Halter - trained or scared?

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hsrascal

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Insomniac research drew me to a 3 part youtube video of the 2010 AMHA worlds.

When handlers are setting up their horses and re setting them, it's pretty obvious that some techniques are pretty aggressive in body language and the horses are quite intimidated. Even when exhibitors come up to get ribbons 3 or 4 of the top 10 start running backwards head up when the handler turns to face them.

Is this something that amateurs do in an attempt to copy professionals but miss the mark, or is this how they are usually trained?

Inquiring minds want to know, without offending..
 

JMS Miniatures

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I've heard from many with halter horses you don't want to give them so much interaction so they stay alert all the time on you, but I agree it just makes them look scared. I don't know how the trainers train them "professionally" for halter but mine get trained for everything and don't have a problem with staying alert. Either they have it or they don't.
 

Maple Hollow Farm

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I see a lot less of the scared look in the ammy classes in our area and seems that it is normally the trainer or professional ammy horses that act like psychos. I realize too that there are plenty of good trainers and professional ammys as well so dont take that statement too literally, just saying those are the ones I see do it but NOT ALL do it!!! I have also heard that people dont like interacting with their horses because they show better when they are scared of you. I personally like my horses to be friendly and in my pocket but still have no trouble getting attention from the ones that LIKE TO SHOW, if they dont want to be there they are going to look grumpy LOL!!! Plus a relaxed and expressive horse is much more natural looking than one that is arching its neck in fear. Just my opinion.
 

MindyLee

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I sent a horse to a "trainer" once... wont send another there because when I got it back, it was not trained, so scared of me, and thin, too thin.

However, I am looking at a diff trainer and heard nothing but good. Horses look good in pics, respectful and alert... not scared.
 
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disneyhorse

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Not all halter horses are well "trained" before they go to a show... Some are out in pasture and not handled a lot before sent to a trainer to fit for a couple of months prior.

From personal experience, the most well "trained" horses usually find halter boring and won't look as spicy in the ring.

So, I think you get a big mix of bored, well trained, wild, and scared in the ring.

Halter is, after all, mostly about conformation and less about training... As long as the horse can be led, stand still for a reasonable amount of time, and hopefully set a leg or two.
 
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Carolyn R

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Don't go thinking it is just an amature thing. Is there a time and place to put aside the coddling and expect business and respect of space, absolutely. With that said, sometimes firm handling and alpha horse behavior is what needs to be perceived when a horse acknowledges us, but like any good alpha, fairness and consistant behavior is key also (meaning, observe horses,after the initial knock down drag out battle, once an alpha horse establishes its placement, just turning its rear as a warning will do, no need to continually kick. An occasional reminder with a bite or small kick when someone else tries to challenge the alpha status is usually enough. It is about fairness).

I know what you are speaking of, esp. With young unhandled horses, intimidation is used rather than training, and it is observed in some top trainers not just unknowing amateurs , unfortunately.

I observed a well loved, well trained B mini at a show once. The relationship this horse had with its owner was like a well executed ballet in this halter class. The handler was firm in her actions, but fair, the horse adored her, she would ask it to set up and stretch and the two would hold that position, at times being rewarded, but never mauling the handler for treats. This horse and owner did this for a good 20-30 minutes. to me, that was handling done correctly. It was a pleasure to watch.
 

JWC sr.

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The horse I loved to show the most in my ring career was an R sized shetland we bought at a sale in East Texas several years ago. She was stunning and I fell in love at first sight. We call her Rythmn and she is a black & white pinto. She had been trained by Belinda Bagby and was a blast to show. She first of all enjoyed showing off and would set up on voice command or simple movement of the halter lead on way or another. Having had Belinda show for different years for us on different horses she produces/trains show horses that are not pets, but rather are traned to do thier job ie: show.


If I wanted a pet, I would not send it to Belinda. But if I wanted a show horse I definitely would. There is a big difference at the top levels in the two in most cases. As Carolyn mentioned above it is indeed a thing of beauty to watch a professional trainer work with a willing horse in conjuction with each other.


Before anyone jumps on me about their horses being pets and show horses, I realise that in special cases this can be achieved. Cindy is notorious for loving on her show horses and still being able to get the most out of them in attention span and performance.
 

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