The only excuse I could see for injuries to the mouth is if the trainer made a mistake about the bit...or horse had an allergy to the bit materal...but that would come with a call to owner and an apology I should think. I would be concerned if the trainer thought it was Ok, or a standard result of their training. Same with the dripping sweat.
A two hour trail ride on a youngster is very different than two hours training in the arena – which ended up in a fight, and a horse worked until it is dripping. I have ridden mine for hours (after she was properly conditioned. I would never take a just started horse on a long ride, as they do not have the physical condition to do so), but a mosey down the trail is a lot different than training in the arena – and trying to end on a “good point” after you have pressed the horse into a tizzy.
A “good point” can be one tiny step in the correct direction. In training, sometimes you need to adjust your goals for that day, and focus on something the horse DOES understand and can easily accomplish.
We all have our different styles. Personally I believe in keeping sessions SHORT, not fighting with – but showing the horse, (in my opinion, horses usually say “no” because they do not UNDERSTAND and yelling louder, when they do not understand what you are asking – does not make things better). Rather, step back, figure out where YOU the trainer did not make things clear – if the horse does not understand, a step was missed.
Like a horse refusing to go forward under saddle. Was the horse first worked on the lead and taught a “walk on” command? Was the horse then worked on long lines and taught to “walk on” with a handler behind it? Was the horse then taught to “walk on” when pressure is applied behind the girth? – I haven’t had one ever plant its feet, and not understand to “walk on” on their first ride if the above steps had been taken (and not passed until the horse understood!)
But, it’s a lot quicker to just hop on, and get after them to go forward – but it is much more confusing to the horse, and may just back fire.
Same goes with acceptance of the bit – I will not tolerate bit sores. I have had too many horses come to me with ruined mouths. I want my horses LIGHT in the bridle, and this means never abusing their mouth. If you are riding a youngster to the point they are getting bit sores, the tack doesn’t fit, the hands are too heavy, or something else has gone wrong. – bit sores mean PAIN. Do you really want a young horse to associate the bridle and riding with pain?
In the end, I want the horse to WANT to work for me. Not to be forced to work. This means keeping things positive, making things easy to understand, and lots of praise. Confusing the horse, and then dishing out punishment for its confusion does not work for me.
Three year old horses just starting absolutely should work longer than 15 minutes. How are you ever going to get anywhere 15 minutes at a time??
My personal preference (when I have time for it) is to start training young/green horses in ~15 minute sessions 2-3 times a day.
Everyone has their own systems, but I've found that I get the best results myself when I'm able to maintain that kind of schedule early on, and then I work towards longer sessions less often. And I feel that in the beginning, I get way more daily progress out of say, three 20 minute sessions than I ever could out of one solid hour of work with a greenie.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
As someone who has had two mustangs and two half mustangs (both from the previously mentioned mares, one a shock, the other a face palm moment I had nothing to do with), mustangs CAN hold a grudge. Had the OP not fired the trainer for another couple of weeks the filly very easily could have been devastated and resentful for life.
There is never, EVER a reason for a green horse to have bit sores (save for a metal allergy, of course). Could you imagine having to constantly deal with a canker or cold sore and the pain it causes because it's not allowed to heal before being rubbed raw again, and again, and again, and again?
And 2 1/2 hours? On a green horse NOT trail riding, but in an arena? Uh, no. No, no, no! So sweaty that there's really no dry spot on the animal? Again, no! Not acceptable! And in Hawaii that's a very difficult thing to do...did the poor thing have a nervous meltdown followed by a two-hour gallop? Good grief! (Obviously you don't know, OP. I'm sure you're wondering the same)
OP, I commend you for your action! As difficult as it was to fire him, it was right. Good for you to stand up for her!
"IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique
I can't believe people are actually defending the guy. The horse was literally dripping sweat and had sores on her mouth. This is a baby we're talking about. She should be learning how to trust and look up to her rider. Not used and abused. There is no way she didn't give him a good moment in the whole 2.5 hour ride, that he could have stopped on a good note. That was just unnecessary. He just sounds like a yahoo with something to prove. OP, I agree you did the right thing. Run like the devil and be glad you got away.
I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo
Three year old horses just starting absolutely should work longer than 15 minutes. How are you ever going to get anywhere 15 minutes at a time?? The horses I start go for hour long trail rides within two weeks of sitting on them. Their minds do not float off 20 minutes in. They will if you nag or argue with them for 2 minutes, but by treating the fairly, you can keep their minds fresh in the work longer than some people give them credit for.
Wet and sweaty? Big deal - especially if this was a mustang. You don't think she ran around and got sweaty in the "wild"? This is horse with hearty genes - not a precious pocket pet. Give her a little credit for surviving until you got her!
There are lots of reasons I might not rinse a sweaty young horse. Maybe she had already started drying and the wind picked up? I'd rather have a horse with sweat marks than get her all wet again and stand in a wind chill. Maybe it would be best after a long stand off to have some 'down time' before the next stand off about a water hose.
I don't agree with using a mullen on a baby, but, tender lip skin rubs so much easier than skin that is conditioned to bit 'wrinkles'. This happens to a lot of young horses - a little vaseline in the corners of the mouth and problem solved.
There is no reason to even take a break with this one. Put a nice eggbutt snaffle in her and take her out. She'll be fine!
Exactly this. All of it.
"All your protestations aside, this has got to be on anyone's Top Ten list of Bad Horse Advice." - Ghazzu
I can't believe people are actually defending the guy. The horse was literally dripping sweat and had sores on her mouth..
Not defending the guy.
I am just saying that dripping sweat does not automatically mean evilness.
Some horses sweat more easily than others. Heck, did you not see the sample photos posted. Some horses start dripping when they get stressed.
I'm already unpopular, so I'll say it, I agree with goldenrow.
Its your horse and your money so you have to decide what you feel comfortable with, but don't paint this trainer out to be a horse-abusing monster because you didn't quite like how he handled one horse. Find a trainer that you approve of and move on, your horse isn't ruined.