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charliesangel
Nov. 7, 2010, 12:11 AM
Hi,

I have a 3 year old mare that has been at training for 6 months now.....and she seems to have been barely started under saddle...walking, leg yields and some trot, not even contact with the mouth. What is the average length of time that you send your 3 year old's off for training and what are your opinions? I can't afford to have her in training forever and I just don't know if it perhaps it isnt a good trainer/horse fit? I know the trainer is good, but maybe he just doesnt "connect" with my horse?

Haven's Edge
Nov. 7, 2010, 01:06 AM
imo, depends on how much handling before actual training.. most cases sitting on in 30 days.. and marching forward from there..no framing for a while just long and low, follow your nose, lots of circles and steering.. and then on to canter.. hey you have 2 leads.... and then lengthening and shortening the step.
also depends what its job is going to be. I am doing a 3 yr old now that needs a little better topline so doing more ground work and lots of transitions and( also from the ground ) doing flex at poll and trot in frame but don't realy ask to stay in frame when riding. yet. Same horse is also trotting all fences, trotting in and cantering out a line and some simple gymnastics. So even as a green 3 yr old she really can jump around a course..I just don't do it.

Green broke horses can be doing quite a bit in 60-90 days.. unless they want to be rodeo stars then there is less waltz and more polka (since they need their minds occupied)

However, not knowing your specific horse and confirmation,physical/mental maturity and such..hard to say what she should be doing..but walk-trot in 6 months of training? maybe you should be there more frequently and watch the work outs and also ask when you will be sitting on her..

fourmares
Nov. 7, 2010, 01:51 AM
I'm an ammy and my difficult horse (the one my trainer said, "now don't fall off because I don't know if I'll be able to keep him from coming after you") was W/T/C and trotting little jumps in 6 months... but as I recall 2 months or more of that was on the longe line without a rider.

My OTTB has been back to work about 6 months... she's WTC, but the left lead is iffy and a parachute is recommended equipment on her bad days... no way she's ready to start over fences... yes, she was already broke when I got her, but not very IMO... I came off a lot the first month.

All three of my warmblood mares were at least WTC in 6 months.

I think you need to find a new pro, or find out why the pro you are using is going so slow with your mare.

Go Fish
Nov. 7, 2010, 01:03 AM
My 3-year-old (coming 4) gelding has been in training 9 months. He's cantering courses of small jumps (2'6") and is being readied for Thermal (if the barn goes this year) in the baby greens. He has his changes, canters rhymically, shortens, lengthens, inside/outside leg, etc. Is he broke to death? No. But he's pretty steady with the pro.

He IS an easy-going, "I'll try anything", non-argumentative type of guy. Laid-back, not spooky or reactive. We've taken him to 3 shows this past summer and fall to hang out and he didn't bat an eye. He's a Holsteiner, if that makes a difference.

Don't know if this answers your questions or not. If, at any time, he told us that all of the training up to this point has or is too much, we would have backed off. All things being equal, I would expect more out of your horse if he's been going for 6 months.

MsRidiculous
Nov. 7, 2010, 08:19 AM
I have a 3yo that's got about 6 months on her (was started in Feb but has had a month off here and there). She's w/t/c 3-4 days a week and canters little jumps once every week or two. I've only asked her for one lead change and she's done it. We haven't strung more than 3-4 jumps in a row yet. She's just still too immature IMO, and butt high again. Haven't had a pro on her yet except for her initial starting... she will hopefully go into a program in January.

Mine was at the point yours is within the first week of being started, FWIW.

copper1
Nov. 7, 2010, 08:23 AM
All depends on the horse and how much ground work had been done before it started the undersaddle work. All things being equal, a 3yo should be able to w/t/c somewhat decently in 30 days or so. You are not asking for sustained work but the general idea should be in their heads. They can also be doing some very basic ground rails or tiny fillers and getting the idea of leg yielding, turns on the forehand and haunches and some rein back.
A good trainer is willing to do some back peddling if the baby fails to understand something and that can increase the 30 day thing but most should be doing the basics in the time frame.

Aelfleah Farm
Nov. 7, 2010, 08:36 AM
No hard and fast rule but I expect mine to be w-t-c in well under 60 days, and then start refining. The current eventer pony had less than 10 rides (2 weeks of under saddle) last summer at w-t. Then started again in January. She was on the green-as-grass cross country course before the end of the month and competing in Beginner Novice 4 months later with a child aboard. And I think she's pretty typical of what I expect.

LoveJubal
Nov. 7, 2010, 08:54 AM
OP - just to give you some perspective, I have a green TB that was started under saddle this summer and has had approximately 30 days worth of training on him (2-3 days a week with the trainer out at our barn) and he is doing all of the stuff that your mare is doing after 6 months.

And let me tell you, this guy was SLOW to start because he didn't have any real groundwork on him as far as lunging, long lining, etc. I think your trainer may be taking it unnecessarily slow and you should maybe have a check-up-on-the-progress visit. Your mare shouldn't be rushed, but she should be making steady progress forward.

Thomas_1
Nov. 7, 2010, 09:00 AM
I always say that "it takes as long as it takes".

How long is "It depends":

On what you did with the horse prior to any work commencing under saddle.

The temperament of the horse and how biddable it is.

Whether you want it pushed on regardless or produced slowly or carefully.

How well you want the job doing.

Whether you've expressed the desired outcome in terms of "just things to be achieved" or a level of achievement.

What the owner's capability is once the horse goes back there.

How much time and money you have.

I'd suggest if the OP is uncertain that a conversation with the trainer might be best recommended. Ensure you both have common understanding about what the aims and objectives are. Ensure there's clarity about the expectation on both sides. Arrange to go and see some training sessions and ask the trainer how long it's likely to take to reach specific objectives. As the trainer has had the horse for 6 months he's more likely to be able to advise now then before he knew the horse.

mrsbradbury
Nov. 7, 2010, 09:00 AM
Hi,

I have a 3 year old warmblood mare that has been at training for 6 months now.....and she seems to have been barely started under saddlet...walking, leg yields and some trot, not even contact with the mouth/bit. This seems very slow in my opinion.....she is a smart, easy to work with but a sensitive mare. No behavioral issues. What is the average length of time that you send your 3 year old's off for training and what are your opinions? I can't afford to have her in training forever and I just don't know if it perhaps it isnt a good trainer/horse fit? I know the trainer is good, but maybe he just doesnt "connect" with my horse?

As for no contact, I don't believe three year olds can be on "contact", she should be able to allow connection with the bit and steer.

How far along was she when you sent her? I sent my 3 year old out last spring, he could be saddled, lunged,and bridled. He left for 30 days and he came back able to walk, trot and canter. Very basically, I took it from there.

How far along does your mare need to be when you get her back?

I think that in 6 months, she should at least pick up the canter, halt, make a nice figure eight at the trot, and be able to trot a little course of poles on the gound, if not jump an X too. Unless, she came in straight from the field, never wore a halter or been in a stall.;)

It might be time to move on.

Petstorejunkie
Nov. 7, 2010, 09:26 AM
Dearie, it takes as long as it takes. Talk to the trainer about how your horse is doing in training. Now that they have worked with her a while what is the estimated timeline?
I know not all horse trainers are qualified or honest, so I can understand the suspicion, but far far too many trainers push horses too fast to please owners because of threads like these and the assumption that 60 days should get you a horse ready to show.
training a horse really is a pyramid, the base takes longer to fill than the top.

sptraining
Nov. 7, 2010, 09:43 AM
training a horse really is a pyramid, the base takes longer to fill than the top.

I like it! :) And agree.

Perfect Pony
Nov. 7, 2010, 09:53 AM
Hi,

I have a 3 year old warmblood mare that has been at training for 6 months now.....and she seems to have been barely started under saddlet...walking, leg yields and some trot, not even contact with the mouth/bit. This seems very slow in my opinion.....she is a smart, easy to work with but a sensitive mare. No behavioral issues. What is the average length of time that you send your 3 year old's off for training and what are your opinions? I can't afford to have her in training forever and I just don't know if it perhaps it isnt a good trainer/horse fit? I know the trainer is good, but maybe he just doesnt "connect" with my horse?

Goodness, the mare is three! IMO is sounds like you have a great trainer, you should be thanking him every single day for not pushing your mare. Now give her some time off with some light hacking until next spring and start up again then when she is more physically mature.

Also, I would not ask for contact until a horse is strong over the neck and back and WTC solidly. As a matter of fact if the horse is started correctly and ridden correctly you wont have to ask once the horse is ready, she will seek it all on her own.

DMK
Nov. 7, 2010, 09:54 AM
I started my boy in the spring, and I take my sweet time and am not really in a rush and he's w-t-c, starting on contact (I like them to carry themselves reliably at 3 gaits first, so maintaining contact is "later" on my list), gone on some field trips (shows, trail rides) hacks down the road, tons of poles and has recently started jumping small fences. He could physically and emotionally be way past that, but I have no plans for winter, so slow is fine.

That said, he's very willing, was prepped for the sales as a yearling, showed on the line as a 2 year old and I gave him 30 days u/s as a 2 year old where he did w/t then took most of the fall/winter off. In other words, he had a good base for this spring.

I guess if I had a horse at a trainer for 6 months and was barely started under saddle, I would hope I was getting feedback from the trainer on why that was the case. There's plenty of good reasons, and this is the one part of working with a horse that you want to get right the first time if at all possible, so more time is fine. I don't see that as the larger issue, but rather that you are not sure why things are progressing at this pace.

findeight
Nov. 7, 2010, 10:03 AM
How mature is this 3 yo WB and how many days a week/for how long is the trainer working with it/what did it know how to do when you sent it?

Without getting these questions answered, cannot answer OPs question.

OP, care to fill us in?

charliesangel
Nov. 7, 2010, 12:46 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the responses! My mare is a Hanoverian. She did have some lunging and round pen work when she went to the trainers so had a very, very, basic start. She is a total pleaser, smart, easy to work with but is sensitive...although not hot or spooky at all. He is several hours away so I only get to see her once every week or two. I am alllllll about taking it slow, and I think with a slow maturing warmblood that is definitely the route to take. But when I mean she is not even trotting yet, I mean I think he has taken a few steps of trot with her and thats it. I am just concerned that she is progressing way too slowly. I have had many 3 year olds and some took longer than others, but at 3 months I would expect to see her walk, trot, cantering. I am not naive to the fact that each horse is different, and I am not the type that is expecting her to be finished or show-ready. But she should at least have the basics down. Thats all I wanted done and I was to bring her home then and work with her myself. I have tried talking to the trainer several times about this and I don't really know what the next step is. Do I take her out and bring her to someone different or do I leave her for a few more months?? The problem is with the latter is that I have given him a few more months than originally planned and she still isn't progressing. He says she is but I do not agree. I have only been on her one time and needless to say it was not a good ride. I was led around one circle and my horse was freaked out the whole time. I have asked him if she is just not "mentally" ready and should I just take her home until the spring (of course working with her a bit) and he said absolutely not, she was physically and mentally ready and that would be the worst thing I can do. I know she is being worked with....although I do not know how much. Its kinda a one man and assistant operation and they are very busy (have great reps too) but I wonder if they arent working with her as much as they just have too many horses?? I have had bad experiences with trainers in the past with them not doing anything with my horse so I am very leery of anybody at this point unfortunately. I am just feeling stuck :( I thought I would have her home by now and its such a disappointment........

In my opinion she is MONTHS away from being ready to come home. She seems as green as can be still.

RyuEquestrian
Nov. 7, 2010, 02:19 PM
We offer a Young Horse Starting and Development Program (http://sakurahillfarm.com/horses.php?HOID=76)as well as start our own performance horses and in our experience it usually takes between 6-8 weeks. That being said, there are of course exceptions.

One of our own mares, who is an alpha mare took approximately 3 months to start because we had to spend a lot of time getting her to respect personal space.

That being said, one of our other mares, was happily walk, trot and cantering under saddle in 3 weeks. It was a natural progression and everything came naturally.

Pic of the starting process Taken June 2009 (http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs088.snc1/4622_539491213225_10402430_32020064_7063142_n.jpg)
Pic taken 1 year later June 2010 (http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs443.ash2/71661_567834024005_10402430_33067612_6440960_n.jpg )

Bethe Mounce
Nov. 7, 2010, 02:58 PM
Every young horse is different. Clients will ask me that proverbial question: "how long will it take?" I have no crystal ball or magic wand. When that 3 year old comes to me, if groundwork has not been done properly, then that has to be addressed. And, backing youngsters IS dangerous. We take our lives in our own hands every time we put our hands on them....always best to go from Step A to B slowly before progressing. You work with what you have every day, not what you want that horse to be. Some days the pressure can be put on them, other days not. I strongly encourage owners to come see their youngsters often no matter what the distance. Some of mine have taken several months, injuries etc....others a short period of time. How they were started as foals dictates ALOT!!!!

On the other hand, there are trainers who go slow to keep their cash flow steady....I don't agree with that.

Good luck, go see your baby as much as you can....stay on top of the training....this kind of work is not easy for anyone. Takes years of experience to know what to do when. Have fun with your youngster too! They grow up way too fast! ;)

Perfect Pony
Nov. 7, 2010, 04:20 PM
Honestly, if I were you, I would just take her home, go back to light groundwork for the winter with some time off, let her grow up, then send her off to a good hunter trainer in the spring when she is 4.

It doesn't sound like you really trust this trainer all that much, and if your horse has been there 6 months and you are having communication issues, just move on. It's FAR from the worst thing you can do for the mare. If she is accepting tack and the weight of the rider on her back and turning and going forward from the leg, that's all you need.

I disagree that starting youngsters is really that hard, I think they are way easier than dealing with a horse with bad training. It's certainly an art and a specific skill, but 90% of horses are so trusting and willing and want to do the right thing, that's why the training usually goes pretty quickly.

Anyway, that's just my .02. I think the best thing is to take some time off and move on to a trainer you trust and have a better relationship with next year.

CHT
Nov. 7, 2010, 05:04 PM
There is taking it slow...and wasting your money. I have started horses that are just too immature/unbalanced in their growth to balance well enough to canter, so I walk/trot, trail ride, walk/trot poles and do some basic lateral work (leg yeild & turn on the forehand) and if they still don't feel like they should canter, I suggest to the owner to let them sit for a while to mature.

6 months and your horse can barely trot? Maybe your horse really is just not ready to do more, but what exactly IS your trainer doing to help the horse progress? If the horse is just being kept in a holding pattern waiting for it to mature, then it may as well be sitting in a feild.

PNWjumper
Nov. 7, 2010, 06:43 PM
I've started several of my own and sent others out for 30, 60, or 90 days. I think "it takes as long as it takes" as well, but if you're paying a full training and board fee and you're 6 months in with nothing really to show, I would be inclined to pull the horse out of the program. I would certainly wonder what is being done with the horse and why.

I recently sent my 3yo holsteiner out to a horse breaker because he has a bit of a naughty streak and I didn't want to try starting him with my current travel schedule because of the inherent inconsistency. I consider my boy to be smart, but not necessarily precocious, and I would say that he tends towards the "takes a little longer" side of things in the breaking process.

The trainer that had him took about 30 days to get him doing a (very rough) walk and trot (mostly in a round pen). He was cantering within about 45 days, and the next 45 days were spent basically refining the work.

When he came back to me after 90 days he was very solid with his walk, trot, and canter work. He didn't go on even the slightest bit of a contact (though I worked on that after he came home.....NOT to get him "in a frame" of any sort, simply for him to learn that he could continue to go forward with a very light contact on the reins). He had done some basic lateral work and had done a handful of little jumps and poles at the trainer's place.

I rode him for another 20 days and then took him to a Greg Best clinic to start him jumping for real. Here he is at 3 1/2 months under saddle:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q851DtF9en4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUyojmjxX9k

In my experience, my boy's progress is pretty average for a horse without any "issues." With that being said, my plan was to get him broke and jumping over the course of 90-120 days and then turn him back out until next year. That means I do a little bit more with a horse then I would do if my plan was to keep him going through the winter and into the spring. Maybe your trainer's plan takes this into account???

Either way I would question why the horse wasn't doing more than walking and trotting after 6 months of training. There may be a very valid reason, but I would expect to have it explained to me in great detail when I spoke to the trainer. I would not be happy paying a full training fee month in and month out with no end in sight UNLESS there was a very good reason.

EqTrainer
Nov. 7, 2010, 09:41 PM
I would have to have a very, very good reason given to me for six months and not trotting under saddle.

I have turned the horse starting over to my now ex-working student but still help her. In six months they are w/t/c, hacking out and doing small gymnastics. Clipping, loading, tying, etc. Etc. HOWEVER - we had one last year who was very difficult. Eventually we decided this horse was simply going to be a bronc and he needed to go to someone who rides broncs :lol: and truly... Every single step with that horse takes three times as long as the others. Ah well.

But here the thing...his owner knew exactly what was going on and why he needed to go somewhere else. There is no reason to keep secrets, the horse tells you what is going on, I could be ok with that timeline IF there were a reason.

Also... Saying this gently... But owners often have ideas about their young horses that are a bit off. So do consider that perhaps the trainer didn't feel that her skills were where they needed to be, to progress quickly. It happens.

Across Sicily
Nov. 8, 2010, 12:50 AM
See, this would be an instance where RateMyHorsePro.com would come in handy :P It would be interesting to see if others had similar experiences with your trainer.

I think there's "starting slow" and then there's "basically moving backwards"... and your horse has basically only walked under saddle at the end of six months? Unless she came in as a completely feral creature I would be pretty concerned. As a difficult horse, I would expect a semi-decent w/t/c by this time; as a normal horse I would expect more. As much as you don't want to push them too hard, they also need to learn to do a job, and it's as much teaching them a work ethic as it is teaching them new stuff.

If it were my horse I would probably bring her home or find a new trainer.

Oh, and PNWJumper - your greenie is so cute!

Equilibrium
Nov. 8, 2010, 01:12 AM
Your mare has been in training for 6 months and she takes a few steps under saddle and you're worried it might be a little slow in the progression area. Well you're darn tooting right it is. Unless this horse is some kind of monster, I think some kind of trot in 1/2 a year's training is expected.

Look, I'm sure you like your guy but come on you know something isn't right. I would see if you can't find someone closer to where you are if possible, it makes a difference.

I'm the opposite of everyone else, I start mine and then send them to pro's to polish off. And with my 4 turning 5 mare, he will be jumping her as well. Would not have done it if I couldn't just pop in whenever I wanted.

And I would tell you what else I would be worried about, sheer boredom for a horse that has been in work for 6 months and can't trot but a few steps. And again, if horse is difficult something else entirely, but from what I've read she seems quite good. I like starting them and letting them out again (start at 2,late) bring back at 3 in which more is accomplished but same thing, another break. Now if horse is mentally and physically ready then after their break they get ready to do their job. If not bring back at 4 and then work on their job. Like these would be my own so not wasting anyone's money, but I do like them having breaks as they are only babies.

Terri

alto
Nov. 8, 2010, 01:48 AM
The problem is with the latter is that I have given him a few more months than originally planned and she still isn't progressing. He says she is but I do not agree. I have only been on her one time and needless to say it was not a good ride. I was led around one circle and my horse was freaked out the whole time. I have asked him if she is just not "mentally" ready and should I just take her home until the spring (of course working with her a bit) and he said absolutely not, she was physically and mentally ready and that would be the worst thing I can do.

How long had she been in training at this point? have you had her out off the farm much before she went off to training?

After 6 months & such limited progress I'd consider ending her on a good note & putting her back out for the winter to do some mental maturing.
Even with the foot & health issues (of both trainer & horse) this seems incredibly slow, couple this with the trainer's unwillingness to engage in a frank discussion & I'd bring my horse home.

bizbachfan
Nov. 8, 2010, 06:53 AM
I am no expert by any means and of course every horse is different. However either a horse is ready to start or not in my opinion. If horse is ready to start and he is giving full training horse should be worked with 5 days a week unless you agreed to something else. If horse cannot walk/trot/canter under saddle with little issue I would bring it home. Either give horse a break or find another trainer. The red flags to me are: 1) 6 months, only takes a step or two at trot? 2) talked to trainer but no response? HUH? he works for you
3) you seem to not trust trainer
Go get your horse.

Oakstable
Nov. 8, 2010, 07:14 AM
Get your horse. It seems to me you are a money tree for this trainer.

Some horses are not ready to be started at age 3. Bring your horse home, and start again in the spring with a different trainer.

EqTrainer
Nov. 8, 2010, 07:33 AM
Thanks for the great responses everybody. I am torn as to what to do at this point. There has been one thing after another which has also caused her to not be worked, such as shoes coming off and my trainer's farrier not coming out for days to fix it, she was vaccinated so my trainer had a few days off, she coliced (scary as luckily I was there to catch it) so she had some more days off, and weather was crappy/windy/rainy off, trainer was sick, gone, etc and on so she wasn't worked for whatever reason. That being said, if I am paying for full-training, she should be in full-training. I know he only works with her probably on average 3 days a week. I have tried talking to him and don't get much info. I have spoken to the trainer about maybe her just being too immature or not ready, etc and he said thats not the case. I guess I will just try talking with him tomorrow and see. On a sidenote, if anybody has any great recommendations for trainers within 2 hours from San Francisco, please let me know! Thanks.

Ah well, those are really not valid reasons. The only one is, the horse is not ready, which certainly can happen. If you have given him the chance to tell you that and he denies it, time to move on IMO.

Freebird!
Nov. 8, 2010, 07:59 AM
I agree with the others - 6 months is way too long.

Did you sign any type of training contract when you first took your horse to the trainer? When I take babies in to be started, I have a contract that clearly lays out exactly what I plan on doing, and how long - generally - each step will take. I also have the owner write down specific goals she would like to see met, and I try my best to accomplish them.

I evaluate the horse for 2 weeks, and then sit down with the owner and we then talk in more detail about how long things will take. If I feel that the horse is too immature to be backed, I would tell the owner straight away. I also look at the horse's tack, feed, turnout, feet, and soundness and again, if I see anything amiss, I talk to the owner.

I have broke many, many babies, from ponies to TB racehorses, but I have only had one horse who took that long - and as it turned out, she was truly unridable and ended up as a broodmare, I think.

I wonder if, for whatever reason, your trainer is scared of your mare. You can be an excellent pro rider, but if you are the least bit scared of riding babies, then you will never get very far with them.

bizbachfan
Nov. 8, 2010, 08:06 AM
I am still amazed at trainers who give no feedback to owners who are paying them.

Jellybean83
Nov. 8, 2010, 08:14 PM
My 3 yr old was sent to a trainer's to be backed and in 6 weeks could lunge and WTC on a loopy rain. She could also safely be ridden at the walk on a trail ride. Steering was pretty questionable at this point though haha.

She was sent out to be broke in July. She had most of the rest of Aug and Sept off because I didn't have much time. She got ridden maybe 3-4 times in Sept just walk and trot. She can now WTC, stop, walk over poles, and steer pretty well. She will stay on the rail unless asked otherwise. She doesn't get ridden with any contact at this point though. She's been getting ridden no more than 3 times a week since Oct 1st. She's going to be a hunter if that makes any difference.

Equilibrium
Nov. 9, 2010, 02:29 AM
I am still amazed at trainers who give no feedback to owners who are paying them.

I know, right!

Look OP, I've been on both sides of the coin and I see the regulars here on CoTH who know what they are on about also replying. You need to go and get your horse. See if you can't find someone a little closer. I do know that in some area's of the States it's hard to find good trainers locally. One advantage I have here in Ireland.

You are paying for a service you are not getting, so bring her home. Don't feel bad or guilty because you haven't been treated fairly and nor has your filly.

I remember when I sent Abba off there in September and my trainer said, "we'll give it 2 weeks so I can assess your mare and not waste your time or money." and I said, "we'll give it 2 weeks to make sure you can handle one annoying owner.":lol:
Needless to say it's all worked out better than expected but both parties need to be able to communicate.

Terri

JumpinBeans81
Nov. 9, 2010, 05:29 PM
Alright, i'm gonna jump in here...hope I don't get yelled at...I have an entirely different take on starting youngsters and it has yielded extremely good results for me. That said, it is well to note that EVERY rider and horse are different and what works for me may not work at all for you or your situation. I have started around 30-40 young horses that have gone on to happy, productive "careers".

My absolute first priority is having a horse move in and around my space on the ground with attention and respect. (and i'm not holding any carrot sticks, just practical down-to-earth good ground manners). This can take anywhere from 1 hour to 1 week depending on the horse and tactic...there is a fine line between confidence/intimidation and kindness/timidity...cross over to the wrong side and you will either fry a brain or turn into a door mat. That is as blunt as it gets, but as clear as I can make it. This is all about consistency and fairness and it is what builds a compassionate trusting relationship to further training under saddle.

Undersaddle, my first priority is controlling the hind end. if you can control the hind end the front end follows suit. This means forward! and beyond forward, my first 2-3 days are spent asking the horse to move its haunches to the left and to the right all at the walk in a round pen. *typically* they do actually "get it" in a few days, the basics of a leg yield and later a turn on the forehand (though definitely not a full circle on the forehand, just when I am asking for the change of direction accross the round pen as this helps them to engage properly and learn where their feet are) The other thing that seems to naturally happen when you focus on getting them to move their haunches a few steps either direction is that they do shorten their frame naturally which makes it easy to begin having a light amount of contact on the bit. When they shorten their frame and you have light contact and switch directions, once you are on a "straight" line again imediately realease and praise and they have just begun to understand what positive contact is. At this point, when they give a little from the jaw I start thinking about allowing thim to take a few steps of canter.

First steps of trot and canter are often in the first week - 10 days of backing in the round pen...that may sound ambitious, but the point is to get them forward thinking first and in front of your leg...not to necessarily have a great transition...I find less instances of pissy behaviour and those looking to "find a trick" when you keep their minds busy and they learn they can carry weight in the canter this early on in training...mind you this is only one trip around the round pen each direction. given with LOADS of praise/encouragement. By the 2nd week we are out of the round pen and working on figure eights and serpentines at the walk and trot. Depending on the horse and his/her mental/physical maturity I may also choose to ask for the canter toward the end of the 2nd week. I do not ride a baby as if it is a baby and crouch forward or throw my reins away like I often see done. I ride them in much the same light soft way I would my other horses...I just don't have the expectation that I will get the same response. Babies need help and support and most of all kind consistency using correct aids...and Yes every horse is different...but when I hear that a horse is not even trotting and cantering after 6 MONTHS of training?? it makes me a little sick to my stomach. That is just one opinion from my corner of the world. Isn't it great to have so many different ways and thoughts for obtaining the same end result.

meupatdoes
Nov. 9, 2010, 05:42 PM
Six months?

This was my horse after two (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LLaAcHesDg), three (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5cWzgef8l8), and four (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49Muo_l13KA).

He was going on solo hacks around the fields after 5-10 rides.

eta
To be fair I should add that I am starting the timeline "after first swinging a leg over." He had a great beginning with an owner who had him beautifully prepared on the ground and handled daily from weanling on who also did some longing work for a month or two before anyone hopped on.

MichiganHunter91
Nov. 9, 2010, 06:28 PM
It all depends on the horse and the training it gets.

Some horses learn faster/slower than others. It's hard to put the number of days, weeks, months, years on it.

If you're having trouble with affording the training, maybe lease the horse to an experienced trainer if worse came to worse.

And that could be possible what you said OP, the horse and trainer may not "click" together; horses have their likes and dislikes as well. If he is busy with other horses and chores, he may not be putting the time your horse may deserve and it may be time to move on to someone else.

She sounds like a lovely horse though. Good luck!

JumpinBeans81
Nov. 9, 2010, 06:51 PM
Wow, am I ADD or what!?! :o:lol: ...sorry for the long drawn out post...started to list the things I thought should be accomplished in a 6 mo time frame and got a bit carried away...sorry!! :winkgrin:

Personally, as stated before and by many others...you know something is off, you can feel it down to your bones. Take her home or take her somewhere else. In my own experience a youngster with an idle mind is the one that begins acting up just to find things to do.

Absolutely best of luck to you and your youngster!! This is just a little bobble in the road...it does get better and before you know it you will be riding her without any hitches :yes:

Give your girl a hug and a carrot!

bizbachfan
Nov. 9, 2010, 07:02 PM
please update us on what happens, can't imagine a quiet, reasonable horse being this slow to move along in training as much as a nobody that I am.

Hoping for a happy ending

mademoiselle
Nov. 9, 2010, 07:13 PM
I got 4 horses in training end of August and in September, all are 3 YO WBs. Some had good ground work, some not so much:eek:.

They are all going w/t/c undersaddle in a arena. They have their leads, they have been ponied on trails with a rider, they have popped over an X.
They are worked 3 to 4 times a week.

Get your horse out of that barn ...

I took a week of vacation and I took it off the training bill for my clients.:yes:

Kyzteke
Nov. 9, 2010, 09:48 PM
I sent a 6 yr old mare who had plenty of handling, but no u/s work or actual "training" to a dressage pro for 90 days.

When I picked her up she was WTC both directions, getting the correct lead 95% of the time, and reaching for the contact. She was still on the FH alot, but most of that was a fitness issue, I think, since she was only ridden 3 x a week. The other day was lunging and the 5th day was free-jumping. She had 2 days a week off.

This mare had never been in a working barn before or stalled (she had already had 2 foals), so the first 45 days were spent getting her to FOCUS instead of going around the arena bleating like a lost little lamb for her buddies.

This trainer is considered one of the best YH trainers in the West, at least for dressage, so mileage may vary.

This video was taken the day I picked her up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmGztGTKZzM


I'm thinking your trainer may be taking alittle too much time, but maybe there are issues?

If not, I would sit down and chat with trainer and have an honest talk about a timeline for training and what the trainer would expect to achieve in your (budgeted) timeframe. Nothing wrong with looking elsewhere, athough keep in mind "quick" is not always better.

But I'm sure you know that.

I have to add after reading some more of your posts that, in my situation, the "90 days" were training days, not necessarily sequential days in which my mare was boarded there. In other words, she whacked her leg on the metal gate and was abit off, so the trainer gave her a week off. Although I paid for board for that week, I did NOT pay for training. Ditto for the week when the trainer went out of state for a show. Your trainer should be able to account for every training day in the "program" and THAT is what you pay for. Board is different. For instance, I know some trainers offer Half-Training, in which they only train 3 days a week. Full Training is usually 5 days a week.

This sort of thing is going to make a difference in the actual time spent in training.

Freebird!
Nov. 9, 2010, 10:33 PM
Here's a video of my last training horse, the very day he arrived at the farm. Prior to that day he had worn a saddle once, and been bridles but not ground driven.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZILXsFSRy4

Summit Springs Farm
Nov. 10, 2010, 08:07 AM
Honestly, if I were you, I would just take her home, go back to light groundwork for the winter with some time off, let her grow up, then send her off to a good hunter trainer in the spring when she is 4.

It doesn't sound like you really trust this trainer all that much, and if your horse has been there 6 months and you are having communication issues, just move on. It's FAR from the worst thing you can do for the mare. If she is accepting tack and the weight of the rider on her back and turning and going forward from the leg, that's all you need.

I disagree that starting youngsters is really that hard, I think they are way easier than dealing with a horse with bad training. It's certainly an art and a specific skill, but 90% of horses are so trusting and willing and want to do the right thing, that's why the training usually goes pretty quickly.

Anyway, that's just my .02. I think the best thing is to take some time off and move on to a trainer you trust and have a better relationship with next year.

THIS^^^^^^^!!!!!

Flash44
Nov. 10, 2010, 10:23 AM
We always get on them the first day or so if possible, if only sitting on them. There is no difference between putting a saddle on a horse and putting a rider on. Ground work at the beginning of the session to include long lining, then get on them and repeat what was done on the ground. Not physically rushing the horse under tack - this depends on the age and maturity level of the horse. But you should be wtc within 6 weeks and w/t over poles and the horse should hack out as well. The horse should also stand for bathing, clipping, vacuuming, load on the trailer, etc. It is more a process of teaching the horse to calmly accept new things than a specific "today we are leaning to bathe" or "today we are learning to load" thing. If you have a solid teaching program, you should be able to use the same methodology to accomplish multiple purposes.