First Things First:
If Your Horse is in Training, You Should be Too.
Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with placing your horse in a training program. In fact, it is something that I encourage if you are looking to have a problem or bad habit fixed, or how to work with your horse. BUT, here is the catch, if you send your horse in for training, and then get them back, it is YOUR job to continue the training that was put into them.
Now let’s look at this from a different perspective. Have you ever seen your trainer get on your horse, and they are a perfect angel, and then you get on and they begin to behave differently? When this happens, I hope you don’t get frustrated and say that you have a bad trainer. What I do hope, is that you say what do I need to do, in order to get my horse to perform the way my trainer gets them to perform.
As a trainer, I ensure that all of my clients who have their horses in training with me, know how to ride their horse to get the best performance out of them as possible. Not only that, I ensure that they know how to work with them on the ground as well. If you are a client, and you have a horse in training with a trainer, you should expect your trainer to teach you how to ride your horse the way that they do, and work with them the way that they do. Now you may be thinking, my trainer has way more experience than me, how can I get all of that in a short amount of time? The answer is continue to take lessons with your trainer and your horse until you feel comfortable carrying on the training that your trainer does with your horse.
Let’s use something simple for an example. You put your horse in training because you are having difficulty keeping them engaged while riding. Two brains working. Your horse has their thoughts, and you have yours. Take lessons with your trainer on your horse, and do engagement exercises until you feel comfortable doing them on your own.
If you do not learn how to continue the training that was put in on your horse, they will go back to what they used to do, and possibly worse. The last thing you want to do is teach your horse, or give them the chance to pick up bad habits. Just because you send a horse in for 30, 60, 90 days or 6 months, does not mean that they are set for life. Training is constant and continuous with horses.
Great horses cannot be made in just a few months. Now sure, some horses are absolutely fabulous, but they can still pick up both good and bad habits. So, if you do put your horse into a training program, make sure that you have the same knowledge as your trainer in regards to keeping your horse in a good space mentally and physically.