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  1. #21
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    Mar. 23, 2000
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    Wayne, IL USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientoaks View Post
    well, I would love to know where this trainer is...or anyone else who has had great experience...we would happily send this youngster off to be finished right...as we are not sure the 'training' is at a point right now we are comfortable (husband is 71 and doesn't need any broken bones from a scared young horse)...with getting onboard..

    really would love some help here, to continue with the education on this lovely horse....

    Ancientoaks:

    We are in Elgin, IL at a breeding farm with a few boarders. My filly's trainer is marvelous and he works with each horse as an individual. Never tries to put a different horse in the same peg as another. He was even interested in her bloodlines to see if there were any characertistics that might show up during the training process. My only constraint was that I wanted to be the first one on my filly. He worked her for a few day on the ground and I was in the saddle. After that, she was all his. He is the trainer at the farm, so it make it nice to watch him work with her on occasion.



  2. #22
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    Apr. 4, 2006
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    An American Living In Ireland
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    Ancient Oaks,
    We have an open door policy at our barn within reason. Like 12am I'm drunk with friends and want to come see my horse type of thing isn't on, but we try to make everything as open as possible. I encourage them to come as often as they want. If we aren't here, we aren't far, but there is someone always around.
    Now most of our owners wouldn't be riders actually. We do mostly racehorses, but most of them have been ripped off in one way or another. As in paying for full training and horse isn't on the property. Constantly dirty horses or filthy stables and very little evidence of any forage. These are some of the things they've complained about elsewhere which is why we have the open door policy.
    If we are breaking warmbloods, sporthorses, or general riding horses we actually like if the riders come and get on the horses while they are still here being broken or I should say nearly at the end. Then we can discuss any issues they might have with the horse or something we are doing or something they'd like us to do before they go home.
    So yes we do like our clients to feel involved and want them to involved in they wish and they are free to contact us or see there horse and any time.

    Terri
    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

    "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2004
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    832

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    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    Ancient Oaks,
    We have an open door policy at our barn within reason. Like 12am I'm drunk with friends and want to come see my horse type of thing isn't on, but we try to make everything as open as possible. I encourage them to come as often as they want. If we aren't here, we aren't far, but there is someone always around.
    Now most of our owners wouldn't be riders actually. We do mostly racehorses, but most of them have been ripped off in one way or another. As in paying for full training and horse isn't on the property. Constantly dirty horses or filthy stables and very little evidence of any forage. These are some of the things they've complained about elsewhere which is why we have the open door policy.
    If we are breaking warmbloods, sporthorses, or general riding horses we actually like if the riders come and get on the horses while they are still here being broken or I should say nearly at the end. Then we can discuss any issues they might have with the horse or something we are doing or something they'd like us to do before they go home.
    So yes we do like our clients to feel involved and want them to involved in they wish and they are free to contact us or see there horse and any time.

    Terri
    When we had our training barn, we too had an 'open door' policy, as we had nothing to hide from our owners, our methods, our care, nothing. We were a small, do it all ourselves type of business, so would ask for a phone call if possible, but always greeted everyone with a welcome smile. TOO many visitors unannounced resulted in not much work done, so we tried to find ways to avoid this.
    We ALWAYS kept in touch with owners, every few days, or if a milestone, good or bad, had occured...AND in starting young horses, BEFORE the horse went home (and we never took any shorter than 90 days) we required the owner or whomever was going to ride, to come and take 2 lessons ON their horse so they would know the buttons to push and how to push them properly...We always returned our calls that day, and as we retired just as the internet age began, returned emails promptly as well (we still do that) I know owners have changed and so have trainers, and I don't know which came first, the chicken or the egg, but it happened...
    I have gotten a couple of good recom from posters here, people we had lost track of (hey TRAINERS, YOU ARE HARD TO FIND!!!) even close by....so hopefully we will find the 'right' spot for our kid...and upcoming kids as well......we have a stunningly lovely State of the Art pinto filly, three now, we have stalled and stalled about starting for the very reasons mentioned in this thread.....can't sell her unless she is under saddle, so........off we go into the abyss again!



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2003
    Location
    Indiana
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    97

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    Just a quick comment on the wearing of sneakers. Well, I have major foot issues and I always wear sneakers UNLESS I am riding. I would be seriously lame if I wore boots all the time. Yes, I have young, old and clutzy horses. You just make sure you know where your feet are!!



  5. #25
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    Apr. 8, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by rupenthal2 View Post
    Just a quick comment on the wearing of sneakers. Well, I have major foot issues and I always wear sneakers UNLESS I am riding. I would be seriously lame if I wore boots all the time. Yes, I have young, old and clutzy horses. You just make sure you know where your feet are!!
    understand...the operative word in your comment is "UNLESS I AM RIDING"......

    in the photo we got, the 'trainer' was RIDING in a stock saddle no less (the saddle choice is fine with us for a young horse so that is not the issue) in SHORTS and SNEAKERS.....
    not only ineffective, but totally unsafe for HER....sneakered feet have a nasty habit of slipping thru the stirrups of a stock saddle during an emergency and getting hung up...the result can be devastating for both horse and rider (mostly rider being injured, horse being terrified)....it just showed us an extraordinary lack of knowledge/experience....



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2003
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    Purcellville, VA USA
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    880

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    I agree that it can be difficult to find young horse trainers but I would never send mine away if I wasn't sure that I couldn't "just show up" for a couple of reasons:

    1) to make sure the horse was really being started (I know plenty of people who have paid someone to do NOTHING with the horse but were convinced something was being done...until they got it home and it knew nothing more than it did when it left!)
    2) to see how the horse was responding, progress being made, if in fact it was one I thought I would be comfortable riding when it came home
    3) to ensure the care it was being given was up to par (in good weight, progressing with muscle tone, etc.)

    Too many people out there say they are trainers but in fact have no idea what they are doing. Several years ago I went to see someone (who was highly recommended by someone on this board) and I was SHOCKED at what I saw! VERY unsafe conditions, her kids were running all around the barn (in barefeet) and all around the horses, screaming while playing tag. Needless to say, it was scary and chaotic all at once. The mare I needed to start would never have tolerated this and would have most likely killed one of the kids at the very least. It was quite clear to me that this person had never started young horses before but she was being "blessed" as a young horse trainer on this board. That said, I am also very realistic about my horses and I know when I can trust them and when I cannot, this one is not one I turn my back on so I wasn't going to endanger a trainer either.

    To answer your question, I would have been furious and if it were me, I would show up tomorrow instead of Tuesday, you might learn a lot coming by unannounced.

    I sold a filly to a family about ten years ago and at the time I was a bit upset about what they did but it didn't take me long to realize why they did what they did. They would call and say they were coming on a specific day, at a specific time. Typically they would show up HOURS earlier or even the day before, I really didn't mind except that it was generally during the work day, luckily I was working from home the days they picked (hmmm, or maybe they were here on days I wasn't and I never knew it?!). It dawned on me after they bought her that someone most likely said, "show up at odd times so you know she can't drug the filly before you get there" or maybe I am also paranoid?? At any rate, it turned out to be a great sale and we kept in touch for many years.



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2006
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    Wouldn't bother me a bit if the horse came back safe, sound, broke, and happy. If the horse came home with issues, wasn't broke or something, then that would be a problem. Bits are only as harsh as the hands that use them. A pelham is an odd choice for a horse at that point in its training and age but then, everyone does things differently and if I got the horse back broke and happy, it wouldn't bother me at all.



  8. #28
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    Jun. 23, 2004
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    Fauquier County, VA
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    I would be furious and would have picked the horse up the same day I received the photo. But, I do ask a million questions before sending a horse to be trained, so it is likely that the only way I would find myself in a similar position is if the person lied to me about the program (and that can happen, too). And then I would be REALLY mad.



  9. #29
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    May. 3, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientoaks View Post
    pulling a log (????) and getting on a platform
    I'd have a hissy fit at that bit! Did the trainer think you were going to be hauling logs out of the forest or ploughing fields with this horse??

    Actually some folks do this for driving horses but to be frank its a rough agricultural method and really only appropriate for horses that are going to pull dead weight. IMO its got no place at all or even a light harness horse and for sure not for a riding horse.

    It showed our horse coming towards us, the trainer was in shorts and sneakers,


    and the animal was bitted up IN A BROKEN PELHAM WITH LONG SHANKS, above and below the mouthpiece.....we were horrified......
    After towing the log and the shorts and sneakers, I wouldn't have been at all surprised.

    any thoughts on this??????
    Yes. Do you understand the word "Pillock" ??

    anyone else seen this 'out there'
    Sadly, Yes!

    this trainer was not a 'cheap try' by the way, but market for here at around $800/mo
    That sounds cheap to me. Its considerably less than I'd want to properly train and bring a horse on.
    .....and her place was gorgeous and spotless)and p.s., our horse looked awfully thin....we now feel horrible we did not question her when we left our horse as to her methods, but being retired trainers, and having a good recomend from a friend....we just didn't think of it.......NO MORE!!!
    Now I am shocked and horrified. You're a retired trainer and are posting on a board to ask what folks think !?!!



  10. #30
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    Apr. 8, 2004
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    832

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    I'd have a hissy fit at that bit! Did the trainer think you were going to be hauling logs out of the forest or ploughing fields with this horse??

    Actually some folks do this for driving horses but to be frank its a rough agricultural method and really only appropriate for horses that are going to pull dead weight. IMO its got no place at all or even a light harness horse and for sure not for a riding horse.



    After towing the log and the shorts and sneakers, I wouldn't have been at all surprised.

    Yes. Do you understand the word "Pillock" ??

    Sadly, Yes!

    That sounds cheap to me. Its considerably less than I'd want to properly train and bring a horse on.
    Now I am shocked and horrified. You're a retired trainer and are posting on a board to ask what folks think !?!!

    " Now I am shocked and horrified. You're a retired trainer and are posting on a board to ask what folks think !?!!"

    I guess I need a clarification of what you mean??? You might note from all the replies that MOST agree with our displeasure, but some don't find it a problem... As I said, we disagree enough to cut the planned training with this person short..Since we are not 'in the business' anymore, and have not been for awhile, I wanted to find out what others have experienced and if I was over reacting...
    As for 'market' in training fees, as I said, it was in the ballpark for THIS AREA....we are in middle tennessee, and the market price for training is quite a bit below California, Virginia, and some other areas. Additionally, many of the top barns are full months ahead, and we did have a good recommendation from and old friend...we could not, for personal reaons, afford to ship the horse or take the horse much beyond a 2 -3 hour distance (and we wanted to be close enough to react to any problems, as it turned out we are glad we DIDN'T send the horse to N.Y, or Cal, or Fla and then have a problem)..
    am taking a sufficient amount of blame as it is....



  11. #31
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    Nov. 19, 2005
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    2,027

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    my sympathies-it is hard to find trainers to start young horses....and nothing wrong with asking for a reality check!

    In addition to the bit ,etc, the thought of riding a young horse or any horse with sneakers (or a shoe without a "heel" as I realize there are riding sneakers now) makes me shriver-- to many horror stories and true life experiences involving feet jammed in irons.... yes-I am an old worry wart....



  12. #32
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    Jun. 11, 2007
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    "pulling a log (????) and getting on a platform (more ??????? oh well)."

    " IN A BROKEN PELHAM WITH LONG SHANKS, above and below the mouthpiece."


    I won't defend this trainer because I think a simple snaffle is the best starting bit. But, if it was a "broken Pelham"- where were the reins attached? Sounds to me like this was a snaffle mouthpiece with shanks. With some of those, the reins can be attached right at the bit ring. If she had nothing else.....well, snaffle bits are not that expensive and I wouldn't like it either, but were the reins attached to the bottom shank, like on a western curb?

    For what it's worth, I don't think a snaffle with shanks is the best bit to use even on western horses. I've read they can be pretty confusing to the horse and after a friends horse went to another trainer and got that out of his mouth, the horse went a lot better. (Western-this was an older horse that went to be tuned up after a long time off. First trainer used the snaffle with shank)

    As for pulling a log, that's a part of western training, done well. I would get upset if the log were tied hard and fast. But as kids in 4-H, we had to drag something from the saddle in trail horse classes, usually a big branch. It's kind of like sacking out- done well, it gets a horse used to stuff.

    When I got my youngster used to a surcingle, I'd lead it dragging a board beside us, then when it got used to that, I ran the rope through one of the rings. But NEVER tied. I could get rid of that board fast if I had to.

    Ditto the platform. Unless it was quite high, that's how you can teach them to cross a bridge. As kids, we taught them to walk on a teeter-tooter. A very stout flat platform on a round log. Horses would learn to walk up, wait for the other side to go down, then walk off. (The ends of the board never went up very far)

    Maybe we were young and stupid but for the most part, those horses were GOOD trail horses.

    Sneakers-no. Not my idea of a great bit to start a youngster in, either. But if you took your horse to a good western trainer, they'd be used to pulling something. Nothing too heavy but enough the horse knows it's there.



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar. 2, 2008
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    Fort Worth, TX
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    I had a similar experience.... left my lovely young mare with a trainer who I had formerly trusted and went to New Zealand for five months.... couldn't get my mother to call, and when she did call, she reported that my horse was doing wonderfully and "learning to not be a princess"... which set off a red flag. I finally gave up and called the trainer myself from New Zealand, and all the reports I got from her made me think, "wow, that doesn't sound like my horse." She even told me that my horse was stupid and unwilling to learn - nothing could be further from the truth. Not to mention I was a little offended!

    Turns out, when I got back from NZ, she was a rack of bones, with no muscle on her at all, a mane that was 11 inches long, had gone unclipped and probably ungroomed for five months... it looked like she has just come right off the track. I don't know what kind of riding she did with her, but it was something, because she was completely different and terrible to ride when I got back on her - SO defensive in her back and in her mouth. She bucked me off twice in the next week, and later also crashed through a jump and tore ligaments in my shoulder, fell on my head after a violent spook under saddle and gave me a horrible concussion, and reared and flipped over on me when she felt like she couldn't escape from my (not particularly demanding) contact. She's never really been the same horse, and this was a year ago that I got her back from the bad trainer.

    So I feel your pain.



  14. #34
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    Mar. 2, 2008
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    Fort Worth, TX
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    PS - don't worry about Thomas_1. He's always cranky. Don't feel bad for something like this... it isn't your fault, don't let him tell you to feel worse about it than you already do.



  15. #35
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    Aug. 26, 2003
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    The good 'ole State of denial
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    I know NOTHING of western bits, but have noticed more often than not the "cowboy" type folks that back horses tend to have the most gosh-awful contraptions in their mouth. Was this an English or Western rider? Everything you have described sounds to me like "western" which might be why the culture shock.

    My husband rode western and trained western and I still shake my head at the way they do some things (lying horses down, the belief that they have to "get their bucks out") etc...he thought every horse was supposed to buck like a bronc when you started it, and is finally starting to realize, that is only if things weren't done right. No horse should buck if properly brought along and fitted.



  16. #36
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    Apr. 8, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritazza View Post
    PS - don't worry about Thomas_1. He's always cranky. Don't feel bad for something like this... it isn't your fault, don't let him tell you to feel worse about it than you already do.
    thanks for understanding how truly 'stupid' we feel...especially when we should 'know better'....stupid tax, no matter how small, is a bitter pill to swallow...

    Don't really understand what poster meant about a 'snaffle mouthpice with shanks'...guess we are really old school...and just for the info, the reins were attached at the bottom of the 'shank' whatever kind of bit it might have been, it most certainly was not a snaffle...a plain, loose ring snaffle is just fine to start a young horse...
    and I too don't mind all the 'gimmicky' stuff to teach a horse AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN BROKE TO RIDE....sorry for the caps...it really ticked me off to hear her tell us about the platform and log and all that when we sent her a horse, we had already long line driven with success to be started under saddle. period...she did not recieve a horse that had not been handled (this one had been inspected, shown several times, hauled all over the place, and was halter broke at the age of 1 day) one that had any behavior problems or issues...plain old please just start her under saddle and back her lightly for us....thought it was such simple thing..
    but as one poster said, if the horse comes back happy, sound and none the worse for the wear we WILL chock it up to rather expensive stupid tax....I am a bit worred about skinniness tho.....will take months to put the weight back on so backs us up on selling AGAIN.....



  17. #37
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    Oct. 3, 2005
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    Southwestern Virginia
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    I usually break mine to drive before I ride. Sometimes this includes a small log or cart and most times its just ground driving. I don't see an issue with that. I don't use heavy weights or push them hard. But I never start them in anything with shanks. Usually a snaffle or a french link. If you go to the red neck auctions locally they call the broken pelham a colt starting bit/tom thumb bit.



  18. #38
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    The guy who sometimes starts horses for us (and as I age, probably will be doing more in the future!) always ASKS me before he escalates into harsher bits. I know our horses well; while I would never second guess him (he is riding them, after all, not me) I do often have some insight as to why one choice might be better than another. I just know more about mouths/pallates/tongues/lips than he does at this point in his life. So he asks.

    Just a different perspective. If I went to see a horse being ridden and it was in that bit, I would really question the WHY'S. If it was clear that the trainer had no clue, then I would know *I* had made a bad decision and it was time to regroup. If they had a valid reason (even in their own mind) I might discuss why I didn't like it. Usually people use harsh bits to achieve a "head set" (ugh). I am always clear to everyone who has ever started a horse for me that I DO NOT WANT THEM TO SET THEIR HEAD OR HAVE THEM GIVE TO THE BIT OR GET ON THE BIT. Just let's learn to go, stop, follow the inside rein around a little bit and hopefully get to cantering. Maybe that is part of the issue at hand.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  19. #39
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    Apr. 8, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    The guy who sometimes starts horses for us (and as I age, probably will be doing more in the future!) always ASKS me before he escalates into harsher bits. I know our horses well; while I would never second guess him (he is riding them, after all, not me) I do often have some insight as to why one choice might be better than another. I just know more about mouths/pallates/tongues/lips than he does at this point in his life. So he asks.

    Just a different perspective. If I went to see a horse being ridden and it was in that bit, I would really question the WHY'S. If it was clear that the trainer had no clue, then I would know *I* had made a bad decision and it was time to regroup. If they had a valid reason (even in their own mind) I might discuss why I didn't like it. Usually people use harsh bits to achieve a "head set" (ugh). I am always clear to everyone who has ever started a horse for me that I DO NOT WANT THEM TO SET THEIR HEAD OR HAVE THEM GIVE TO THE BIT OR GET ON THE BIT. Just let's learn to go, stop, follow the inside rein around a little bit and hopefully get to cantering. Maybe that is part of the issue at hand.

    well, we will sure find out tomorrow....altho I don't know how much we will get into it...I WILL question the choice in person tho...I asked via email and never got an answer...called today to confirm coming....no response.....oh well....you're never too old to learn....and, we WOULD have picked up the horse immediately upon receiving the photo if time had permitted....since this person is over 2 hrs away, it took a little planning....

    just a note of observation , at least in our recent experience...we took a couple of horses to someone a year so back, very accomplished, known for years, and rides beautifully....does some things, not terribly serious, just some things different than what we really liked to see...so 'mentioned it' for mild discussion, as suggested by one poster...BAAAADDD idea....this professional took it as a 'someone else telling me what to do' , and altho we remained friends to a point, it was clear that our wishes/observations were not welcome.. these were more advanced horses being moved up from basic training...and , altho some out there might question 'how' we presented it, we were very very tactful and careful.....we have heard from a couple of others have had similar exp with other trainers as welll....so, I think we would have been better served to ask and observe the techinicalities of such things as bits, stratagy, and procedures BEFORE we take a horse to someone.....take NOTHING for granted, even a friend's good recommendation.....we are just hoping no damage was done....and am a bit bruised from beating myself up over this...so it's time to move on.....



  20. #40
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    Jun. 11, 2007
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    In the western world, there are bits that have a snaffle (broken) mouthpiece, with curb shanks. The Tom Thumb mentioned above would be like that with short shanks.

    I don't like them, even for western horses. Since the reins were attached like a curb bit on your youngster, that would make me VERY unhappy.

    I've taken a big, three-year old to a cowboy for basic and he used nothing but a plain old snaffle and no attempt to ride for head set or anything like that. I told him I didn't want that and being someone who had worked the range, that wasn't his style either. So we were both happy. He put put more slack in the reins than I'd be comfortable with but then he could sit just about anything that came up. He could walk right up to my horse in the pen and put the bridle on and the horse would open it's mouth willingly. No abuse going on there.

    Given what you've said about the bit, yeah, don't go back to this trainer and I hope your horse is all right.

    For what it's worth, I got a gelding that had been ridden western, came to me having had a chain mouthpiece, gag-type curb used on him, with a tie down.

    Good grief- all that I ever needed on him was medium thickness snaffle.

    Some western riders make you want to shake your head- the real ones don't load up a horses head with that kind of stuff.

    To be fair, the cowboy mentioned above told me he used to ride a stallion out gathering cattle in a chain mouthpiece bit like the one that had been used on my gelding- but only to get that particular horse stopped if he had to. Knowing how he rode, that horses mouth hardly got touched otherwise.



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