Sign in to follow this  
dressagewannabe

Young riders and untrained horses

Recommended Posts

What is the general opinion here of young riders taking on untrained horses?

Yay? Nay? Somewhere in between?

Anyone out there with experience on this topic?

I found a great prospect for dressage yet she has very LITTLE training on her? Should I take her on after we send her in for the basics?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on how experienced the young rider is, the temperment of the green horse, and how closely rider and horse will be working with a trainer. For a relativley experienced young rider working with a trainer, it could work. Especially if you have a relatively quiet, level headed horse. For a rider new to riding, I'd advise against it no matter how nice/quiet the horse or involvement of the trainer.

I get the impression you work fairly closely with your trainer. She is probably in the best position to advise you. Best of luck! Remember, there will be more nice horses out there if this one isn't coming at the right time for you. [smile]

Tracy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first horse was a green 4 year old, I was 10 when I got her. We made a great team after getting to know each other.

I'd say if the rider is good and there is proper supervision, then are does not matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was 11 when I took on a green Arab (I had been riding for a few months). And Arabs are pretty sencitive. BUT, they bond soooo well. We bonded and now we're galloping around bare-back in a halter. I'm 12 now and have a green broke 3yo that is not at all level headed.

I'm with Curb Appeal.

With the proper supervision and the right rider that is willing to take the time and bond, I would do it. It's a GREAT learning experience!

I would have NEVER gotten to the point of riding that I'm at without the Arab mare.

Kelsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i STRONGLY STRONGLY STRONGLY discourage a green horse with an inexperienced rider. I rode 2 green horses for two years and it completely messed me up. I didn't learn the CORRECT feel of anything. Of course, it was partially my trainers fault(she was pretty bad..lol). But i rode on a 3rd level school master with another instructor for just 4 months and i improved SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much. Unfortunately my instructor decided teaching wasn't profitable enough and stopped teaching. It took 2 months to find a new instructor with schoolmster(s), but now i'm riding a 2nd level schoolmaster whom i've only ridden 3 times and there's an OBVIOUS improvement in my riding. I'm sure you can still get the right feel with a green horse if you have a realllly good instructor, but seriously if you can find a good schoolmaster you will be SOOO grateful.

If you want to learn how to ride dressage the correct way, i would strongly suggest finding a schoolmaster. It took me a long time to find a barn with schoolmaster horses available for lessons, but it has helped an incredibly amount.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am kinda in the same situation. But I don't consider myself green to riding, just dressage. In oct I sold my 20 yr old arab, just a pleasure horse. So i could get a Dressage prospect. Well, I ended up getting a 4 yr old OTTB from a rescue, due to the amount of $$ that I had to spend on a horse. I have been taking dressage lessons for about 5 months now and at one of my last lesson my trainer had made a really good point. She asked me what my goals were and of course it was to become a better rider and eventually enter the show ring. Then she asked me if I had thought about not having a horse for a while, save $$ (boarding fees, vet, etc.) and buy a horse with more knowledge, so it could teach me also. Well, I thought about this while I was still trialing my horse......And came up with this, 1) Can't imagine not having a horse of my own, 2)It might take us a few years (instead of 1yr) to get to the show ring, but we will make it there. And I am ok with that. I have a really awesome trainer and I lesson on her schoolmasters. And take some of that home and work on it w/ mine. And of course my horse will be going to a trainers this spring to learn alittle more and we will get there.

It might be the steepest hill I have climbed but we will get to the goals I have in mind.

IMO, I believe it all depends on your goals and time frame on weather or not a greenie is for you.

Hope the above babbling made sense. [smiley Wavey]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It really does depend on the situation. I was twelve when I got my pony, who was a backyard pet at the time and knew hardly anything about being a saddle horse. I recieved a lesson on him in a lower level class along with my regular lesson on a school horse. I was only allowed to do walk/trot work when I schooled him by myself until we were better aquainted and his canter was more consistent. We scheduled a private lesson when we taught him to jump. After about 6 months, I was allowed to school whatever we did in our lesson and began riding him in my regular lesson if we were doing flat work. After around 9 months of ups and downs in his training, I was able to ride him in all of my regular weekly lessons.

This was all under my trainer's supervision and I think that all green horse/green rider combinations should have this kind of plan. Of course, it goes without saying that the owner needs to live up to his or her end of the bargain as well. One girl at our barn bought a 4-year-old QH/TB cross and instead of doing walk/trot work, cantered and jumped her. She broke her finger after an accident in an open field and is now terrified of her horse and has ridden her a total of 1 time since (the accident was in July), on a lunge line doing walk/trot stuff with my trainer. The horse is ridden regularly by a friend of mine.

So the lesson to be learned here is that green horse/green rider combinations can work IF everyone involved is willing to talk about the goals and plans of the pair in question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

umm...depends....like with me i have about7 or 8 years of experience but i dont know that much...but im training my 3 y/o with a trainer of coarse...but if its only like 2 years of riding experense i would say no not w/ a green horse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I have only been doing dressage about a year now, but I am in no way, shape or form a novice horseperson. I have owned horses for 30 years now and broke and trained many of my own as well as for other people. Not as a business, just a horse here and there to help someone out as well as all my own horses. I rode western and ran barrels and I can put a good start on a colt and make a pretty nice barrel horse. So..........when it came time to switch to dressage, I had already taken my OTT QH and re-trained him for barrels. We are doing pretty well with dressage, in fact my instructor told me today he has the makings of an upper level horse. I did have a trainer train him for me, the first 60 days to teach him about being forward, on the bit and picking up the pace of his walk and trot. And now I have been riding him for 11 months myself. I can definitely "feel" when it's right and I know when it's not. I know what I have to do and I discipline myself to get out there and practice what my instructor wants me working on and that is working and helping us both out a whole lot. I most certainly still have a whole lot to learn, years and years worth, but I am loving it and enjoying it and feel good about what we are accomplishing.

I do not encourage a green rider to ride and attempt to train a green horse for dressage or any other discipline. I do not believe that green kid riders should be on young green horses either. All novice riders, no matter their age need to learn the basics first and how to handle problems, such as a spooking horse, or a horse that doesn't want to stand for the farrier etc.. All of this under the instruction of a competent trainer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isn't a yes o no question, which is why there have been so many long answers...

It depends on a lot of factors, few of which have to do with the age of the rider. First and foremost, what is the level of experience of the rider? There are kids who have been in the saddle since they could sit upright, "live on the ranch" and have an amazing feel for horses. Then there are kids who've taken a few weekly lessons and are ready to move onto horse ownership. Then there's a wide middleground. I have no idea where you fall on that scale, but it should suffice to say that you would need to fall closer to the first scenario - you should have a very well developed feel for horses and a great confidence in the saddle to bring along a horse as green as the one you described.

Second, and also a huge factor in the equasion, is the horse. There are green horses out there who are saner and more predictable than many flighty older horses. With a good rider aboard, that horse can come along very easily and will take most things in stride, including the inevitable mistake here and there that every new person to training will make. The other end of the spectrum (there always is one, lol!) is the horse that has yet to mature into that flighty older horse, and is even flightier and more touchy as a youngster! That horse is best left to a professional to bring along.

If you are capable as a rider, and if you have a good sane horse to bring along, the final factor is a trainer/instructor to help you out. This is where age comes into play. I do think that some older, knowledgable riders can start their own horse themselves for the first time. There is a lot of research and learning involved, and if the need arises the adult can make the decision to seek help. BUT, for the safety of a younger rider, it is best done with the help of a profesisonal throughout the process, not just at the beginning for 30 days of training.

That was very long... I hope it made sense though! [smiley Wavey]

[ 12-05-2005, 09:11 PM: Message edited by: e.s.dressage ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

X So Copacetic, I don't think the original question was about inexperienced riders and green horses...it was about young riders.

I don't have a problem with it in principle...it entirely depends on the experience and skill level of the young rider. And you'd have to consider that on a case by case individual basis.

Lots of young riders ride better than I do, and better than I will ever do.

But inexperienced with green isn't a good idea, regardless of the age of the rider. Although it can teach you a lot!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I think it should be based on the person and horse. Does the person have a trainer? What about the knowledge, but less experience?

What about the horse? How's his/her temperment? How do the two of them interact with each other?

I have a 5 y/o *almost* green broke gelding. He's my first horse, but we work WONDERFULLY together. Unlike my mother's horse and I who would sooner rip each other apart than work together. [Wink] Franky is willing to try new things with me, and he puts up with SO much that I put him through.

Again, I think its all about who the person is and how the horse is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

There really is no "true" prefect rider. (Does that make sense to anyone else than me??) Some young or newer riders make more sense than the seasoned vets. Sometimes the vets get used to things, and overlook mistakes, ect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the rider is experienced and has a thorough knowledge and understanding and command of dressage riding, then a green horse is just fine. Age of rider just doesn't matter. It is unlikely that a young rider could accumulate the experience needed to easily teach a green horse, but not impossible.

For someone learning dressage, regardless of their age and experience in horses, taking on a green horse will just delay the fun and the learning.

So, I suppose it depends on your goal. Do you want to learn and become skilled in dressage in a reasonable time frame or do you want to be still struggling at first level in two or three or even more years?

If you want to keep building your own skill level, then get a school master. If you are green in dressage yourself and have ten years to waste in the lower levels, then get a green horse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say YAY! Depending on the rider ability and experience. My family grew up around horses (well my dads side) so I've been around them all my life. I started off with a 13 year old paint pony who taught me tons of stuff. I got her when I was 7 years old (1st grade). When I was in 3rd grade, She had her baby, who was meant to be my older sisters (who would have been 12 years old). But she got handed off to me (after being a SPOILED, ROTTEN, violent-if-she-were-bigger pony who wasn't good for anybody except my dad because of our age) and after she went to my grandparents barn and my aunt trained her and taught me how to work her we were perfect.. Sure, every trail I went on for the first year was horrible, but now she is a perfect, well behaved 4 year old. And I just got another baby, but I'm more serious with her and I'm older and can deal with her. When she's bad, I act like the top horse, and tell her I don't like what she's doing. She's getting better.

So if the young rider is dedicated and willing to be frustrated and has a good trainer, then I say yes [smile] . (I was ready to send Star to the slaughter house when I was little [Eek!] ). She wasn't a good little pony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Remmie:

For someone learning dressage, regardless of their age and experience in horses, taking on a green horse will just delay the fun and the learning.


This I do not agree with at all, as that is exactly what I have done and in no way do I feel we are delayed or not having fun. Quite the opposite in fact. We are moving forward at a good pace and learning a whole lot on the journey.

I think the ability of the horse in this case does matter. If I had a horse that just didn't get it or wasn't willing, it would certainly be a lot more frustrating, but since i have a very willing and talented horse the process moves along quite nicely and we are having tons of fun.

Not to mention I have a very honest trainer and she says the two of will go far and in probably less time than if I had a less talented horse.

[ 12-06-2005, 12:16 AM: Message edited by: Boocoo ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't want to be speaking for remmie, but i think part of her point was that if you know little or nothing about dressage, how will you be able to teach your green horse about it in a way that you both have fun and make reasonable progress? one thing i've noticed about people and horses is that the more fun and success they have has a huge effect on the learning curve.

sort of a coarse example, if you don't know how to ski, and i don't know how to ski--how are you going to be able to teach me about skiing? chances are we'll spend the whole time on the slopes falling down, getting wet from the snow, exhausting ourselves getting up, maybe even getting scared at times and ultimately getting frustrated and hating what could under the right circumstances an incredibly fun sport.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A number of these posts don't apply to dressage, but just to being a young rider and having a green horse, so those posts will have to stand on thier own, but if you are looking at dressage you do have to look at it from the aspects of:

1. How much experience do you have as a rider? What is your background. Many young riders are often much more experienced than adults simply because they follow a much more advanced track and they would be very comfortable with a green horse.

2. How often is an experienced trainer going to be weighing in on the mix and working with the two of you, or are you going to be going this road alone? Big difference if you are working alone or with a trainer on a regular basis. Also, if you are working with a trainer, this is something that you really should be discussing with them.

3. Price. What $ are you looking at spending realistically.

4. What are your goals for the next 5 years? Often our goals will really determine what path we need to be taking. Again, if you are working with a good coach, they will help you in determining your path. If you goal is upper level work, you are probably better off looking at a schoolmaster and saving the young horse for later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by nick:

i don't want to be speaking for remmie, but i think part of her point was that if you know little or nothing about dressage, how will you be able to teach your green horse about it in a way that you both have fun and make reasonable progress? one thing i've noticed about people and horses is that the more fun and success they have has a huge effect on the learning curve.

This would be absolutely true for someone who knows nothing about dressage, does not educate themselves and does not work with a trainer. On that I do agree 100%.

But I myself, as previously mentioned, have educated myself, not only by working with a trainer, but my reading books, watching videos and going to seminars and posting on this board. The fact that I do have 30 years of experience with horses enabled me to see that when I did switch to dressage I now needed a trainer, who in fact, put the first 60 days of dressage training on my horse, then I took it from there with weekly lessons and have done so ever since. It is working quite well for me and my horse.

That is the point I am trying to make. If you are not experienced in dressage or any other discipline, no matter how much experience you have with horses, you need to work with a trainer.

[ 12-06-2005, 11:03 AM: Message edited by: Boocoo ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say go for it if you're up for a bit of a challenge. My family and I own 4 horses, one is pregnet, and we are in the process of buying a wonderful 2 and a half year old mule from some friends in IL. My paint mare will be 3 years old this Feb. and I've had her since she was 5 months old, now I'm not saying there hasn't been some bumbs and bruises along the way but we have the strongest bond ever, I would trust a baby on her back! I ride her bareback and bitless all the time, I can ride her backwards and slide off her butt!!! My little sister's 2 year old gelding is starting his training and he's going to be the same way. Our 5 year old mare that we'll have had a year this April is totally different. She's not broke to ride and she's spookey and she doesn't have a bond like any of the horses we've had since babies do with us. I know alot of people don't like to wait on babies but it is so worth it in the end, you'll never have a bond like you do with a horse that you've had since a baby!!! [big Grin]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's like this.

There are so many young FEI level riders who are gorgeous riders, have gorgeous horses, and are nationally known. Of course they can ride they tests beautifully, and get perfect scores, but my question is this: How many of those YR's could take on a green horse and take him up through the levels? The answer:Not many. The problem is, a lot of these girls are just "handed" FEI level horses so all they do is learn the movements, but they don't know how to teach the movements and a lot of the time they don't even know why the movements are benneficial to the horse. Basically they are FEI level riders with Training level mentalitys. So basically it really matters on what kind of rider you are and how well you understand the concept of each movement. Thats just my 2 cents!

[ 12-06-2005, 11:44 PM: Message edited by: skippyskipper101 ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with the opinion shared by some people that 'young horses should teach inexperienced riders'. In my opinion, that is a very dangerous situation, and one that could potentially ruin a person's attitude towards horses for life. Of course if the green horse is incredibly sane, willing and forgiving, and the young rider has some sort of 'natural feel' for horsemanship AND the guidance of a reliable and outrageously knowledgable trainer who specializes in the starting of young horses, than that's a little different.

Oh, and I realize that the original poster asked about YOUNG riders and green horses, but in my opinion all young riders are inexperienced ones and should not deal with untrained horses. That, of course, is just my opinion! [smiley Wavey]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes you don't really have much of a choice.

If you get a greenie and you work under the guidance of a good trainer, you could certainly become a super rider with a talented horse...it will just be a much longer, more frustrating road...I think. But riding one horse as the horse is trained and moves up the levels is a good way to learn how to RIDE. Most riders can get on a horse and give proper cues for the "tricks"...but only those who spent an eternity getting their not-bred-for-dressage horse to FEI will know how to train [smile]

I am def NOT showing my horse at FEI, but we have literally grown up together and learned dressage together. If I had to do it again-- well, I wouldn't want to. BUT, I also don't think I'd know half the stuff I do now about dealing with certain issues and roadblocks. I also wouldn't have so much of an appreciation for good-minded horses. Forget looks, life recently taught me that brains are what its all about. Yay for greenies with good attitudes [big Grin]

Plus, just because you have a greenie doesn't mean you can't have the occasional lesson on the schoolmaster!

and thats my two cents

[ 12-07-2005, 11:37 PM: Message edited by: Fabulous ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the Experance of the rider. I broke and trained a pony when I was 8 and have been raising a stalion sence I was 13 he was borne here. It all depends on your experance! Good luck. I have never used a trainer to help me with my own horse but my friend says they can be a big help if you get stuck.

Jessy

[ 12-08-2005, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: Okkita ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i agree with the rest. It depends on the rider's experience. they can be young but really good riders. i'm only 14 and i love the hot ones. my own is very hot. although, i have a lot of experience so the rider's level makes a huge difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been riding for like 7 years. I have a 4 year old that I got like 6 months ago. He is REALLy willing to learn and stuff.

I only take one lesson a week (and it's on him) and then the rest of the week I try to get that same feeling. We are slowly (VERY slowly, lol) improving. It's kind of frustrating because I only have one lesson a week, so I try to get the same feeling, but I can rarely get it. It's taken me like 4 weeks to figure out KIND OF what I am trying to get at for him stretching and pushing into the bit a little. I am perfectly fine with going that slow, I just wonder, is it okay? I mean, outside of my lesson, am I teaching him the wrong habits? He IS improving, and I don't get mad at him if we don't get the movement, I just keep working until we do get it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by skippyskipper101:

It's like this.

There are so many young FEI level riders who are gorgeous riders, have gorgeous horses, and are nationally known. Of course they can ride they tests beautifully, and get perfect scores, but my question is this: How many of those YR's could take on a green horse and take him up through the levels? The answer:Not many. The problem is, a lot of these girls are just "handed" FEI level horses so all they do is learn the movements, but they don't know how to teach the movements and a lot of the time they don't even know why the movements are benneficial to the horse. Basically they are FEI level riders with Training level mentalitys. So basically it really matters on what kind of rider you are and how well you understand the concept of each movement. Thats just my 2 cents!

The above statement is just soooooooo not true and very, very naive.

To ride dressage is to train the horse every time you are with it. I don't care what level it is trained to, the horse is a living, breathing, changing being and does not come out doing what is wanted/responding to the rider like a machine.

[ 12-12-2005, 12:10 PM: Message edited by: Remmie ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this