I've been doing a lot of research, reading and thinking. Before you ask, yes my brain is tired. (laughs) We humans are a society of ZOOM. Everything is faster now including things like our phones and GPS tracking systems. Even in our jobs require us to move so much faster. Horses are an entirely different story. They don't punch a clock for work, they don't have to make production, and they aren't in a hurry to get anywhere or download anything. They have their own clocks to go by; their own timing in learning and doing things.
I've seen many people push their horses to learn something new and the horse isn't getting it. Some horses learn something new in a few days, others in a few months. Us humans are the one's in a hurry to train the horse and get it ready for shows or sales. If the horse is in a show barn, they're ridden every day, rehearsing the same movements, same strides, same jumps ever day. For sport horses who are up and coming, those schedules can be grueling and boring. A horse learns at its own pace. We are the one's who are in a hurry for the horse to learn and move on to learn something else. We are the one's who get all twisted in a knot and lose our patience because the horse just won't do what we're asking. For those horses that are in a seller's barn, face the same thing. A horse comes in from the sale, gets assessed to find out what it can and cannot do. The seller at this point makes a choice as to whether or not that horse gets more time under saddle or not. If it does get that chance, the seller or his/her trainer takes the horse and rides or trains the horse to get better results. If the trainer finds the horse is unwilling or unable to learn at a fast pace, back to the sale it goes, or the horse gets sold under false pretenses. A good honest seller will disclose both good and bad behaviors about a horse. A dishonest one will either tire the horse out before the buyer comes, drug it or just straight up lie about it.
I've seen many riders at horse shows work their horses as if it were a lesson before the show. A horse show is a good learning tool for both horse and rider, however, tiring your horse to exhaustion before hand then expecting it to perform at its best in the ring isn't going to get you very high scores. Your horse needs to be warmed up and ready to perform. Beyond that, leave your hard training at home.
Do you have the time and patience for your horse to learn at its own pace? I'm guessing most folks don't and that's why they send them off to a trainer. When you call your trainer and ask where your horse is at in its training, are you considering the horse's ability to learn or just going on your trainers ability to teach as a basis for the time it's taking? When you get your horse back from the trainer and you find the horse hasn't advanced much if at all, do you blame the trainer or the horse? I'll take a wild shot here and say that 80% blame the trainers ability to train. How can I give such a high percentage? Well, out of 10 people who sent their horses off to a trainer for 30 days, 8 of them complained that the trainer didn't have the abilities to teach their horses anything beyond what they've all ready learned. Only 2 people were satisfied with what their horses had learned. They didn't take into consideration the horse was a slow learner and would need more time with the trainer in order to advance.
Are there some bad trainers? Certainly. Are there some bad horses? Absolutely not. Horses are what they are. They don't have the mindset to be anything else. Horses aren't barn sour, buddy sour, mean spirited, angry or dishonest. Humans teach them to be those things. If you ask your horse to do something and he's not doing it when you think he should then you are asking wrong or he just doesn't understand the question.
If you have a slow learner, then you need to find a whole lot of patience. When you find your patience then your horse will be everything you dreamed it would be. If you don't have patience for your slow learner, then allow it more than 30 days time with the trainer, provided they know how to teach a slow learner. You can't push or rush your horse to learn because it makes them miserable and cranky. Whereas on the other side of that pendulum, a horse who learns fast becomes bored easily and you have to keep up the pace of teaching to avoid boredom.
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