The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 78
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default How bad is it not to train your horses?

    Provided the horses are kept in a herd in fairly large and varied paddocks/pastures (24/7 in the summer, stabled for 8-10 hours in winter), and not overfed, how bad is it not to ride or otherwise train them regularly?

    Would like to hear your personal views on this. What is negative about it? Do you think it lessens the horse's longevity?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2009
    Posts
    752

    Default

    The "bad" thing in a situation like that is more about the quality of the horse's life if their living situation changes. For instance: 10 yr. old untrained pasture puff's owner passes away, goes bankrupt or moves. Now you have a horse with NO "job skills" and very few options for a good home.


    42 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2008
    Location
    The beautiful midwest
    Posts
    748

    Default

    Do you just have them as pets? Or just don't want to ride in the winter? I can sympathize with the last one. Here in the Midwest it is brutal. But just to keep a herd as pets seems kind of eccentric. As far as their longevity and happiness, I bet they all think they are in horsey heaven. Sounds like a nice setup, as long as you can afford it and don't mind all the work that goes along with it.
    Lilykoi


    Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    5,717

    Default

    Honestly, as long as the horses are able to be handled for routine vet/farrier and any emergency care necessary- the horses won't care.

    The issue is that most people aren't independently wealthy. If you lost your job and couldn't care for them anymore, they don't have any skills to make them placeable much less sellable.


    17 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
    Posts
    4,106

    Default

    If they're well broke to ride and you just prefer not to ride, then the horses probably don't care if they're not ridden regularly (or at all).

    If they're never trained in the first place or are very green and then never worked with again - I think that's a problem. It isn't a problem while they're owned - because the horses probably don't care. It is a problem if something ever happens to their owner, because finding a home for an aged, untrained horse is nearly impossible.
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

    Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com


    11 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2009
    Posts
    4,465

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by arlosmine View Post
    The "bad" thing in a situation like that is more about the quality of the horse's life if their living situation changes. For instance: 10 yr. old untrained pasture puff's owner passes away, goes bankrupt or moves. Now you have a horse with NO "job skills" and very few options for a good home.
    Exactly this. The situation you describe is actually quite healthy for horses and won't negatively impact their lives at all. The problem only arises if you ever can't pay for the horses anymore or don't want to. Then they are just a herd of unbroke adult horses that will have little value to anyone else.

    IMO, one of the best things you can give a horse is job skills. A horse that can do a job and do it well has a better chance of finding and staying in a good situation if you can't care for it for the rest of its life.


    14 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2004
    Location
    South Park
    Posts
    3,094

    Default

    Agree with the above. I think it is our duty to teach our horses "usable" skills. Much better chance for them to have a crack at a "better" life if the original owner gets unexpectedly hit by a bus. The 12 year old pasture puff that you can barely halter will have a much harder time finding a new home.
    Likewise, everyday skills such as being tied, picking up their feet, getting in a trailer might well save their lives in case of a vet emergency where they have to be handled and doctored or a wildfire or flood when they need to get evacuated.
    (If you are talking about a well trained horse getting a few months off, that 's entirely different. Good training will stick.)
    A friend told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    3,327

    Default

    It is a horse by horse thing.

    Some horses can go years and not forget a thing they learned, other horses have the memory of a goldfish.

    If I saw an ad for a 1 owner 8 year old halter broke but un-backed horse and the owners excuse for the lack of training was "I never got around to it." It wouldn't put me off but I would use it as a bargaining point.
    The Denver Broncos went to visit an orphanage. "It's so sad looking into their faces so devoid of hope." Sara aged 6


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2004
    Location
    Catonsville, MD
    Posts
    6,885

    Default

    Training is life insurance for horses. If horse owner is hit by a bus tomorrow, his or her feral pets are going to end up in a can, unless she is enormously wealthy and has a well-funded and legally sound pet trust set up to keep them in their feral fat & happy state for the rest of their lives.

    Since most of us are not wealthy (cuz we have horses, ha), see my first point. And those untrained horses sure as hell better not be reproducing freely, because more unsellable horses doesn't make the situation better.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09



    17 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10

    Default

    Totally agree with LoriB's statement that training is life insurance for horses. I have three that live mostly a horsey-heaven sort of life. However, between myself, the granddaughter and a professional (though affordable) trainer, we keep their job skills up, and even improve them, during good riding weather. Eli could probably earn his way as a schoolmaster for a few more years if necessary, Cooper has enough dressage training on him now to be a fun ride for a dabbler, and Rocky can probably always find a home as a bomb-proof kid or husband ride. My plan is for them to never leave the farm, but I think about how they might fare should I somehow fall on hard times and be forced to re-home them. It would break my heart, and theirs ... but I think they all have a good chance of landing on their feet.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,134

    Default

    That'd be some pretty contented horses, heck I'd even sign up to hang around if they added a pool, some pina coladas and a good book.

    But pretty much everybody has pointed out there is a downside and when it occurs. Whenever the circumstances change a well kept horse with some skills has a larger potential pool of new owners. Not too many people shop for pasture pets and a lot of people can't look beyond witches' knots and dirt unless the horse has some spectacular skills that can be easily accessed.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2012
    Location
    Fern Creek, KY
    Posts
    3,010

    Default

    I agree with everybody else... however, I'm sure that there are a lot of older horses out there that would love to live out their time in a nice pasture. Consider a few of those...maybe some that are considered unadoptable because of soundness issues.

    To be a bit callous, if you did go bankrupt or have to downsize, you would feel much less guilty putting an older horse down than a 9, 10, 11, etc. y/o. IMO every horse needs to know how it feels to be just a horse, and what better gift to give an oldster than that?
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you"
    New Year, New Blog... follow Willow and I here.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    39,985

    Default

    It depends on the horse also.
    Some horses thrive as pasture ornaments, others become way too nervous from all that energy not going anywhere.

    We have had both and generally, the younger a horse is, the more of an outlet it needs for it's energy.
    I did have a 20 year old that I had to sell when I started having health issues and he just would not settle without being in steady work, but fretted, picked on other horses, just wanted to do more in life than graze and nap and nap and graze.
    He is owned now, for the past two years, by a girl that gives him rides regularly and shares her water bottle and coke with, both happy as larks, looking at their FB stories and pictures.
    He has not been the first one over the years, but most other horses have been fine without steady work.

    There was a Craiglist ad here lately with a pasture full of horses for sale, most untouched, very nice adult horses, that the owner just never got around to "domesticating".
    I think they probably many went on a one way trip to Mexico.

    If the OP is asking because some of her horses are going to be idle for a while now, it depends on the temperament of those horses if they will be happy without work, managed right for exercise, not warehoused in some small pen, unless they are the more nervous type.
    If they are the kind of horse that "needs to have a job", then see about providing it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    8,425

    Default

    Riding a horse is optional. Training is not.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    22 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2005
    Location
    Lancaster, PA
    Posts
    4,752

    Default

    I think most people have already said what I am thinking. Horses should have training for some sort of useful job as long as they are physically capable of that. If your situation changes and they need to find new homes, this gives them a far greater chance.

    If you are acquiring horses for the sole purpose of keeping them as pets, consider taking in or adopting horses that are not physically suitable for work. There are so many of these horses out there and not nearly enough companion-only homes.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2011
    Location
    East Longmeadow, MA
    Posts
    3,139

    Default

    I think what the other posters are trying to say is this: If your horses are trained to do something that someone interested in buying a horse would want - i.e., they are trained to be ridden on trails, trained to jump, trained to drive, trained so that they would serve a useful purpose, then in case you became ill or God forbid died, they would have an easier time finding another home. Whereas if they are not trained to do anything other than be haltered, led around, pick up their feet, and tolerate grooming, if anything would happen to you your horses would not be very marketable, and would be at risk of being sent to the auction and bought for meat.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2011
    Location
    East Longmeadow, MA
    Posts
    3,139

    Default

    Yes, we were!
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    39,985

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HHH View Post
    Wow, so many replies already - thank you all! You said it very well - training is life insurance for horses. For me personally, that is not the problem. All the horses have excellent manners and are (fairly) well educated (schooling training-second level depending on age, lots of trail experience, some jumping). In any way, I have a clause in my will, stating that they will be put down when I die (and have made detailed arrangements with several people to insure my will be respected).

    It is more, like someone here suggested, the troubles of letting them go more idle than what I consider ideal. I struggle with bad conscience. Some of it because of the physical aspects, but most of it because I know training makes them even happier.

    What do you consider possible physical idleness issues, and are they really worth worrying about? For example, stiffness and one-sideness that increases, older horses that may irreversibly "drop" their topline...
    Possible issues are one bored horse tends to pick on others, to the point of making their lives less peaceful and even maybe hurting them.
    That is an issue we didn't have with our 20 year old while he was being ridden regularly, but started after four months of him being a pasture ornament with nothing much to do all day.

    Many horses are fine just being horses, some are more ambitious and really need the mental stimulation they are used to as working horses and won't easily learn to chill out, day after day, month after month and that really is not a good quality of life for them then.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Qc
    Posts
    2,916

    Default

    Just a point of view from another angle:

    Horses will live healthier and longer if its more muscled or kept fit.

    A older horse that has no muscle tone will have more trouble laying down and getting back up on its feet.

    Someone I know had her older mare in retirement. 20yrs old pasture puff. She lacked of muscles in the back and got stuck on the ground from lying down to sleep. The vet suggested to the owner to lunge her at least twice a week for 20min each time w/t/c. It built up some more muscles in her back and she lived happily up to 30 yrs old.

    Someone at my barn is (IMO) kinda neglecting her horse. He's a big boy but never really been 'exercised' much and totally lacks of muscles. He's 8 now and I can't stop thinking how hard it would be to bring him back to a 'rideable' -'normal' condition. He has a huge hay belly but no top line at all. He's 17.2...
    I don't see how this is healthy and wonder how long he will live in such a state.
    He goes out a lot a get brushed and fed properly but IMHO that is not enough to be healthy.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2008
    Location
    Greeley, Colorado
    Posts
    3,743

    Default

    I feel the same way that you do OP. I have an older but sound, sane, and well trained gelding. Because of my work situation at this time, I'm lucky if I get to ride twice a month. The horse is on pasture and is well taken care of. I just feel guilty that I'm not able to give him the attention that I feel he deserves.
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate



Similar Threads

  1. We should train all of our horses to do this!
    By WarDance in forum Off Course
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Mar. 1, 2012, 01:38 PM
  2. A New Way to Train Horses
    By Mike Matson in forum Off Course
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Feb. 9, 2012, 01:43 AM
  3. I Can't Believe they want to train horses with this!!
    By Fillabeana in forum Off Course
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: Apr. 5, 2011, 06:03 PM
  4. Replies: 56
    Last Post: Feb. 18, 2011, 06:00 PM
  5. How well do horses train us.
    By Bluey in forum Off Course
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Jan. 30, 2011, 05:53 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •