Dear Friend and Horseman,
Welcome to another Horse Training Tips Insider.
In this issue, I’m going to answer a question that was sent to me by one of my members. I think you will find the answer to their question helpful.
I made a couple comments in this issue that I know will get more than a few readers upset with me. These comments are not meant to belittle anybody or hurt anyone's feelings.
They are just my personal opinion based on my practical experience.
Okay, lets get started with the training question.
My husband and I have a registered paint stud – he is not quite a year old yet and has a great personality. We are relatively new to this kind of horse ownership. Before, we have had already trained horses for pleasure riding only. We have been working with this stallion a little – he leads great and faces you.
He was really imprinted well.
I have begun working him in the round pen. Our question is how do we know what potential he has for reining?
Can you train them yourself as a new person to this type of training or do you need a professional trainer?
Anyway, what ever information you can give us would be great to get us started.
Thank you for your time,
Reining is a fairly advanced event. If you don’t have any experience with it, you may need some help from a “professional” reining trainer.
I’m not saying you can’t learn to train a reining horse yourself. I’m just saying things may go better if you had some expert guidance.
The best thing you could do is purchase a trained reining horse and spend some time learning what a trained horse feels like. Go to some small shows and compete. Then you’ll know what to shoot for with your colt.
As for the potential of your colt, there is really no way to tell until he’s been ridden at least several months.
Yearlings and two year olds change quite a bit as they grow. However, there are several characteristics that might give you a clue to the colts suitability for reining.
Here are a few things to look for:
Hopefully, the colt has good conformation. You want the colt to have a big, kind eye and a flat forehead. Horses with a bulging forehead are usually trouble.
You want a colt that lopes pretty… a good mover. As the colt lopes you want his feet to stay close to the ground. You definitely don’t want a colt that has a lot of knee or hock action when loping.
As for disposition, ideally, I like a quiet, willing, laid-back kind of a colt. Now this is what I want for reining (for cutting, I want a colt with a lot of personality and expression).
You mentioned your colt was imprinted as a baby.
That is unfortunate as imprinting appears to hinder a horse’s training for the performance events (it seems to change their natural instincts and attitude towards humans).
I know my statement above will cause some people to totally lose their minds but truthfully, that has been my observation over the years.
I carefully choose the words “appears to hinder a horse’s training” because there is a possibility the bad minded, imprinted horses I’ve trained, would have been bad minded even if they hadn’t been imprinted. Or perhaps the imprinting hadn’t been done correctly.
I doubt it though because many of my horse trainer friends have also come to the same conclusion.
However, it doesn’t mean an imprinted colt won’t make it as a performance horse. It just means he may be more difficult to train.
Take care and good luck with your colt.
Larry Trocha Training Stable
Let me clarify what I mean.
I know what I said above about imprint training, will get the blood of a lot of folks boiling. They believe that imprinting is great. So be it. We all have the right to our opinions.
I would like to make a point here though about horse training and horse trainers in general.
In the real world, the most influential test of a horse’s training is competition at the big shows… the top events.
If you can manage to win at the big horse shows, that win is usually worth tens of thousands of dollars. In some cases, winning a particular event could be worth millions of dollars in awards and future business.
Needless to say, the trainers who compete at those big shows are looking to train the best horse they can. They want to use the training methods that get the best results.
If there is a training method that works better than what they are currently using, they want to know about it.
Most top performance trainers try it all. They keep what works and discard what doesn’t.
The end result is a training program that is very, very good. Its a program that has proven its effectiveness in tough competition, judged by top horsemen.
If you want to learn how to train performance horses, you should try to emulate these successful trainers. Try using the training techniques that work so well for them. See if those techniques will work for you too.
Unfortunately, it is this type of proven training program that the average horseperson seldom gets the opportunity to see. The information isn’t readily available to him.
On the other side of that coin, horse owners are literally bombarded with information about the latest horse training “FAD”.
They read about it in horse magazines and on the web. They watch it on TV. They see it at horse expos and clinics.
The training “fads” and their corresponding marketing campaigns are everywhere.
To the horse owner, it appears this is the right way to go. You really can’t blame him for accepting what he sees in the “media” as the best way to train a horse.
Its just human nature to assume that the person who is publicly endorsing a certain horse training method is a verifiable expert.
After all, the guy has written a horse training book. He conducts clinics. He even has videos. Surely he knows what he’s talking about.
Yes, we ASSUME that a person who does all these things, knows what he’s doing, an expert.
Well, in my opinion, appearances can be deceiving. In many cases, these guys (or gals) are "SELF-PROCLAIMED" experts. Experts who have never proven themselves in tough competition.
And no… those “colt starting” contests don’t count. They’re a joke!
Personally, I’ll take the advice of the guy who has WON on the testing ground of competition, over the SELF-PROCLAIMED expert, every single time.
Many people ask me who some of my favorite horse trainers are. Well, its a short list. And the list of top trainers who can actually teach or explain how they train is even shorter.
Every time I've recommended a horse trainer to someone… it has come back to bite me in the butt.
So, I'm pretty much done with recommending any other trainers. However, there is one young woman who I feel is very, good.
We videoed her ground work training and I plan on posting it on my website. So stay tuned.
Well, this wraps it up for this newsletter. I hope you liked it.
Until next time, have fun training your horse.
Larry Trocha Training Stable