The Training Hypothesis

At the conclusion of a recent horsemanship demonstration, a person from the audience asked the question, “How long have you been training your horse?” (Meaning the horse that I just used for the advanced demonstration). I really had to think about that question and the only answer I could come up with was that I’ve owned the horse for seven years.

I kind of felt like that was a lousy answer I gave and I don’t want folks thinking that it would necessarily take seven years to teach a horse to be at his level. The same thing applies when I hear people say, “I’ve been riding all my life.” Ok… I’m thinking… did you ever get off your horse to eat and sleep?

Let’s do a little theorizing;

Assuming the owners training ability and horses are equal, let’s say horse owners “A” and “B” both own their respective horse for one year. Owner “A” trains his horse once per week for one hour (52 weeks x 1 hour = 52 hours per year). Now let’s say owner “B” trains her horse one hour every day for that same year (365 days x 1 hour = 365 hours per year).Both owners can say “I’ve been training my horse for one year” but what’s missing is that within the same length of time, owner “B” has put in over seven times more actual time training her horse than owner “A”!This means it took owner “A” seven months to train a horse to a certain level where owner “B” did it in only one month!

I know there are many variables in horse training and my point is theoretical, however, it is valid and I’m sure you get my point. You should also see why answering these questions accurately can be difficult, but the bottom line is simple ….. what you will get out of something will depend on what you put into it.

So, the next time somebody asks…” how long did it take?” or, says “I’ve been riding all my life”, politely ask them to wait for you to retrieve your calculator!


….. what you will get out of something will depend on what you put into it.