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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2006
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    3,505

    Default Okay, I need a thread on this whole, "Call a cowboy!" thing

    I was reading another thread about a bucking horse and having been from the western world I'd like to start a thread about this "Call a cowboy!" ideology.

    The barns I am originally from are ALL cowboy barns, with reiners, cutters, and pleasure horses. They all started colts worked with problem horses and so on.

    Ok, so, watching them for YEARS desensatizing and lunging and rolling horses back... Yada Yada

    Some of you must recognize this right? That its just keeping a horse responsive, busy, or working them until they are worn out. MOST of the cowboys dont buck horses out anymore and if the horse gives a buck they usually get pulled into a circle about 1 million times.

    I had a mare that was bucking and bolting and rearing and well jumping out of her stall. SO, I took her to the lead cowboy around these parts, and he took her on the trail and rode her around the arena in roll backs and this and that.

    Do you know what happened when she came home? She was fine until I jumped her again, and then it all started over because I couldnt keep her head to my knee the whole darn ride lmao.


    My point? Well it took a JUMPER trainer to rider her around jumping her and asking her to do her job to fix her. He had to deal with the bolting, and bucking and rearing, in between fences a couple of times and POOF, it was gone

    I want to discuss this by itself since it seems to be a common response to problem horses on any forum.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2001
    Location
    San Jose, CA
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    1,259

    Default

    I think that part of it is that there are very few dressage trainers who will ride a naughty horse. They flat out don't want to deal with the problem horses. So you are left finding a more adventurous english rider, which can be really hard, or sending to a "cowboy" who, while they won't let the horse buck it out, will have no problem sitting through some rambunctious behavior.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2009
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    552

    Default

    Yes, most English trainers don't want to risk getting hurt, where the cowboys seem much less concerned, or there are more of them so more dispensable.....

    But even the older western guys are passing on starting colts or dealing with rank horses....Sign of old age (brains).



  4. #4

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    "Real" cowboys are patient and gentle with their horses, cause the horses are more important than the car or truck they drive. They respect the horses because the individual horses are their bread and butter.

    Most English/Dressage trainers seem to live in a world outside of the horse, they really do not live and breath the horse. The horse to them is a piece of machinery rather than a living breathing member of the family. Minimul time is actually spent with each horse...just the ride time...grooms and stable help are the real caretakers of the horse. These people generally know the personalities of each horse very well, and they are more aware of the health and welfare of each horse than the trainers.
    www.hartetoharte.org
    Ask and allow, do not demand and force.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2006
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    Somewhere in the Southwest
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spirithorse View Post
    "Real" cowboys are patient and gentle with their horses, cause the horses are more important than the car or truck they drive. They respect the horses because the individual horses are their bread and butter.

    Most English/Dressage trainers seem to live in a world outside of the horse, they really do not live and breath the horse. The horse to them is a piece of machinery rather than a living breathing member of the family. Minimul time is actually spent with each horse...just the ride time...grooms and stable help are the real caretakers of the horse. These people generally know the personalities of each horse very well, and they are more aware of the health and welfare of each horse than the trainers.
    You must not know any really good dressage trainers then. All the ones I know spend all day at the barn with their horses, know each individual personally and know all their quirks, etc.

    This is the second post I've seen of yours that really rubbed me the wrong way, so I looked at your website. Yeah, that explains a LOT!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2006
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    Default

    Most English/Dressage trainers seem to live in a world outside of the horse, they really do not live and breath the horse. The horse to them is a piece of machinery rather than a living breathing member of the family. Minimul time is actually spent with each horse...just the ride time...grooms and stable help are the real caretakers of the horse. These people generally know the personalities of each horse very well, and they are more aware of the health and welfare of each horse than the trainers.
    where does this stuff come from? I invite you to come hang out with me at my barn or visit with my trainer. What BS you will see this statement is.
    "The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be."
    David Brooks



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2006
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    Default

    aha! it's the bit police!!!
    "The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be."
    David Brooks



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2005
    Posts
    1,140

    Default

    My personal experience:

    1. The real good cowboys live & breathe horses. And don't circle them a million times as a correction/punishment.

    2. Ditto the really good dressage trainers.

    Its the pretenders we all have to worry about.
    Hidden Echo Farm, Carlisle, PA -- home of JC palomino sire Canadian Kid (1990 - 2013) & AQHA sire Lark's Favorite, son of Rugged Lark.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 1999
    Location
    Concord, California, USA
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    Default

    I think it's true, however, that most dressage trainers don't want to deal with a "problem" horse, unless the problem is something like difficulty with flying changes, say. *G* Bucking, rearing, bolting, refusing to load in the trailer.....

    And the other scenario can run something like this: I was an eventer, had a youngish TB mare that had always been a slow but quiet loader into the trailer. One day, she decided she was never going to get in again. Slid right off her shoes rather than get into that trailer. We managed to get her moved from one barn to another in a VAN, by parking it very close to a 7'+ hedge, and holding her tail back over her back like a cow and literally pushing-hauling her into the van. Whew.

    My eventing trailer (a woman) basically said to me: I can teach her to load properly, given sufficient time, but it's probably going to cost more than you want to pay at my rates. Here (handing me business card of cowboy/sheep dog trainer (??!), have him teach her. He's good, he's gentle, and he's a lot chaper than I am.

    The cowboy came and picked her up (got her into the trailer in 3 minutes, but he didn't have an escape door, so he backed her out and it took him 3 hours to get her back in *G*). Ten days later, he brought her back, and he could open the door and she'd trot into the trailer the minute he led her up to it. And nuzzled him and obviously was happy being handled by him. And it cost me (mid-'70s) $125.



  10. #10
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    Mar. 28, 2006
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    Well, I am freakin' blessed then because MY FEI trainer is the total package.
    "The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be."
    David Brooks


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2003
    Posts
    614

    Default

    Neither "cowboys" or "dressage trainers" have the monopoly on being able to help a difficult horse. There are good and bad in both disciplines. Anytime someone makes generalizations about "English" riders or "western" rider, I roll my eyes and scan to the next post. If you know a good cowboy, then by all means use him/her....there are some really good ones out there. Ditto for a good dressage trainer.....there are some really good ones out there. Why get all worked up by what spirithorse says......just because some nut goes off on a rant does not make it true.



  12. #12
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    Feb. 18, 2009
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    far side of the moon, Utah
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    111

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    Quote Originally Posted by spirithorse View Post
    "Real" cowboys are patient and gentle with their horses, cause the horses are more important than the car or truck they drive. They respect the horses because the individual horses are their bread and butter.

    Most English/Dressage trainers seem to live in a world outside of the horse, they really do not live and breath the horse. The horse to them is a piece of machinery rather than a living breathing member of the family. Minimul time is actually spent with each horse...just the ride time...grooms and stable help are the real caretakers of the horse. These people generally know the personalities of each horse very well, and they are more aware of the health and welfare of each horse than the trainers.
    I have found this to be the polar opposite. My horse has a medical condition that requires me to monitor what she eats with vigilance. The only people that have asked me why I don't just get rid of her are the cowboys or the wannabes.



  13. #13
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    Sep. 8, 1999
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    Libertyville, IL USA
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    4,108

    Default

    In my dictionary "cowboy" means someone who is younger, more athletic, more in need of the money or less concerned about their safety than I am. Thus, if I have a horse that might hurt me. It goes to a cowboy. Don't care what kind of saddle they use. The older I get, the quicker they reach "cowboy" stage.

    No abuse, no tricks, just willing to get the job done. Once you worry about getting hurt the game is over. That being said, I am 42 and I can ride out a lot of it, but I have a daughter, so sometimes I just choose not to. Have a great guy, with patience and kindness and the whole package, but if they do get dangerous, he won't back down and he has enough horse sense for the whole state of New Jersey, so it rarely comes to that.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    16,777

    Default Guilty with extenuating circumstances

    I was the person on the other thread who said I wouldn't quit with a young bucker until I had at least sent him to good cowboy.

    I then explained what i meant by good cowboy.

    Why would I say this? Because I have ridden with some good ones--none famous at all-- and been taught a great deal in short order and for little money.

    But please understand this kind of advice. If you think a cowboy will fix your horse forever and you don't need to know much about how he did that, you may also not know enough to choose your fixer very well. I'm not trying to be mean, but I am trying to put a stop to the myth that I think inspired this thread.

    I didn't think of the other two pieces you guys have brought up-- many English trainers don't want to ride "the bad ones" and also make it prohibitively expensive to have this kind of training done.

    If this is true, then the cowboy looks like the better professional horse trainer to me.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  15. #15
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    Jan. 30, 2010
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    Alberta
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    Default

    To me the benefit of sending a horse to a "cowboy" is to get the horse out of the ring and on trails/in the mountains...which is something I think is good for a reasonibly mature horse to experience, as less seems to phase them afterwards. I would see no point sending a horse to a cowboy if all they did is round pen/ring ride.

    I do agree though, that you have to be careful to be sure the cowboy will train in a way that won't confuse the horse later (for example, some western horses are taught to contract from bit pressure, rather than stretch in to it), and you need to make sure that the problem is that the horse just needs miles and/or someone brave to get on it.

    In the example of my bucking horse thread, the owner is considering sending him to a cowboy to not only assist with the buck, but also to get him out on trails and expose him to cows and other stuff....and to be honest I am happy to know that she is considering an other option so I don't feel pressured to get on him if I don't feel ready/able!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2002
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    it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
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    Default

    I think most of us agree there is a dearth of 'young horse trainers' in the US. It's a recurring topic here and on the breeding board, no?

    And young horse training starts from the ground up. How many 'upper level' horses do you see dancing in the crossties, pinning their ears at feeding time, putting their mouth on anything in reach... (oh, he's just orally fixated... ) They just haven't been taught plain old MANNERS. Of course with the 'trainer' they are fine. Just like a dog when you hand over the leash. It's all about expectations and boundaries.

    It's absolute bullsh^t that cowboys are either 'expendible' or not worried about getting hurt.

    Mostly the opposite. Can't AFFORD to get hurt because then how are the bills going to get paid and who is going to feed/muck/etc.?

    And if you've only seen them exhaust a horse? That's no more a 'trainer' than the pepperonis.

    I needed an objective assist with my orphan filly. *I* had baggage. My 'cowboy guy' (in his *at least* 50's, and by no means not afraid of getting hurt... ) had the lead in his hands for maybe, MAYBE a grand total of 20 minutes the entire time. I don't think we even trotted more than a few steps for the slightly-over-an-hour. Not even CLOSE to 'exhausting.'

    The changes were nothing short of miraculous. And of course, 98% of those changes were in ME. I just needed him to remind me where I come from. Once you've relied on a horse to save your backside when working cattle, pushing a herd through spoilbanks, or moving 80 +/- horses 7 miles to winter pasture... you have a whole new idea about 'training.' And it has NOTHING to do with fear, exhaustion or gimmicks.

    We all bemoan the lack of young horse trainers... then have the balls to critique 'cowboys' who start babies or retrain rank horses?

    What's wrong with THAT picture?
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  17. #17
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    Oct. 1, 2003
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spirithorse View Post
    "Real" cowboys are patient and gentle with their horses, cause the horses are more important than the car or truck they drive. They respect the horses because the individual horses are their bread and butter.

    Most English/Dressage trainers seem to live in a world outside of the horse, they really do not live and breath the horse. The horse to them is a piece of machinery rather than a living breathing member of the family. Minimul time is actually spent with each horse...just the ride time...grooms and stable help are the real caretakers of the horse. These people generally know the personalities of each horse very well, and they are more aware of the health and welfare of each horse than the trainers.
    Try grooming for one of the riders at Rolex. . .
    RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

    "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."



  18. #18
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    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    Default

    I think it's more of a facilities issue, than a trainer issue. The "cowboys" have western saddles, round pens and access to trails. Also very few of them hug bunnies.
    People are crazy and times are strange.
    I used to care but, things have changed.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2009
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    Some years back I had a 7 yr old horse that had "issues" which ultimately caused me to sell him rather than risk life and limb. During the period where I tried to work it out, I called a "cowboy" who is quite well known in the area. He is actually a guy who spent lots of time at the track, exercising TBs and he also spends time backing the young ones and getting them going. He has probably never been in a western saddle! He is gentle and rewarding when deserved, and he has the ability to stick to the saddle thru just about any event.
    As to dressage trainers not wanting to deal with the problems. My trainer at the time was well into her 60's and tiny; no, she did not want to work thru his issues, and I dont blame her at all. I know other trainers who would have tried, but they were younger, bigger and stronger.
    As to me, I'm an amatuer; freely admit it, not qualified to do more than call for help!
    Best decision I made that year was to send the horse packing and even though I lost $$ in the process at least I was in one piece, and I found an older schoolmaster who is worth his weight in gold.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2009
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    344

    Default

    I've seen some pretty harsh cowboys and some pretty harsh dressage riders...

    I think this thread is stereotyping wayy to much. It is not what the trainer does it's how they do it. Find a good trainer for a naughty horse that lacks self preservation for whatever reason. Not a "cowboy"... Has no one heard the expression to "cowboy it"



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