“If we are to call ourselves trainers then we carry the responsibility to move everyone to a higher status in the industry. That is how every industry on this planet survives.”
Most of the barns I travel to breed horses, and keep a trainer and several exercise riders. I am always struck by the concept of riding just for riding sake: to keep a horse in shape and not deteriorate from 23 hours in a stall and paddock.
Most exercise riders move in a constant state of riding the rail around and around. In my world we call this the loser’s loop, where riders have no goals or desire to achieve anything but exercise. Sometimes, if there are jumps or obstacles in the arena, they will move around them, but otherwise, there is not a shred of training in any of this.
My question is, what is the point? And it is the very reason every horse on my farm has a field to run freely and self-exercise as he needs to.
And every ride has a purpose.
Comment from Horse Enthusiast: I knew one trainer (never used him, he was just co-owner of the barn I boarded at) who had a really bitchy paint filly- she was vicious when the owner gave her to him for nothing- and he managed to train her enough that she was handleable which was a big accomplishment considering if you showed up with a halter she would run you down, but she still pulled back when tied and riding she would blow up really badly on occoasion, or at least that was the state she was at when I left…
I don’t know her history or how she’s doing now as I haven’t seen her since spring… Anyway he wasn’t my ideal trainer as he was the “old” cowboy type and would run the snot out of a bronc horse, no matter what age. (this filly was only three and he was cantering and loping her constantly and working her really hard).
But the trick he used to get this filly to accept the bit, because she was terrible of course, was to turn her out with the bridle. (no reins)
Would you ever even consider this in the most dire situation or would you just give up and go bitless? My big fear at the time was that she would catch the ring of the snaffle on a part of the fence or something and rip her mouth apart in a panic, but luckily she didn’t but she actually became easier to bit and was less resistant to it after a week or so. But still, I think that’s too risky…
Just curious :)
Answer from April Reeves: There are many ways to ask a horse to accept a bit, and although many of those ways end up with a horse that will “take” a bit, the question remains, “Is there a better way?” I have had to work with some of the toughest of bitters, and have barely had as much as a fight or future problem.
Posted in English Riding answers, Equine Behavior & Problems, General riding answers, Western training answers
Tagged April Reeves, Bit, bitting, Bridling, Cowboy, Filly, Horse Trainer, horse training, Lope