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Who would you send your young warmblood to be started?

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  • Who would you send your young warmblood to be started?

    I am getting older and am not interested in starting my warmblood filly. She is currently only a yearling but I want to start doing my research early. I am looking for someone to start her. I anticipate competing her in the adult amateurs one day but I would like her to be a well rounded citizen that is comfortable on the trail as well. I am located in central NJ and would prefer for her to stay in that area but will travel for the right trainer.

    Pic for attention
    Last edited by ERG; Sep. 29, 2019, 05:04 PM.

  • #2
    She is lovely.

    Personally. I think a very good, old school, Ray Hunt-style western guy is the way to go. They teach their horses a whole lot about how to accept training and how to tolerate mistakes. I think you'll find that the way they put a premium on the horse's relaxation and self-carriage (without really caring where the head and neck are other than straight ahead of the shoulders) will serve you will as a basic riding style.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    • #3
      you have some time so I would really research who you send her to and get references. This is your fillies foundation and it needs to be done correctly. ( she is really beautiful!).


      • #4
        I use the type of person mvp is taking about.
        Trinity Farm LLC
        Quality hunters and jumpers at Midwest prices
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        • #5
          I started my wb gelding myself, it was free and I knew it was done right


          • #6
            OP tells us she is older and does not care (possibly is not able) to DIY, that’s perfectly acceptable and probably smart. When you stop bouncing and start going splat and/or have family depending on your being able bodied, you probably shouldn’t be starting colts and getting them past that first brat stage about a month in.

            Im with the others, the first 60 days or so is not discipline specific no matter the eventual goal. Plus that somebody who specializes in colt starting will have set aside the time to do it right. Most others will be squeezing it in as an afterthought between shows or passing it on to a young assistant while they are on the road.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


            • #7
              Mindy Bower at Uh-oh Ranch in Kiowa CO started my colt over the summer. She is Buck Brannamans sister in law so..she gets it! She did a great job starting him. I would send another to her if I had one.


              • #8
                A lot of people in my area like Roddy.
                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                • #9
                  I also agree with mvp. If you would let us know a general geographic area we could be more helpful, I'd guess. For instance, I know a super fellow in Virginia who started one of mine and did a great job. I've sent other friends to him as well.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mpsbarnmanager View Post
                    I started my wb gelding myself, it was free and I knew it was done right
                    Same here, and because I was older I was retired, so had plenty of time to handle him and truly prepare him for each step.

                    I taught him to lead at the breeders when he was still with his dam, brought him home when he was weaned, did a lot of clicker training with him (which helped me really get to know him), didn't push him too hard too soon, had him gelded when he was 5, and the outcome is that I now have a horse I can lay off for months and then just go out and saddle him up and get on and he'll be the same horse he was the last time I rode him.

                    If I wasn't too old to outlive another horse I'd get another baby and take what I've learned from the previous ones and start another one. :-)


                    • #11
                      If you're willing to send to Philly, Karen Pound has a fantastic young horse program at Pine Creek Sport Horses . She has started a lot of babies for older adult ammies, so many clients you can ask for references.


                      • #12
                        Colts Unlimited in Wyoming. Hilary and Charlie are incredible and start all the horses for Wild Turkey Farm.


                        • #13
                          When we started our search to find a trainer to develop our boy we had several challenges.
                          First he was a colt that was being prepared for his breeding approvals, so we need someone well versed in developing young horses properly. Second he was a pony so needed to find a trainer that was also small enough. The facility needed certain provisions to house a stallion safely. While he would be aimed more towards a HJ career, I also wanted a good dressage foundation since there are more options for a pony stallion to compete in that discpline. ​​​​​​It didnt take me long to realize this was not going to be the easiest find in a relatively affordable option.
                          Then I was put in contact with Harriet McCord of Oak Grove Farm and Equestrian Center in Smith Grove KY.
                          She is an international show jumper from Ireland who had also previously developed other stallion prospects and brings young horses up the levels.
                          The facility is set up perfectly, the care is amazing, they offer many amenities and I can't say enough good things about the training my stallion is receiving.
                          He successfully completed his first section of breeding approvals through the Westfalen inspection for Studbook 1 for the GRP under the guidance of Harriet.
                          The best part is how affordable she is.
                          Honestly you can get 6 day a week training for what a dry stall will cost you in South Florida.
                          She has several different boarding/training options and will develop a plan to suit your horse, your goals and budget.
                          If you are in the market for someone to start your youngster, she is absolutely worth contacting.
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                          • #14
                            I third/fourth the Ray Hunt-style trainer. My KWPN filly is away getting started now. She's been there three months and she is like a different horse. She has always been extremely sensitive, and he has turned that completely around in a kind way. The only reason I don't have her home yet is that my arena is under construction and I want to be able to keep her in consistent work when she does come home. She is the type that thrives with consistency.


                            • #15
                              OP is in NJ.

                              OP, in the best of all worlds, you would not send your baby farther than driving distance away to get started. The pros mentioned in WY and CO are probably awesome. But the other piece is that you need to spend time watching what the pro is doing and riding your horse with their help before you take them home.

                              That said, here's how I did it from the opposite coast.

                              When I started looking, I went to watch the cowgirl in the area of the farm where my colt was growing up. I called her and told her what I was looking for and then went to check out her place and watch her work with a couple. At the point, I knew what I was buying, more or less. She and I had discussed what kind of foundation this colt would come with (he would tie, and tie alone but he had not been tied for long periods by himself where he might have a reason to object too hard; he had met clippers, lived alone in a stall for 3 or 4 days at time, etc.) and how much young horse riding I had done in the past. Also, this colt was kind and mellow; he was bred to be an ammy-friendly WB hunter.

                              I sent him to her for 60 days with the understanding that if he needed more or less, we'd do that. He did need a bit more. Her rule was that she would not send him back until the owner or next rider had come to ride the horse twice. She wanted to make sure we could ride what she had made before she turned him over. I flew back and rode him twice; I did WTC on him and she thought I'd do fine taking him home.

                              Then I threw him out for another 6 months to mature some more. He then went back for a 30 days' refresher course and then directly to me to start his training as a hunter. The pro's good training and his good mind made this all work.

                              But I would not send a horse to someone I hadn't seen work with and ride some babies. If you have to fly out there to do that, do it. And I wouldn't have a pro send me back a horse just after having talked about what he was like to ride. At least I wouldn't do that with the first one; I just don't think you can tell enough about similarities or differences in training styles or what counts as "green but broke" without spending some in-person time together.

                              It also helps if you have seen some colt starting before so that you can know what you want that to look like and recognize the "right" or "wrong" approach for you. This doesn't mean "right" or "wrong" in an absolute sense, necessarily. What is really important is that you and the pro share enough background that you can seamlessly pick up where he or she left off. You need to know how that pro would think so that your "conversation" with the baby horse can be coherent for him. That transition from the first program to a second one is a bit of a tough one for a young horse. IMO, it should be handled with lots of thought and care.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat


                              • #16
                                It really depends on her personality. Our farm (happy to PM the name) has started tons of babies and enjoys doing it, especially the Hunter/Jumpers. With a few that are a little quirkier, who will pose more of a challenge, we have sent them to Findlay, who does a nice job of working them and getting them backed.


                                • #17
                                  I would use these trainers:


                                  I have worked with Greg many times and looking forward to taking my new guy to his farm. This farm is located in Frenchtown, NJ


                                  • #18
                                    i send mine to Dave Weber-D bar W. "cowboy." it's not fancy but he starts them from the ground up nicely. eternally patient guy. i like to take them home once he has them wtc. they always come home with soft mouth. pm me for more details.
                                    there is always a waitlist too, just fyi, so good to start contact early.
                                    eta: he's in reinholds, pa


                                    • #19
                                      Wild Turkey Farm, a warmblood breeding farm with lovely sporthorses, uses Colts Unlimited


                                      • #20
                                        While it may be obvious, The person you want is someone you have never heard of. As horses wind their way through the stages, from baby to show horse, IM0 you need a specialist at each stage

                                        1. Birth - yearling: a baby trainer whos 's great with the wiggly little darlin's.
                                        2. Yearling - 3 yeard olds -- someone who teaches a baby how to begood citizen under saddle
                                        3, 3 year old -- 5 year old -- weee baby green. Excels at starting a horse to jump and introduces him to the big time.
                                        4. ----- end of career: a showhorse, ridden by a BNT.

                                        This is a rough distinction, I just threw together to make a point. If your goal is ending with a show horse, you do not need or want a BNT at the beginning. You want someone who specializes in starting young horses.

                                        My personal preference is to find some one who does not like the show world. They are not anxious to 'get to the ring'. Slow is good and gives a young horse a chance to move at its own pace. A trainer's job is to get to the show ring.

                                        OBVIOUSLY, each case is different, as are trainers. But, be wary of a 'known' name whose job is to show horses, when you first send your horse away for training. Show trainers want to get to the ring, and that is not what a 3 year old needs.
                                        "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"