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4 Ways to Know When It’s Time to Quit Training Your Horse

Last updated on February 28, 2024

4 Ways to Know When It’s Time to Quit Training Your Horse

We aren’t saying to quit training your horse completely, but there are times when you need to back off. Training your horse for competition is not for the faint of heart. It takes hours upon hours of repetition and practice until both rider and horse are doing what they’re supposed to when they’re supposed to. It doesn’t matter what event, training takes an insane amount of dedication and discipline from both human and equine partners. Knowing when to quit training could save you some time and frustration in the long run.


4 Times to Quit Training Your Horse

1. When Your Horse Has Done Something Right

Every trainer, in every equine sport, has their own method of training. But the biggest thing to remember is that, at some point, it’s time to stop training. “One of the most crucial things on any horse is knowing when to quit on them,” says Larry Moschera, a team roper and horse trainer out of Tennessee. It may not be a perfect pattern or run, but if it’s the best you’ve ever had on THAT horse, then it may be time to move on to something different.

Pat your horse, maybe even get off them and loosen their girth to let them know they nailed it! Remember, horses learn through pressure, so they’ll know they did something right once that pressure is released. The reward for doing a correct turn or stop will stick in their mind for next time. You’re probably NOT going to get perfect, but it could be as close to perfect as that horse can get.

2. When You Find Yourself Micromanaging


Horses are our partners in competition, and much like other partnerships, micromanaging will not get you very far. Correct the big mistakes that need to be corrected, but remember that each horse is an individual and is going to turn, run, and stop differently than other horses. You can’t micromanage them into a completely different style. You will find more success by letting them move comfortably in a way that is natural to them. So if you find yourself micromanaging take a break for a little while then get back to it. 

3. When It’s Time to Compete


It may be hard to switch from “trainer” to “competitor” but when it’s time to enter the arena or racetrack, it’s important to make that distinction. Now is not the time to try and fix all the things “wrong” in your pattern. It’s time to trust that your horse knows what they’re doing, and that your training stuck. Give it your all, reward your horse when necessary, and save the training for another day. It’s time to show the crowd what ya got! If you need to make a training run on your horse from time to time that’s ok but the majority of your entries in competition should be just that – competition! 

4. When Your Training Your Horse for Perfection

If you are a highly competitive person (and let’s be honest- who ISN’T in the equine world?), it’s hard to think about stopping your horse’s training. But sometimes, that is exactly what our horses need! They need to know that we’ve recognized that they gave it their all. We need to trust that they’ll perform correctly when it’s time, and give them space to move their body in their natural style. Sometimes all the training in the world isn’t going to get that horse to the level you’re wanting, and that’s ok. We all have our limitations, and no horse (or human) is going to achieve perfection. No matter how hard you train. 

Animal Element Can Partner in Training Your Horse


If you’re doing all the things, and still feel your horse needs a little extra boost, consider Animal Element supplements! Foundation Daily Detox and NuTrack Digestive Supplements together create a healthy gut biome and flush heavy metal toxins from your horse’s body, allowing them to feel, look, and act their absolute best. For a performance boost, try our Product X Performance Enhancer. It’s an all-natural supplement that sharpens that competitive edge and does not test. 

(Read how it helped a 19-year-old endurance horse achieve Best in Class for Condition here.) 

You can order straight from our website, or contact an authorized Animal Element dealer close to you. To read more about how Larry and his wife Diane use Animal Element, check out their previous two feature blogs here and here, or head to their website

All content is intended for informational purposes only. Proudly written for Animal Element by the team at