What Training Techniques do you use?
We are blessed with knowledge from many "natural horsemanship" trainers such as John Lyons, Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox, and many more. We do not believe in any one particular avenue is right for every horse. We take what makes sense to us and each horse and we work with the horse.
How long does it take to break a horse?
That depends on your horse. On average, the way we work, the first week is a lot of ground work and basic exposure. Our goal is to have the saddle on and have sat on the horse by the end of the week. Some horses we can accomplish day one, some horses take a few extra days. Week 2 is walking in the round pen, installing stop, go, turn, back, and confidence. Week 3 is trotting in the round pen and, if ready, we try to get them into the arena. Once in the arena, we spend 2 days there and then we take them on their first trail ride on our property with the other seasoned horses. Toward the end of week 3, we are also loping in the round pen. Week 4 we work on loping in the arena, more trail riding, more of detail work, roll backs, lots of gait transitions, working around other horses, rope exposure, a barrel pattern, pole pattern, logs, pond work, and whatever else we can think of that they are ready for. Next door to us they drive dirt bikes, atvs buggies, and mini-motorcycles. We spend time over by the edge of the property exposing the horses to the fast moving objects, loud noises, and craziness that ensues. On our property, my son usually rides his dirt bike or bicycle, flies his drones, r/c cars, and whatever else a young boy wants to do. Usually by the end of 30 days, they are ready for a controlled off-property trail ride or sent off to someone to ride them at a feed lot.
The guy down the road can do all of that in a week?
Great, good for him! But does it stay? 90% of the horses we work with this slower, more individualistic method, can sit for weeks and months on end without regressing too much. For example, our personal horses end up on the back burner of our training when we have horses in. So we will start one of ours, then turn them out for a few weeks, bring them back up, work again, and they pick up where they left off like it was yesterday. Horses that are slammed through a lot of work, not rested, that end up sitting for a few weeks due to rain, injury, or other time-related issues, end up needing another 30 days put back on them. This is what we have found to be the biggest difference in our training method.
Can you do it in the short time?
Sure we can! We can have a horse loping under saddle just like you see on TV at the breaking horses challenges. We can compete with the best of them! What we have found is you destroy that wonderful personality you fell in love with before they were sent to a trainer. A huge complaint among people who send horses off for training is they get back a dull, unhappy, vice-ridden beast of burden. One that knows he has to work, one that doesn't enjoy his job, one that will end up costing you more money in the long run. Horses that we work at a slower pace are happier, healthier, and enjoy life much more! We don't destroy the personality you have come to love. Some horses do change because they are "growing up", however their base personality is still there. We don't run them till they can't breath time and time again just to prove a point. We move them enough to get the point across and accomplish goals.
So-in-So sent their horse off to another trainer and it came back skinny. Will that happen?
Usually not. One thing we do not do is use food to control the horse. Nutrition is number 1 at our house as we teach nutrition at a college level. We may ask to change up the type of feed they get, to cut down the super-sugar fuel, however the maintenance levels a horse needs will never be compromised to accomplish any training. Horses have actually left heavier than they arrived many times if they go on our feeding program. If a horse starts to lose weight, we immediately get with the owner to discuss what is going on and get a game-plan. Many times a horse loses because they are going from "pasture puff" to "athlete". That will happen. However you should see muscling develop, not hollow points. We feed Feed n Win, an excellent alfalfa-based, grain-free feed that is full of vitamins, minerals, energy, and good slow-fuel for the horse. If you insist on your horse remaining on your feed, you just tell us how much, provide the grain, and we will feed it. If we need to increase the feed, we will find out if you want to increase it or bring out a fat-supplement to help with the new exercise regimen. We also try to keep hay in front of everyone when they are not working, or out grazing in the turn-out. Horses need to be horses to help keep them from developing cribbing, weaving, and other vices.
I sent a horse off to another trainer and the horse came back with ulcers, Will that happen?
Again, usually not. If your horse is on our feed, it is alfalfa-based. Alfalfa has an excellent anti-ulceritic properties that help keep stomach acids under control during periods of stress. Having hay in front of them as much as possible also helps keep down the negativities of having their life flipped upside down. Plus, we have pens, not stalls. Each horse is housed in a 40x50 minimum pen with shelter. They can trot around, kick, buck, bounce, roll, or whatever they feel like doing in that small area. Even run around in circles if they so choose to. This has allowed horses that visit to have a much better, calmer experience. This also helps prevent vices such as cribbing, stall weaving, wood chewing, etc. Not saying it won't happen, but research has shown pens over stalls help tremendously.
If it rains, do you ride?
We try. I don't have an indoor, but we try to haul up to them when available. If the rain is light, then we can work at home. If it is a hard downpour, then we get a game-plan for when it lets up. If we can't ride 5 times a week at minimum, we will let you know that we might want to keep them a few extra days, no extra charge.
I want a trainer to work with me to work with my horse, can you do that?
Of course! While there are certain training goals that we will not want you doing for safety reasons, we will be glad to give you "riding lessons" with your horse and work with you to work with your horse. however, if your experience and your horse's attitude is not a good match, we will do certain steps, you can watch and work with one of our personal horses to develop that skill, and we will get the horse to the level that is more condusive to your abilities.
Who are the trainers at your facility?
Michelle Lasiter - 25 years working and training horses. Master's Agribusiness & Economics, Bachelors Equine Business & Industry, Barrel Racer and Trail Rider, experienced with Feedlot, Sale Barn, Working Cow, Team Penning, Sorting, Reining, Hunter under Saddle, Hunter over Fences, Western Pleasure, Western Riding, Dressage, Cowboy Dressage. Due to a back injury, she doesn't do the first few rides anymore, however she does still do ground work and detail work on all horses that come.
Katelynn Lasiter - Riding since she was born, she has been actively training horses since 2013. She has studied Clinton Anderson and Michelle. Under supervision, she has successfully started several horses and finished a money-earning youth barrel horse that runs 3d open times.
Lex Lasiter - Riding since she was born, she has been actively training horses since 2015. She has studied Michelle Lasiter more than anything. Under supervision, she has successfully started several horses and currently training and riding Jet Chex King at NBHA shows.
Connor Lasiter - Riding since he was born, he helps with riding the seasoned horses, putting a few rides on horses at the end of their stay, helps with props, loud noises, fast kids, and just being annoying at times. This helps a lot with ensuring a good, sound, quiet minded horse in the end.
All horses that are trained get hands-on with all trainers at some point in their stay. This helps keep them from only knowing one person and helps transition them back to their owner more successfully.
I want to watch every session
Well, that is a little difficult. We have lives outside horses as well. Depending on the day will depend on when we work a horse. Sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon. One horse we might decide to work later and swap them out. We can accomidate some sessions where you can come and watch us work. On average though, there will be several days where it might not work in both of our schedules. We will be glad to send a text letting you know our plan for the day, however we cannot wait for you every time we decide to work. Plus, if someone is wanting to watch, we really would like one of the other trainers to be available to answer your questions so the trainer that is actively working your horse can concentrate and not miss any important signals the horse is giving.
I want to visit my horse daily
Sure! It is your horse. Come visit daily, take them on walks, groom them, hang out with them, just don't take up too much of our own personal time. Talk to us before giving them extra feedings. If something goes wrong, we need to know the last time a big meal occurred.
My sisters, brothers, uncle's trainer said to do this
Sure, lets discuss what you are looking at doing. We know new techniques and information is out there. Someone found a better way to do something. Great! We love hearing about it! Usually we try things on our own horses before doing it on someone elses. This is no guarantee we will do it though. No trainer should change something until they know how to apply it and what it is going to accomplish with the horse. The last thing we want to do is screw your horse up just because it worked for another trainer. But we will be glad to discuss it and see what it is all about! Otherwise, we will be happy to close out your account and you can take your horse home.
I want you to use THIS item (Bit, bridle, side reins, noseband, etc)
That might be a problem. Our training technique is our technique. If we are trying to overcome an issue, we do have items that help us through. Our ultimate goal of all training items is to help the horse understand what we are asking and eventually remove that training item. Such as we might use a bit that is more apt to turning during that stage of training whereas another bit might be better at stopping. Eventually the goal is to have all our young horses working in an o-ring or D-ring snaffle when they leave riding walk and trot in a loose rein. Some horses are a little more stubborn so a full-cheek might be the end result. Remember horses are not cookies. No two will be the same.
I don't want x trainer working with the horse
Ok, this will need further explanation. I've had a customer or two dislike the idea of a 15 year old working their horse. I would not allow my girls to do anything that I wouldn't do. Before they start their day, we usually go over which horses need what, what detail work they need done, the goals that we all agree can be accomplished and what goals to reach if they can't reach the planned goal or if they excel, how far should we allow the horse to go before calling it a day. Both my girls have worked with problem horses, good horses, bad horses, foals, and stallions. They are not inexperienced in the least. They take their horse training seriously and personal. I supervise all horse training and will guide, help, take over, or just watch them blossom. Each girl has their own strengths and weaknesses. Together the three of us make one heck of a team! Lex is great with slow work, long loping, giggles, "life" in the saddle, pond, trail riding. Katelynn is great with ground work, first rides, transitioning to the round pen, trail riding, roll-backs, barrel work, turns, stops, and some details with leg cues. Michelle is great overall, but is limited to ground work and detail work such as adding and refining leg cues, event work, turning on haunches, forehand, side passing, and other specific training. All other training has been turned over to the girls.
If you have any other Questions or Concerns, feel free to email us or message us on facebook.