Keeping your horse trainer safe

21 Jan

This is a comment made by Chris on the post ‘Do you think all horses can be trained’, I added the blue color because it reminded me of something: see my comment below.

What a bunch of great comments! My insight is that I also cannot comment on this individual horse.

I do know there are horses with phisical and mental limitations. There are horse person combinations that do and do not work.

However, I know most of all there are horses who are too dangerous for the wrong owner. If your trainer tells you the horse is too dangerous you should carefully evaluate the risk to yourself and others.

Most important – if you try another trainer BE HONEST! They deserve to be fully informed. There is nothing worse than finding out the owner knew about a problem but did not consider your health and safety.



Your comment made me laugh! How true that is. I was a few years into being a ‘trainer’ before I figured out this: When someone is bringing you their ‘broke’ horse for a ‘tune up’ you HAVE to have them ride it for you! On the phone or in person (without their horse) they would say ‘he just needs a spin or a lead change put on him’. The first few horses that threw fits, bucked, reared, etc gave me the idea of having the owner ride. It was always intersting when the owner was dropping them off to say ‘OK, why don’t you show me what he can do so I can get started”. All of a sudden confessions of…’well, sometimes he bucks’ ‘well, he really doesn’t like being saddled’, etc would come out. It got to the point where I would tell people that if they wouldn’t ride them for me I would start from scratch. You can take a well trained horse through all the ‘colt starting’ steps in one session…unless they have holes.

Thanks for your comment. It brought back great memories!


Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Controversial, Training, Video


4 responses to “Keeping your horse trainer safe

  1. cathy

    January 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Soooo true. Sad , but some animals are truly damaged due to poor breeding which can make them mentally unsound, compounded by environmental events later, that can make this worse. Animals ability to adapt to people and our environment is really nothing short of amazing. Most , do this wonderfully, so we are always shocked when (very few) do not. Mentally unstable animals that have traded or lost their self preservation instinct are extremely dangerous. As a behaviorist I see this more than I would like to, but fortunately , less than I would expect.

  2. Colleene McMurphy

    January 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I have a horse that my trainer told me should never be ridden…made me promise that I would never attempt it. He taught my horse great ground manners and he is truly halter broke. He is safe to be around…on the ground. I have often been tempted to saddle up but I remember the promise I made my trainer. If you have enough trust in your trainer to pay him or her a great deal of money and place your beloved horse in their care, you should believe them when they tell you something, even if it is something you don’t want to hear.

  3. Julia

    February 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    This sounds so much like my situation – that a horse that is dangerous for one person is not for a different person (and vice/versa!). I tried fostering a sweet but emotionally messed up 4-year old rescue horse for a few months and got bit, stomped and kicked more in that time with him than in my whole life with horses. I apologized and had to return him to the rescue because I was doing neither of us any good. Instead I bought an OTTB who a teen at my stable was selling because the mare was “too crazy” and the teen was terrified of her and the poor mare just sat in her stall for months on end because no one wanted to deal with “that scary horse no one wants”. My confidence was a little shot because of my fostering experience (which felt like a failure) but I started working with the OTTB mare. Sure enough, she and I clicked and I ended up taking her off the teen’s hands. Now she is in training and she and I are developing a very close bond and she is gentle, attentive and just wants to please me. But when the vet came to observe her before doing chiropractic my mare acted like a nutcase with her and my vet warned me that my mare does have the potential in the wrong situation to be dangerous. I am obviously not a super-gifted horse whisperer by any means, I think that my mare and I just click really well. My trainer has said many times she doesn’t understand why my mare is so calm with me, but for some reason she is and it’s quite surprising. I hope that little guy I fostered finds the person he clicks with too someday. I think personalities being compatible end up being a really big deal when it comes to high-energy, high-stress horses.

  4. Heidi (nrhareiner)

    July 31, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I have been on the other side of this too as an owner/breeder. I took a horse to a trainer who was supposed to be a reining trainer. Was in a hurry when I dropped off 2 horses one broke very well, the other a 2yo with about 6 rides on him. So did not ride the broke horse plus he did not ask. He knew the horse was broke. Called, talked to him a few times over the next week or so. By week 2 he had not been on the broke horse so I went out and rode the horse around for a few min. to show him the horse was broke. Then had to leave. Came back 2 weeks later. He had only been on the broke horse 2 times (kids had ridden this horse) and had yet to put a leg over the 2yo that I had ridden at home about 6 times before he went. Did not know much but he had no buck and had good ground training. So as important as it is to be honest with the trainer, you also need to do your homework on the trainer to make sure you get what you are paying for. I will say that truly good horse trainers are priceless.


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