After my post from last Friday this might seem a little harsh, but here goes and it is really a different topic.
“How long will it take to train my horse” is the same as “how much is this going to cost me?” The problem is you don’t know until you know. I read (listened to) the book “scrum; the art of doing twice the work in half the time” by Jeff Sutherland. The book is about how to manage a software development project. In the book he talks about getting the team moving and accomplishing parts of the project to find their speed. He says that humans are terrible at estimating things in time, but are good at estimating things in size. This part of the project is a draft horse and the other part of the project is a pony. Then assign a number to the size of the project and then you can determine how fast you can do a project of that size. The problem with horses is they are all different and they can change along the way. Some start really bad and then get better and some start great and then plateau. You just don’t know.
How much is my horse worth? My usual answer is whatever someone will pay. The funny thing about horses is there is no blue book, no significant way of estimating value. If we had a standard for what a national top ten is worth, what a national champion is worth, etc. then we could work forward and back, but we don’t. There is value in all horses to a point. I had a good friend sell a 20 year old mare to a client for $20,000 and everyone said he screwed them over. This was 25 years ago when horses didn’t sell for that price very often. The little girl who the horse was purchased for went on to show at the national level many times and win over her youth career. And the old mare taught her a lot and she was safe the entire time. I would say it was money well spent.
Owner “I want my horse to respect me” Me “don’t feed him treats and let him rub on you and walk in front of you. If he does reprimand him.” Owner “I want him to like me and be my friend” This is common and your horse will like you and respect you if you respect yourself around him. Think of your first boyfriend or girlfriend. If you were head over heels for that person then you probably did what they wanted, when they wanted. After a while you didn’t like them anymore because you didn’t feel they respected you. Then you changed and expected your next girlfriend to do what you wanted half of the time. You ended up having a tighter bond with this person. It works the same with horses. Just because you set boundaries doesn’t mean you’re an asshole. Horse will like you more as the alfa than if you let them walk all over you.
If you haven’t guessed, these are the things needing a fairy godmother to explain sometimes. Or you do your best and let the lessons teach themselves.