horse's temperment and stage of physical development. Heck, at a recent schooling (non-dressage) show, I saw a girl doing W/T/C (hunt seat) on a huge solid TWO YEAR OLD Quarterloosa (near 17 hands). He was dead quiet AND backed off the bit (breed show training) and already over at the knees. Sigh. But he sure knew a lot for having been under saddle for a very short time. I would not want my horse pushed that much, so I wouldn't expect a whole lot after only 30 days, especially being ridden only 3 times a week and would make sure the trainer understood my goals and that I didn't want the horse pushed - whether by a western-type colt starter OR a dressage trainer.

MyReality
Aug. 29, 2009, 11:37 AM
Rope them? Why rope them when they already lead... so much work.

BTW, don't tell me you don't turn with the inside rein with a green broke. I am starting to think certain dressage people here work with purpose bred horses so much, that they assume all of them are born to be receptive to dressage training.

My baby, boy she can hardly keep herself upright... her shoulders are everywhere, her neck and head are everywhere but a different everywhere, her hind end are swimming all over the place, trying to stay attached with her shoulders :). Of course we steer her with the inside rein. And of course we wean her off crude aids, once she is stronger and more balanced.

They all start that way. Open that rein, follow their nose, turn. To be able to move the shoulder, mean they already know to shift the weight back to free up the shoulder, and they understand leg doesn't mean more go. That is not green broke.

bornfreenowexpensive
Aug. 29, 2009, 12:09 PM
Rope them? Why rope them when they already lead... so much work.

BTW, don't tell me you don't turn with the inside rein with a green broke. I am starting to think certain dressage people here work with purpose bred horses so much, that they assume all of them are born to be receptive to dressage training.

My baby, boy she can hardly keep herself upright... her shoulders are everywhere, her neck and head are everywhere but a different everywhere, her hind end are swimming all over the place, trying to stay attached with her shoulders :). Of course we steer her with the inside rein. And of course we wean her off crude aids, once she is stronger and more balanced.

They all start that way. Open that rein, follow their nose, turn. To be able to move the shoulder, mean they already know to shift the weight back to free up the shoulder, and they understand leg doesn't mean more go. That is not green broke.

exactly...that is the basics. to the poster who asked, YES...you turn even a to be green broke dressage horse (purpose bred too) with an inside rein (and outside aids too...but you bet I will open up my inside rein to help them understand what I'm asking them to do). To ask otherwise is expecting WAY too much for a youngster...those aids are NOT installed from the begining....within a few months, yes but not the very beginning.

And you bet...the first few times you teach canter....they might run into it. And if they do...and I get the canter...they are getting huge pats because at this stage...it isn't the transition you are working on, it is the fact that they cantered. Heaven forbid I've even jumped them over a little fence or pole to help get them into the canter.....and this was with the help of an FEI level dressage trainer. Within a few months, expectations should evolve and no, you shouldn't be running into the canter anymore....but at the very begining.....we are teaching canter by going into as big of ring or even in an open field and just trying to get the young horse to understand that the aids for canter and getting a canter.

merrygoround
Aug. 29, 2009, 08:29 PM
Thank you bornfree a n e. I was beginning to think that after all these years my training must be faulty, since after 4 weeks, much less 4 days, my horses don't seem to be "round" and traveling, although nicely forward, just off my leg aids, as seen on youtube with horses of 4 days, and 4 weeks of training. :lol:

Pheww!! :yes: :yes: :yes:

springer
Aug. 30, 2009, 12:37 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ibG6ldWs8w

Maybe you're doing something wrong. See littlemanor's video from earlier in this thread. I think alot of you guys are misunderstanding why I would use a dressage trainer for early training. It's an attitude, I'm not looking for my baby to be going round after a handful of rides. Although I would expect him to be accepting the bit, which is something the western trainers don't teach.

Bogey2
Aug. 30, 2009, 06:42 AM
thank you springer....I think some are having trouble understanding what we mean by a connection. It does not mean round.

merrygoround
Aug. 30, 2009, 07:28 AM
Sorry Springer, maybe it's the type of western trainer you have in your neck of the woods.

I remember the make'em, or break 'em guys. I don't consider them good trainers, anymore than I would consider some "dressage" trainers good.

Remember dressage only means training. Too many people confuse the end product with the the path.

DancingQueen
Aug. 30, 2009, 05:59 PM
Not having read all
as somebody mentioned 12 rides is not a lot. Perhaps you could ask trainer to do an extra ride a week to get more bang for your buck since board is most likely the biggest expense.
We usually get on out 3 year olds almost every day, even if just 10-15 min, for 8 weeks or so and then let them have the summer off or if we start them in the fall, same thing but winterbreak.

4 rides a week is certainly not too much, and you can always let him have some down time when he gets back if he needs it to digest the experience.

littlemanor
Aug. 30, 2009, 07:00 PM
I was beginning to think that after all these years my training must be faulty, since after 4 weeks, much less 4 days, my horses don't seem to be "round" and traveling, although nicely forward, just off my leg aids, as seen on youtube with horses of 4 days, and 4 weeks of training.

Pheww!!
__________________

I'm finding this thread a little frustrating. I guess there is nothing wrong if your horses aren't "round" (not sure what that means any more in this context) after 4 days or 4 weeks--but it seems like the subtext in a lot of these responses is that connection or roundness or whatever you want to call it is actually BAD for a young horse just being started, and equals "pushing."

The way I see it, the whole reason for "roundness" (by that, for a young horse, I mean "not-hollow-and-braced-ness") and connection in dressage is that this posture that creates a bow from hind to front is one that makes the burden of a rider easier for the horse to carry, and a sympathetic connection and leg and seat aids help a horse find its balance under the rider. Horses aren't physically ready to carry a rider comfortably and balance under that weight just because they've hit the age of three or four. So we start our horses with ground and lunging work that strengthens their backs and helps them understand the connection that will help them balance more easily under a rider. When this work is thorough and careful, it is in fact easy to ride a horse pretty much right away with a basic connection and some degree of "roundness"--enough to help the horse carry our weight and balance itself.

BTW, I don't know if you're referring to our other young horse (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4H6lXWgb_Lo) with the "4 days" comment, but if so--we bred and raised that horse, and didn't start him under saddle until he was coming 5 as he was a slow maturer. Instead we very systematically and carefully worked him from the ground, so he was familiar with the concept of contact, and had a pretty strong back, and was extremely responsive and obedient. Of course at 4 days he was experimenting and tentative with the contact, not at all polished--I'm pretty much passively following his mouth--but he was safe and fairly balanced and forward (in a way that I doubt many cowboys would encourage--they like a horse to go pretty slow), and he's not tense--look at his tail swinging. In the year and a half since then he's always had a fantastic attitude and never had any kind of physical issue. So is this "pushing"? I am sure there are many dressage trainers out there that could do a better job with him, but I'll take our methods over any cowboy's for the particular type of job we intend our horses for.


BTW, don't tell me you don't turn with the inside rein with a green broke. I am starting to think certain dressage people here work with purpose bred horses so much, that they assume all of them are born to be receptive to dressage training.

My baby, boy she can hardly keep herself upright... her shoulders are everywhere, her neck and head are everywhere but a different everywhere, her hind end are swimming all over the place, trying to stay attached with her shoulders . Of course we steer her with the inside rein. They all start that way. Open that rein, follow their nose, turn. To be able to move the shoulder, mean they already know to shift the weight back to free up the shoulder, and they understand leg doesn't mean more go. That is not green broke.

Well, to some extent maybe, but . . . we also work with the horse on the ground to help it understand aids to yield sideways, so it's actually possible to steer and balance the horse without using much direct opening rein, and the horse's shoulders can in fact be moved to combat that young-horse wiggliness. Some flexible young horses really can't be steered at all if you resort to inside rein, they'll just jackknife--one we started absolutely had to understand aids to control his shoulders or he would just careen into the rail or stay there. Why let a horse wobble around when you can actually help them balance by teaching them the aids from the start? Oh, and the horse Springer is talking about is not "purpose bred" but was bought (sight unseen) from an Amish farmer in Indiana, who breeds horses to pull buggies. We're very much not big-name trainers, we operate on a shoestring, and we work with all breeds and types of horses.

Anyway, thanks again, Springer--I'm pretty proud of that little three-year-old, he's a gem! I'm so lucky we stumbled across him . . .

littlemanor
Aug. 30, 2009, 07:06 PM
Oh, and I agree with Dancing Queen--I think it's best to do 5 days a week, but keep most rides very, very short, 15-20 minutes for the most part (though long walks on the trails are good once the horse is relaxed doing that).

My last word on the matter, I swear!

springer
Aug. 30, 2009, 07:36 PM
Exactly--this is just one of the problems you can have with starting a horse with a cowboy, and with some horses it can be hard to fix. There are other differences (one of the strangest was a horse taught to slow down/stop with use of leg, pretty frustrating)--we've "dressage started" some hors!)es the owner had already "cowboy started" as kindergarten to save money, and we'd spend at least a week or two undoing the effects of the cowboy/"natural" trainer. It's a pity that there aren't more dressage trainers who want/like to start youngsters--several around here want a horse solid w/t/c before they'll work with it.

Thank you littlemanor- it sounds like we think along the same lines; not to mention our horses have similar breeding. My boy is 3/4 andalusian, extremely intelligent, and a very late bloomer. I believe those are breed traits. I consider myself lucky to have found this young lady (especially here in MT) who has a dressage/ classical approach to training, as opposed to the rodeo mentality that is prevalent around here. She is mainly doing the 3X a week thing to work within my budget, and so far she says she's making progress-- he's already trotting figure eights and he's being pretty consistent. He's pretty pokey though... has NO fear of the whip, but when he knows what you want he does try to do it. I'm going to see her work with him tomorrow and will try to post pictures!!!!

bornfreenowexpensive
Aug. 31, 2009, 11:21 AM
The way I see it, the whole reason for "roundness" (by that, for a young horse, I mean "not-hollow-and-braced-ness") and connection in dressage is that this posture that creates a bow from hind to front is one that makes the burden of a rider easier for the horse to carry, and a sympathetic connection and leg and seat aids help a horse find its balance under the rider. .


Right...but you can not and should not ask for that "connection" or "roundness" UNTIL the green horse understands the leg aids...understands to go forward. If you ask of that "roundness" or "connection" before a horse understands this basic...then what ever you are getting is false..and it can be much harder to get them in to a true connection later. VERY few green horses get "forward" and understand the leg aids consistently in 12 rides. It is one of the reason I believe in getting out of the ring as soon as possible. It makes more sense for most green horses to learn forward when out of the ring...but obviously they need to understand what it means in the ring as well.

This is why I say no connection early on...it is too easy to get a horse backwards (riding their front end) instead of focusing on teaching forward.

There are bad trainers that are cowboys...and bad ones that are dressage riders.....that is the reason I prefer to start my own horses (at least then I know any mistakes are my own).

My point to the OP was NOT to have high expectations. 12 rides is not much and their horse will still be a very green project coming home. Nothing wrong with that ....just know what to expect.

Gloria
Aug. 31, 2009, 12:47 PM
BTW, don't tell me you don't turn with the inside rein with a green broke. I am starting to think certain dressage people here work with purpose bred horses so much, that they assume all of them are born to be receptive to dressage training.

I don't understand what you meant by "dressage training" in a green broke... It doesn't matter you are using outside rein or inside rein, you are applying pressure on the outside.

For example, when you open door on the right side (inside rein), the bit (or the pressure point on the rope halter) put pressure on the left corner of the horse (or left side of the horse' face), which is outside. Hopefully it will translate into turning to right. On the other hand, when you use outside rein (or push the left shoulder), it also apply pressure on the left side. It is just that many times it is easier for a green horse to understand what the rider wants when using inside rein. It is not dressage training or cowboy trainig. It is just good basic training.

I can understand OP's concern using some cowboys, if those cowboys try to make the horse a WP or roper or reiners from the get go. But a good starter should not do anything other than sound basic training. And sound basic training does not include frame or spur stop, or anything like that.

Bogey2
Aug. 31, 2009, 02:13 PM
Right...but you can not and should not ask for that "connection" or "roundness" UNTIL the green horse understands the leg aids...understands to go forward. If you ask of that "roundness" or "connection" before a horse understands this basic...then what ever you are getting is false..and it can be much harder to get them in to a true connection later.


what do you think you are moving them forward to if not a connection? I ride with two FEI trainers who both had me riding forward to the bit ...and stopping if my horse would not turn. Stop, move the horse over off the inside leg to the outside rein, then turn. We did use the opening inside rein and obviously did not have a really strong firm connection but I don't understand how you can go forward in to nothing?

littlemanor
Aug. 31, 2009, 06:40 PM
I just can't help it--why on earth should it take 12 rides for the horse to understand forward? Why would anyone want to wander around with no forward and no connection for 12 rides--what would you do? You teach "forward" on the lunge, you then transfer that teaching to the first sessions under saddle. The lunge person can back up the rider's leg aids (it helps if the horse is obedient to voice commands), and the horse makes the connection, it's not that hard. Forward and some idea of contact for us are prerequisites to getting on the horse, not things the rider needs to teach from scratch, though of course there will be some hiccups to smooth out. I'll agree, if you skip that step you'll have a huge mess, which is one of my problems with the cowboy/natural horse training I've seen--not enough forward and too much pulling the neck around and "softening."

Sandy M
Sep. 1, 2009, 11:33 AM
I just can't help it--why on earth should it take 12 rides for the horse to understand forward? Why would anyone want to wander around with no forward and no connection for 12 rides--what would you do? You teach "forward" on the lunge, you then transfer that teaching to the first sessions under saddle. The lunge person can back up the rider's leg aids (it helps if the horse is obedient to voice commands), and the horse makes the connection, it's not that hard. Forward and some idea of contact for us are prerequisites to getting on the horse, not things the rider needs to teach from scratch, though of course there will be some hiccups to smooth out. I'll agree, if you skip that step you'll have a huge mess, which is one of my problems with the cowboy/natural horse training I've seen--not enough forward and too much pulling the neck around and "softening."


Cowboy/NH does not necessarily equite to "colt starter," though many of them are FOR WESTERN HORSES. The woman who started my horse was a "cowgirl" - but other than initial direct rein for turning she didn't do any "pulling the neck around" or "softening." She understood the horse was intended to be primarily a dressage horse. Believe me, there are colt starters who ride horses forward and don't do the NH/western pleasure/back 'em off the bit type nonsense with them. They are not all the same and "cowboy" doesn't mean "absolutely will screw up your horse." In 30 days, I would feel riding the horse forward in all three gaits, turning, stopping, would be more than sufficient, depending upon the horse. I would not expect the horse to even begin to be put "on the bit." Contact - a little, but at that stage, unless it is an exceptionally talented individual, a young, gawky horse just needs to figure out where its body parts are and how to manage them with someone on its back. If you can afford and want to pay a dressage trainer's rates to accomplish that, then fine. I just don't think it's absolutely necessary, nor do I think a good colt starter is going to screw up a dressage prospect - good ones know the difference and will NOT do the NH/neck/softening type training on a hunter or dressage prospect.