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New Horse - Old Western & All Around Rider - Question on Settling In & First 30 Days

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  • New Horse - Old Western & All Around Rider - Question on Settling In & First 30 Days

    Hi - I am reaching out to the Western thread for assistance. I returned to riding about 6 months ago and started back english becuase I like to jump a little, but my western roots are still my favorite.

    I just bought a beautiful registered Paint all around horse. She has a western foundation (I can drink a margarita while she jogs & lopes she is so smooth), but also will jump and has some very light hunter background.

    I have a trainer. The horse is 80% there, but needs some finishing. She was breed and lived her 7 year old life in one barn/family who bred her. Their daugther is an amazing amature rider - lightest hands I have ever seen.

    So, I am trying to develop my first 30 day plan to get her and I settled together and I am soliciting opinions. My idea is that I want to be the only one riding her and getting to know her for the first 30 days. Lunge work, lots of walk / trot in the arena, some cantering in a week or two. Slow, steady, build trust and don't rock her world any more than we will be doing.

    My trainer wants to start immediately with a lesson for me once a week (which I was planning on), but also her riding my horse 2xs a week. I know she needs finishing and I am a good intermediate, but have never trained a horse... but I just feel like we don't even know enough about her personality, strengths, etc. to "put her in training" right away.

    In additon, I don't know how much of her western and all around foundation I want to alter. I feel like I need to live with her for 30 days as she is until I decide the direction I want to go and I am thinking about not actually jumping. Lots on my mind and my ultimate direction. Hence, the reason I bought an "all around horse."

    Plus, she is my first horse again since I was in college. I just want to act like a 14 year old and say she is MINE!!! Perhaps that is wrong, but I do believe in starting slowly, becuase you can never go back.

    I could write a few more paragraphs on the nerosis that seems to permeate my barn from the "dressage" people and how everyone looks and expects the worst from everyone. Very gossipy and all up in everyones business... hence I am asking a strangers for a gut check and opinion.

    Give it to me!!!! Cheers & thank you in advance for any input.
    Last edited by Sfbayequine; Jan. 25, 2013, 04:18 PM.

  • #2
    If it were me, I'd ride her for 30 or 60 days before I'd let anyone else get on her. By all means, I would definately take lessons. I brought my (then) three year old home from his first 60 days of training and took a lesson on him the next week. A good trainer will be able to help you figure out her buttons and what works and what doesn't.

    Don't let anyone push you in to doing something with her that you don't want to do. I've been able to finish a horse myself just in taking lessons and having my trainer ride maybe once or twice a year. And I am by NO means a great rider. :-)

    Comment


    • #3
      If I was in your shoes, I would love to have the trainer ride her a few times and evaluate her.
      Then go from that, which may be fine for you to ride her for a while and get to know each other, even taking lessons on her would be fine.
      Or you both may decide that she needs more of a trainer's riding for a while right now to settle well, without confusing her if she rides very differently that you are used to, or whatever you find there.
      Be sure that what you call a very light hand is that, not an uneducated hand that was ineffective and the horse doesn't know to respond to any contact, which is somewhat common to some western riders.
      If so, you may have to start from the start to help get a mouth made there, where you can use contact as needed and for that, your trainer may be more the kind of ride she may need.

      I would first see what you have there, then decide what is best.

      Comment


      • #4
        I believe in lessons - at all stages. Hell, I made my living giving them for years. That said, I believe that just getting on and doing (providing you have a safe horse and reasonable skills) - in addition to lessons - will make you a better all-round rider and partner with your horse.

        If you are good enough - and realistic enough - to work on your own, do it. But don't let your ego get in the way of your good sense if/when you START to get into deep s^!+.

        Trainers are in the business to make money and they do that by teaching AND training. Can't hate your trainer for looking out for her business. But hopefully, she will respect your desire to get through the introductory period on your own (with your lesson a week).

        Best of luck. I loved showing Aps back when - back when they were versatile. And other things, but I won't get into that. One prominent show manager was speechless when I asked her to slightly rearrange a multi-breed show schedule (only switching Ap classes around in their same place in the schedule) because I showed my one horse hunt seat, saddle seat, and western - and didn't have time to change his clothes and mine in the space of one rail class. The only way to go, in my ever-so-humble opinion. I miss those days.

        Carol
        Last edited by ccoronios; Jan. 25, 2013, 04:25 PM. Reason: forgot a phrase
        www.ayliprod.com
        Equine Photography in the Northeast

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I ABSOLUTELY will be taking my lessons. I don' think I can do this by myself. It is just the push for training rides IMMEDIATELY. I am not looking for a justification to dump my trainer or skate on lessons - that would be dumb. I do really like her.

          I am really asking, how did you get to know your horse in the first 30 days and is it reasonable (with lessons) to be the only one riding while you get to know her? Bonding and trust is really important to me. I bought my girl for me, I just feel like this is my trainers new horse and the eagerness is overwhelming.

          Hope that clarifies....

          Comment


          • #6
            Just flat tell the trainer that, you want the mare to work mostly with you at first, so you get to know each other, as much as possible, then later you both, mare and yourself, will get on with whatever program suits your goals best and would welcome her help then.

            Horses can tell the differences in people and she will relate to you as you and others as who they are, don't worry about that too much.

            Comment


            • #7
              Take her home and bond with her for a few weeks. You're not likely to do anything to mess her up if you're not training on her. Then deal with training. There are a lot of really good paint trainers out there, if you're interested Where are you located? I may be able to offer some suggestions.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think you need to do whatever you want. I don't think either plan is wrong or right.

                However, if I was in that situation, I would want to have the trainer put in at least a few rides right away in order to evaluate the horse, identify any holes in the basic training, and help me map out a plan of action - even if the plan turned out to be that I would spend 30 days getting to know my new horse on my own before we started any serious lessons and training.
                "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                that's even remotely true."

                Homer Simpson

                Comment


                • #9
                  It is great to have a trainer but as said previously it's her business and of course she's going to charge you for those 2 rides a week.

                  If I were OP I'd politely decline for your 30 days as I felt out this new horse, then if I'd come to a conclusion about where I wanted to go with this horse the trainer and I could map out a plan for her training rides, otherwise it'd be like OP said, just another new horse for the trainer.

                  I am hoping that you, OP, are able to see when you'll need help and take it and get your money's worth.
                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                  Incredible Invisible

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    First, congratulations on your new horse and getting back to riding. My opinion: if you really want the first 30 days or so to bond with the horse as its only rider and have the horse realize that you're her new "person," just tell the trainer that. I'd personally ask the trainer to just humor me for a month re only me riding, but that's my sense of humor. And of course you'll be taking a weekly lesson during that time so it's not like you've gone completely rogue.

                    As for the trainer riding right away, I guess it depends on the purpose of the trainer riding. As others have mentioned, the trainer could ride to evaluate, give you guidance on the buttons your horse came with, and give you a chance to watch the horse moving in its various gaits and when asked to do different things. That, to me, is not the same as the trainer riding to "train" the horse, i.e., make changes in the horse's current way of going. I'd personally be comfortable with the former early on but not with the latter until you feel like you know the horse better.

                    Anyway, it's your horse, of course you're excited, you get to act like a 14 yo as long as you want! I hope you're as lucky with yours as I continue to be with mine.
                    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GotMyPony View Post
                      First, congratulations on your new horse and getting back to riding. My opinion: if you really want the first 30 days or so to bond with the horse as its only rider and have the horse realize that you're her new "person," just tell the trainer that. I'd personally ask the trainer to just humor me for a month re only me riding, but that's my sense of humor. And of course you'll be taking a weekly lesson during that time so it's not like you've gone completely rogue.

                      As for the trainer riding right away, I guess it depends on the purpose of the trainer riding. As others have mentioned, the trainer could ride to evaluate, give you guidance on the buttons your horse came with, and give you a chance to watch the horse moving in its various gaits and when asked to do different things. That, to me, is not the same as the trainer riding to "train" the horse, i.e., make changes in the horse's current way of going. I'd personally be comfortable with the former early on but not with the latter until you feel like you know the horse better.

                      Anyway, it's your horse, of course you're excited, you get to act like a 14 yo as long as you want! I hope you're as lucky with yours as I continue to be with mine.
                      Right, that is what I meant when I was suggesting the trainer riding her would be a good way to evaluate her, then go from that.
                      Not that the trainer would take over and train her right off, unless there were some serious problems, which should not be.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Does your trainer think that your riding is that bad or that the horse has some problems that you are going to make worse? If not, I think this is more than a wee bit pushy. If the horse is antsy, it is all the better that you wait a bit, if not, and all else is equal, then just do what you think is best, there is no rush right, I mean you are not pointing towards a timeline training goal for a show? Hopefully the horse is solid enough that she is not going to forget what she knows in that time period, the only thing that may be lost is a little conditioning. I would just hop on and go out for as many trail rides as I could until I figured it all out since that is what I always used to do when I had the land and riding avenues available. I got time to think, got the get acquainted time started off on the right track with little to no pressure, and the off the track horses always loved it. Enjoy the new horse and thinking things through more thoroughly than I was able to do with my last purchase! (that did not end well).

                        And congratulations on your new horse. Happy trails!
                        "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks everyone for your answers. I had my first lesson with my trainer and my new girl on Monday. Everything went really well.

                          We decided that I would ride through the honeymoon phase until the last week in February when my hubby and I have to go out of town for a medical conference. This seemed like a great natural break and she can ride that week without me around to hover. Until then, lessons every week and something to work on/train/practice until the next time.

                          She was with me through the whole buying process, so she rode Skye before I picked her up during the shopping process. Interestingly, I am more comfortable with her training and teaching once I was on my own horse. I think I realized that there were limitations for both of us on the school horses and the ones I was sponsoring which was causing more of my hesitation. I have more confidence in her now.

                          Skye is just turing 7, so we have TONS of time. No time schedule or check boxes that are time bound in my mind to tick off for development. Not trying to hit the show circuit or anything this summer. We will be together for a long time and slow and steady always wins.

                          I think after some conversations, she was just excited too. There are a lot of junior riders and school horses at the bardn. She got my need to be a brat for a bit and bond. I am looking forward to working out or schedule at the end of the month. I think I posted more to work it out in my head and double check if I was being an ass...

                          There are so many things to do, decide, vet calls, vaccinations, shoes, barn contracts, purchases, decisions and unsolicited advice. It's a lot of voices and opinions, so I just wanted to relax and settle.

                          I appreciate everyone's time. And yes, I know my limitations!!! :-) Cheers!!

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by painted02 View Post
                            Take her home and bond with her for a few weeks. You're not likely to do anything to mess her up if you're not training on her. Then deal with training. There are a lot of really good paint trainers out there, if you're interested Where are you located? I may be able to offer some suggestions.
                            I am in Oakland, CA. Everything is overrun with "dressage" people... insert air quotes and a lot of scarcasm.... :-) Any leads on Paint/Western trainers in the area would be great.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Welcome to the colorful world of paint horses! No two horses look alike While I'm not terribly familiar with California, the three CA trainers that come to mine are Julie Black (Bakersfield), Karen Qualls (Chino Hills) and Julie Thompson-Martell (Granite Bay). I don't know if Julie has a website, but the other two do.

                              If you google California Paint Horse, Central California Paint Horse, Southern California Paint Horse Club, Nothern California Paint Horse--those are all regional clubs within CA.

                              I'll also send you a private message if I can figure it out with another bit of info.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Congratulations on your new horse! I really like how you've thought things out and want to give you and your horse the time to get to know each other without others interfering. You'll know when it's time for a lesson or if you need further help but in the meantime your game plan seems like the perfect start for a long time relationship with your horse. I like to take it slow with our horses and sometimes it can take a year with the TB's off the track but it's worth the wait to really get to know them. Best of luck and enjoy that new beautiful horse of yours!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'm not a big fan of training rides - it feels like having mom do your homework. You seem quite capable and unless you run into some big trouble, or unless you have a goal of qualifying for Worlds or something, there is no reason to ever have a trainer get on the horse. You'll ride better and feel more confident years from now. You learn from your mistakes, and Lord knows I'm not afraid of making them! Congrats and have fun!
                                  Man plans. God laughs.

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