View Full Version : 3 yr old Stallion starts In Hand Training - Video

Mar. 24, 2010, 08:04 AM
Here is a link to a video of my 3 year old Sport Horse Stallion starting his "Official" In Hand Training. Warning to some that it is a bit strong, so I don't want anyone getting all upset.

This is a big horse (17.3hh) that has a great attitude and is starting his career - boundaries needed to be established for both him and me. It was a very interesting experience for both of us, changed our relationship somewhat to a more working relationship. Remember that this is my baby - I watching him being born, bred his mom (sister to my gelding), selected the stallion and have been his only handler since birth.

Well here goes:


Mar. 24, 2010, 08:29 AM
Nice start! Your trainer and you are clear and fair with your requests, and the position of your horse's ears shows that he is attentive and trying hard. Totally agree with you about setting clear boundaries early on...especially with such a huge horse. Wish the volume on my computer worked because I'd like to hear what your trainer is saying. Good luck with him.

Mar. 24, 2010, 08:33 AM
You're very brave. I'll be interested to see what others think.

I guess I'll give you my opinion though...

I understand the need with a young, big stallion to have very firm rules in place. And in general, I'm not offended by the level of force being applied here... perhaps with two caveats:

1) I can't tell, but is the handler hitting him with the whip up around the neck or something when he gets ahead of the handler? I hope not.

2) I think the two of you could be "cleaner" with your whip aids... If you are going to hold him to such a high standard, I think you should hold yourself to the same standard. I'm a bit disturbed by the leader holding the whip upright in his hand, while trying to drive the horse forward. I think it presents a confusing picture for the horse. He sees the whip up front, so he backs off... then gets whipped from behind... doesn't seem quite fair. On the same count, sometimes when the handler says "whoa", you still have the whip raised (in a driving position) behind... then he gets punished for not stopping fast enough.

So... I guess those are my personal thoughts. Overall, the guy seems pretty knowledgeable... so maybe there is an explanation for what I think I'm seeing that I just don't understand... But perhaps the horse doesn't really understand either?

Horse training is not perfect. And neither are trainers... but those are the problems I see that maybe you could do better on?

Mar. 24, 2010, 08:55 AM
Good thing to be working on and the trainer is obviously experienced but
I had the same impressions as rileyT.

A less experienced trainer might not have such a good result trying to replicate that without more clarity in the requests and in the use and positioning of the whip.

Thanks for posting it.

Mar. 24, 2010, 09:08 AM
Let me tell you that you have a very sweet horse. He is taking the whole thing like a champ.

I find that overall the horse is not always given a chance to give the right answer and I don't know how much work you have done with him and how he was to lead. Was he a pushy guy ? If so, then I would take a couple of lessons to get hime back where he belong. First off the shoulder, then the next day trot in hand ...
I personally found the no shaking of the head rule a little bit much. He is a 3 YO and while he should behave, like any other horse should, he is still a baby and he will try to express himself. Would you get after a 3 YO gelding that shake his head ?

From my experience (I currently have 5 stallions - I'm shoing 3 this w-e- and trained over 50 of them in the past 15 years), you don't want your stallion to step on your toes and your trainer is right, but you need to be very, very careful to not go overboard and be too firm. Young horses will take anything, but after a while they will resent it and rebel.

So, my advice is keep working, but be sure that you are always fair and ask yourself if you would treat your stallion the way you would treat a gelding or a mare. It shouldn't be less but it's shouldn't be harsher.

My stallions have a very good reputation, I have strict rules, but they are still allowed to behorses.

Mar. 24, 2010, 09:27 AM
I agree with the observations about the horse not being allowed to make a correct decision on his own. On the move forward cue, there were a few times he was being whipped to go forward before he was even ASKED to go forward. There was neither a verbal cue, or a step forward of the handler cue. You have to ask the horse, let them respond, THEN if they don't, they get a correction, but only if they UNDERSTAND what they are supposed to do first but aren't responding appropriately.

I think you are on the right track, but the trainer's timing just isn't quite right IMO and sometimes he's a little unfair.

What he was saying was 100% spot on and I like his philosophies, I just didn't understand the timing of the use of the whip at times.

Mar. 24, 2010, 09:33 AM
I want to thank you all for your input - I wish the video had been running earlier. You would have seen that while not agressive and he was at a place he had never been before, he was pushing me around quite a bit.

We really needed this for him and me. He's my baby so I could not be the real bad guy here. And as with any situation, you take away what you think works for you.

This was the first meeting between this trainer and my stallion. As you see when I come to get the coat, my boy looks at me like - what the hell is going on. Again part of his education. That was three days ago.

The difference in handling my stallion is night and day since then. I am so glad we had the experience. Now I will tone it down a bit to suit my standards, but the stallion has learned respect for me at a whole different level. Don't get me wrong - he was never unmanageable, but this has made him a total gentleman. I am still soft with him, but on my terms.

We go for a second round next week so it will be interesting to see. This will then be ongoing every six weeks. So it will be great to watch the progress.

Mar. 24, 2010, 09:51 AM
I laughed when he said the thing about the round pen lol.

Indeed, this horse would benifit from learning to respond more quickly to the whip.

I think the timing was off here and there purely because at points he (your stallion) could have cared less, and the trainer was trying to see SOME result :)

Been there, done that lol.

Nice pony (17.3), good luck!

Mar. 24, 2010, 10:01 AM
Kudos to you for getting help. I can not stand when a horse walks all over you on the ground. With a stallion that can be dangerous (not that he was). Looked like he was just clearly defining boundries. I thought it was well done. It seemed to me he was not just getting after the horse, he was getting after you too :)

Mar. 24, 2010, 11:48 AM
Handsome horse.

I think your trainer has a good understanding of the theory of what you are working on. The timing issues are difficult especially when you have an assistant who is also your pupil (no disrespect intended), but timing is a very important aspect of training horses on the ground. I like that the trainer is seeking to develop attention and focus in an age appropriate manner for your guy.

One final comment and it relates to my favorite mental aspect of horsemanship. Your posture with your horse seemed a little tentative. At 17.3 hds plus testosterone, I can understand that. But you need to change it. There is going to be a leader in your relationship; either the horse or you. Obviously it has to be you. I am not suggesting dominance but rather more confidence from you. Some of this will come with time and wet saddle pads, in the mean time you should hum a few bars and fake it, lol. I think this is especially true with horse that you have had since birth. You are Mom. The trainer made a remark that you were your horse's security blanket (like Linus ?). If you are on edge, your horse will be too. Your confidence gives your horse comfort when he is frustrated or doesn't understand something.

All in all; nice work, IMO.

Thanks for sharing.

Mar. 24, 2010, 06:32 PM
Closing this per request of original poster,

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