Horse Training – A Beginners Guide

If you are either looking to buy a horse or maybe you have already acquired a horse.  Either way the will need to be trained.  Whether you do it yourself or hire a trainer to train the horse for you.

You already know the cost of purchasing a horse can range from about $1000 to $20,000.  You may have estimated the cost of feeding, shoeing, and health care to run you about $2,000 per year.  That $2,000 per year is if you have property in the country and will keep the horse with you.  If you are planning on boarding your horse, then you can expect an additional $2,000 to $3,000 per year.

Assuming you are planning on riding your horse an average of 350 hours per year, you will want to include in all those expenses the cost of your health insurance and possible time off from work.  Since you are asking yourself, “Why?”  I will explain.  There are thousands of people each year that receive injuries from horseback riding.  Twenty-five percent of those injuries happen to children who are 16 years of age and younger.  Many of the head injuries lead to brain injury.

The brain injuries can cause serious damages that have a lifelong effect.  Unfortunately we are not talking about injuries caused riding rodeos.  The majority of these mishaps occur during recreational riding.  Eighty percent of the fatal accidents occur at normal horse speeds and are not caused because the horse bucked or reared up.

As it turns out you are safer riding a motorcycle than you are on the back of a horse.  Researchers tell us that motorcyclists average 7,000 hours of riding time per serious accident, while horseback riders can expect an accident to happen for every 350 hours of riding time.

The best method of stopping injury accidents is education.  A properly trained horse is less likely to misbehave, and he will be a much safer animal to ride if he has been taught not to behave in a way that will cause a serious injuries.  These actions will include biting, kicking, or running away with a rider.  A well-trained horse will be much more patient with the odd habits of the untrained person.

Riding on the back of an untrained horse is like driving a car that does not have any brakes.  You can take them out for a test run, but you may come back dead.  Even thought the horse’s intentions are good, if he doesn’t have experience, you are riding around with a creature that weighs over a thousand pounds and likes to do whatever he wants.  As an investment, horses are more of a liability.  The horse has the potential of hurting someone and his resale value is next to nothing.

If you have an untrained horse, he can be dangerous.  You probably didn’t buy him just to put him out to pasture and get fat and lazy.  Just remember training your horse makes your horse more accessible to you as well as being useful and safer to be around.

If you don’t seem to have enough time to train a horse, you can hire a trainer.  Depending on the training the horse needs, training can take anywhere from two months to a year to be trained.  The end results you will have a horse that is well trained.  However you will still be untrained unless you are already an experienced rider and just don’t have the time to train your own horse.  If you are not an experienced rider, you are not allowed to participate in the training of your horse.  This means you will have to find training for yourself.

For a whole lot less money than you will pay for a trainer, you can train a horse on your own.  You will both be learning at the same time.  Of course the horse will not be rideable for a portion of that time, but you will learn some things before you get on the back of that horse.

Here are some tips for the novice horseback rider.

 

  • If this is the first time your have owned a horse, it would be a good idea to pay a professional trainer to help you choose the right horse for you pay out the money for a horse.
  • You will always want to supervise children when they are around horses.  Make sure the children are not in the line of fire should the horse decide to kick.
  • If you have children, you will want them to know all about horse safety.
  • When you are looking for a saddle to purchase, make sure to purchase a saddle that has release catches to ensure a fallen rider will not be dragged by the horse because of a foot caught in the stirrups.
  • Make sure you invest in an equestrian helmet that meets the ASTM standards.
  • Do not allow a horse to nibble or “kiss” you, not even a young horse.  This can turn into biting and is very hard to stop.
  • Do not wear any loose fitting clothes.  It may catch on tack, branches or fences.
  • Never sneak up on a horse from behind.
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