A sad email...
We received this email the other day
and it is just another reminder of what
happens to so many people when they
try to get into horses on their own.

I have a 5 yr old paint mare (due to
foal) in late may. She sounds just like
Sadie when you first bought her, She
will not let us near her except for when
she is eating she will let us touch her .
We sent her to Waco to be broke and
that was a mistake because she came
back pregnant. She has never had her
hoofs worked on because she freaks
out when anything gets near her feet. I
am deeply concerned for this baby she
is going to have in a few months. We
are selling her because we are green
with horses and we have spent enough
money the first time we sent her to
training. If you would be interested in
buying her and helping her and her
baby please e-mail me back... Thank

This person has spent a lot of wasted
money, time and emotion and she will
probably get out of horses all together.
 It will be nearly impossible to find this
horse a good home because of its
problems.  Because a horse like this
would take at least four months of
training to rehabilitate most
experienced horse people won't
purchase her.  And hopefully another
beginner won't try to buy her and end
up in the same boat.  We suggested
donating her to an equine rescue
group.  Her and her foal would get the
care they need by experienced people
who do a much needed service for the
horse community.  Plus it is a merciful
alternative to
auctions or
abandonment.  If you would like to
learn more about a local service or to
make a donation go to
Lone Star
Equine Rescue for more information.
M-Bar-K Farms
We decided to make this page as a record.  Most of these horses ended up in their situations
because to many people refuse to further their education when it comes to horses.  "Where
education ends, abuse begins."
Sadie - Severely abused
and neglected when she
came to M-Bar-K Farms
Rescued and Rehabilitated Horses
Not all of the horses that we rescue are
physically abused:
A 15 year old Arab that had been left out in a pasture without
care for at least five years.  Feet grown out in a curl so bad
that he could barely walk.  No muscle tone, a tumor on his
back and a tail so matted it took three people three hours to
comb it out.  (NEVER cut a horses tail because it is badly
matted!!!!  It is better to spend several hours combing a
badly matted tail out then for the horse to have to spend
SEVERAL YEARS growing his tail back). This is what
happens when someone buys a horse and then loses
interest in it, but refuses to sell it for whatever reason.  
Horses are not cattle and can't be thrown out into a pasture
and forgotten about.  They will lose their conditioning,
training and eventually their health, which makes them
practically worthless to a potential good new home.

A 16 year old quarter horse that had been extremely well
trained as a young horse, but was purchased by some
people that did not take lessons to learn how to properly
discipline and correct a horse that misbehaved.  When they
sold this horse ten years later he was unbelievably spoiled.  
He would lunge and try to bite, try to buck and rear if he was
told to do something that he did not want to do and he would
throw a full temper tantrum if he did not get his way.  This
horse had become dangerous to it's owners and they had no
choice but to sell it.  Of course no one wanted to buy a horse
like this.  We could see the underlying training that this horse
possessed and it only took us about thirty days to correct his
behavior and he became one of the best lesson horses that
we had.  If his previous owners had taken just a few lessons
with a qualified trainer they could have had ten years of
enjoyment with this fine horse.  Horses are not supposed to
act like this.  Even if you are a
non-beginner, you need
professional help when a horse starts to
misbehave this

A six year old Palomino that could buck you to the moon!  
This is what happens when a young horse is only sent to a
trainer for 30 days.  That is not long enough to train a young
horse properly!  If someone does not have the skills or
resources to train a horse for at least 3 to 6 months, then
they should consider buying an older finished horse.  30
days is enough to teach a horse a few basics, but he doesn't
get it set in his mind and he will easily pick up very bad habits
like bolting, bucking, rearing etc. because the training was
not set and practiced.  We have seen so many horses ruined
because of this.  People buy a young horse and think they
can read a book, or watch a video or seminar and then train
the horse themselves.  Would you let someone cut your hair
if they told you that all they had done was read a book or
watched a video on how to do it?  If not why not?  Cutting hair
is simple compared to training a thousand pound animal.  All
of us have seen people get their hair cut a bunch of times,
but no one thinks that they could put up a shingle and start
cutting peoples hair because of this.  WHY people think that
they can do just this type of thing when it comes to training
young horses just amazes and baffles professional trainers
all over the country.  We were able to rehabilitate this horse
and find him a good home, but unfortunately he will never be
able to reach the potential that he had because of his
mishandling as a young horse.

A five year old arab that was purchased by a non-beginner to
train.  This girl had been showing and winning ribbons and
trophies, so her parents thought it was time to allow her to
train her own horse.  This would have been fine if she had
been working with a trainer, but winning ribbons or even
world championships at horse shows does not mean that
someone is qualified to train a horse to be put under saddle.  
This horse had not even been halter broke and after six
months she could only brush him, pick up his front feet and
sit on him while he stood there.  We have had a lot of people
tell us that they have wasted money sending their horses to
people who had wonderful show records but were unable to
help them with their horses.  You wouldn't get brain surgery
by a foot doctor for good reason.  If you have a horse that
has problems, send them to someone that specializes in
fixing problems.  If you need a young horse started then send
them to someone that starts horses.  Only send horses that
are finished with the basics to show trainers to learn the
discipline that that trainer specializes in.  And ALWAYS
ALWAYS get SEVERAL references before sending your
horse to a trainer!  You could end up spending a lot of
money and getting a horse back that was worse then when
you sent him there.  Luckily this girl did not do any damage to
this horse which is rare.  We did about 30 days of
training on
him and noticed the potential he had to do dressage so we
sold him to a dressage home in Florida where he will finish
getting the extensive training that he needs.
Is it easier to train a horse that has
never been touched by a person it's
whole life or one that has been
handled a lot?

Most trainers will tell you that the untouched
horse is easier to train.  This is one of the
gimmicks that trainers are marketing
to beginners.  Professional trainers can
usually put an unhandled young horse under
saddle in under a few hours.  Of course that is
the easy part.  Setting the patterns in, over
the next several months of training to produce
a quiet, docile well behaved saddle horse is
where the real challenge comes in.  
Unfortunately most novices over handle young
horses too much, so they learn that they are
bigger then people, that they can push them
around.  Horses like that are ten times harder
to train and will never reach the level of
training that they could have.  Remember, if
you have a young horse, have a professional
help you halter break it, teach it to stand
quietly when it is tied and maybe to stand
being brushed a little.  Also learn how to set
boundaries with the horse.  Then leave him
alone until after he comes back from being put
under saddle.  Treating it like it is a pet dog
will only produce an obnoxious, dangerous
animal that no one will want to own (
or take in
for training
).  Go to a weekly auction and you
will see plenty of these ruined horses there.
Kahlua - This horse had not been
trained enough as a young horse and
showed signs of past abuse.  Luckily the
lady we bought her from had treated her
very well and taken good care of her, but
she could not provide the additional
training that she needed.  
So you want to start training horses?

Please don't experiment on a young horse
that had a shot at being good.  We have yet
to see anybody learn this way without ruining
what could have been a great horse.

Instead consider trying to retrain a young
horse that was incorrectly started by someone
trying to be a trainer.  Or take in an abused or
spoiled horse that has no hope of finding a
good home.

These horses are usually very cheap and if
you can fix the problems that these horses
have you will learn a lot in trying to prevent
them when you are ready to start young

If it turns out that you weren't cut out to be a
trainer at least the horse is no worse off then
it was before, and if you are successful that
horse will have taught you valuable skills that
you can take with you as you continue your
long path to becoming a trainer.
What should I do if I really want to start training

1. Get your own horse -  You need to have experience with the
daily ins and outs of having your own horse.  Start with a horse that
is at least eight years old, but preferably in their teens.  Go to a
horse show and start asking people how old their horses are.  Don't
be surprised if many of them are in their late teens or early
twenties, but look and act much younger.  You will make a lot of
mistakes with this horse, but that is O.K.  It will teach you what not
to do if you end up becoming a horse trainer.  

2. Learn How To Ride - Not just an occasional hour or two on a
friends horse or on a trail ride.  Ride every single day, on your own
horse and in all kinds of different situations.  Horse shows, trail
rides, by yourself, with other horses, in riding lessons, in clinics,
around the barn.  We think this is the biggest part of training that
people want to skip.  If you wanted to get a job as a piano teacher
but you could not play the piano how far do you think you would
get?  You need to be extremely balanced when training young
horses.  They will not tolerate an unbalanced rider because they
think it will make them lose their balance and that instinctively
makes them want to remove you from their back.  You should have
at least 2,000 hours of riding experience before you attempt to try
to train a young horse.

3.  Be prepared to come off, a lot - It will happen.  There is no
training method that will work 100% of the time.  Mainly because
horses are very unpredictable.  All it takes is a tack malfunction,
something that startles the horse and the rodeo is on.  You can do
all the ground work in the world and it can still happen.  Most young
horses, once they get started will not stop until you are off.  Here
are a few injuries that we have personally seen happen to people
who were trying to train their own horses before coming to us for
Hat blew off - Broken pelvis
Saddle slid to side - Broken ribs, punctured lung
Ran back to the barn - Broken leg
Tack adjusted to tight - Dislocated shoulder

We have seen many horses just start bucking like crazy, just out of
the blue.  It is hard to be ready for that.  
"But what if I don't want to train young horses?  What if I just train
horses to show?" Then be prepared to have a very extensive show
record and a long list of accomplishments and a long list of other
trainers that you have worked with.  Training can be very expensive
and people want to see a good track record before they send their
horses to you.

4.  You still want to do this?  Then you have two choices.  We are
assuming that you have already read every book and seen every
video there is to see, you still really need help, hands on
experience.  If you can find a trainer who teaches people how to
train then you can take lessons to learn how to train.  Remember,
this is a very long process.  You need to have experience with
skittish horses, bold horses, stubborn horses, shy horses, willing
horses and you need to be able to tell the difference and then
properly handle each type of personality as it is presented.  You
need to be able to carefully read their body language so that you
don't make disastrous mistakes that may be very difficult to fix.  
Ignorance of these things leads to some of the most abused cases
we have seen.
The other alternative is to get a job working for a trainer.  This can
be very difficult.  If you have no experience at all with horses then
expect to start at the very bottom, or you will need to work for very
little or even volunteer your time.  Trainers constantly have people
calling or coming by saying they are willing to "do anything" to learn
how to be a trainer and then most people disappear after a few
days or weeks because it just wasn't what they expected.

5.  Expect it to take many years and be very costly - Hopefully you
have already figured this one out.  One of our students was very
aggressive about wanting to become a horse trainer.  He worked
extremely hard and is doing very well now.  He acquired a
bachelors degree in Agricultural Science, took many lessons from
us and other trainers.  We are very proud of Josh and his wife
Gillian!  You did it!