First off I want to thank you for opening my eyes to a better way of training horses. When I was younger and first got into horses it was through an older gentleman who had a talent for horses but was much like your father in his methods. Looking back, I am ashamed at the methods I used "breaking" horses under his guidance on his ranch. I remember in particular a bay colt he had me tie high to a dally pole and sack it out with a rolled up feed sack and the fear in his eyes as he could go no where. Then he would saddle him tied that way and get on because the idea was he couldn't buck when tied high to the dally pole. His methods worked to get him riding but that horse was so scared of people that he was dangerous when not under saddle. He eventually sold him at a kill pen.
Last night I saddled up and rode a young colt for his first ride that reminded me of that colt I ruined years ago. What a difference your methods have made for me in the last eight years. He was so calm and willing to learn, following me around like a dog when I got off the saddle because he trusted me and truly wanted to be by me.
Sorry for getting off topic. The question is, is it good to have other people ride your horses. Will it help them to trust humans more if they are ridden by multiple people? Some people don't want others riding for various reasons such as teaching bad habits, don't ride same as they do etc. I have several horses I let anyone ride because they put up with a lot of mistakes. I have a mustang for years that I never let anyone ride but me. What is the best approach?
The reason this is in my head is because I am working with a 12-year-old gelding that was given to me. Seemed in good care, good ground manners, didn't show fear of people or signs of abuse, he was just a pasture pet that had never been ridden. I have him riding good for me and he trusts me and enjoys being around me and other people, but when someone else tries to get on him he will not stand still and prances around in a circle snorting. Never moves an inch when I put my foot in the stirrup.
Should I push him to accept other riders now or give him more time? I've probably started 100 horses with your methods and understand a horses lack of trust when there is evidence of abuse or fear instilled in them. I don't believe that is the case with this horse so this is new territory for me.
Thanks and God bless,
What I want you to do is put all of those original, old fashioned methods on a piece of paper, take a match to it and just plain forget about them. That's the way it
for 6000 years. Fortunately the world is moving away from the old techniques and beginning to strike violence from the procedures regarding the training of horses.
Horses are neophobic. This means they are skeptical and/or frightened of anything new. When we put a bit on a horse we seek to put the best one we can find. When we put a saddle on a horse we seek to find the most comfortable possible. When we put an unfamiliar rider on a horse it certainly should be someone who knows what they are doing.
Once a horse has carried a collection of competent riders the tendency will be to accept new riders with less skepticism. Once your horse has performed for several riders they know nothing about, and these new riders perform reasonably well, the better chance you have that your horse will accept unfamiliar riders far more comfortably.
Please take advantage of my Monty Roberts Online University to experience the many lessons available there. The lesson on
The Mounting Block introduction
occurs to me to be a good pathway to answering this question. One can control the movements of a horse at the mounting block with a much better chance to cause a horse to relax and accept a new rider.
There are so many lessons which relate to your question, it occurs to me it is a fertile road map to expand your use of my concepts and to cause your horse to want to become a partner instead of the old way of attempting to force your horse to be a partner. Congratulations on the growth of your knowledge concerning non-violence.