As a horse trainer, my goal is to take an unbroke horse and turn it into a safe, enjoyable, rideable, well started horse that is soft, collected, relaxed, and ready for either the trail, or event specific training.
If possible, taking that started horse through event specific training is another, more enjoyable part of the job.
Another aspect of my goal as a horse trainer is to help you, the horse owner get your horse trained without costing you an arm and a leg. The following tips will help you to help me or any other trainer you choose, to get your horse broke to your requirements without breaking your bank.
1. The most important factor in the whole picture is the individual horse. When you choose a horse, cost is important, but remember that a cheap colt may end up costing you more in the long run. Choose a horse based on its parents and conformation. Proven parents, successful in some discipline indicates the potential of the horse to perform in that same discipline. Even a trail riding horse needs to be from parents that are proven to be good minded and trainable. Good conformation indicates the physical potential of the horse to perform due to proper movement and the power, speed, or agility needed for your chosen discipline.
2. Age of the horse is also an important factor. As a trainer, I am most happy when I am brought a two year old to start. Older horses are often started successfully, but the older horse is less predictable, and will often take more time to start than a two year old. The horse trainer needs to modify the pace of the training program for each horse to keep both the horse and the trainer safe. Don't worry about your horse being injured or damaged by being started at two. The starting process is not hard training, and will not damage the two year old's joints or back unless the horse is physically too small. Because they are bigger and stronger, older, mature horses often have more fight in them . This can slow the starting process down, costing you more.
3. Your horse's teeth and feet can be important factors. Having your horse's teeth checked and floated before bringin him for training will eliminate any problems that may occur due to pain caused by sharp points or limited mobility of the lower jaw due to hooks and chewing surfaces that catch on each other. A properly maintained mouth will result in a horse that responds better to the bit with less resistance than a horse that is in affected by poor teeth. Having your horse's feet trimmed before bringing him will avoid down time that can occur when poorly maintained feet break or cause extra stress on tendons and ligaments in the legs. Down time costs you more because you are still paying to board your horse at the trainer's, but it also costs the trainer because that stall is being occupied by a horse that is not getting any training time.