John O'Leary training methods?

Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by Serenity, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. painter

    painter Well-known Member

    Please put me on the list as well!

    I am not sure which video to get first, the STB retraining or the re-mouthing, Balance at canter or the Above the bit? Eventually I will get them all, but will have to do it one at a time.

    Does anyone have all of these and can recommend the best one to start with (for a green STB that has just started trot work under saddle and an 18yo STB who I am re-educating).
  2. Late Starter

    Late Starter Well-known Member

    I emailed John and got a response but he didn't give me any suggestion as to which dvd to start with. Can someone please tell me which dvd of his (or his wife's) has groundwork as I think that would be a good place to start?
  3. Pepsea

    Pepsea Gold Member

    painter, i suggest the LEG YIELD first and the STB dvd second! deffinalty the legyielding one, you will want to teach the legyield first on a OTT stb!! and thats what the STB DVD says as well.

    next on my list will be balance at canter probably, or above the bit, but i might not get that one, billy has learn a lot from two rides in a market harbrough and knows he can lower his head
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
  4. chance18

    chance18 New Member

    i definitely vouch for his methods!! especially after my (now) dopey mare seems to attract trouble!! here are a couple of her blonde moments that have not ended in disaster coz of retraining her from her OTTB craziness to a normal pony!! .... examples of how good leg restraint training & a good mouthing system can save you a LOT of trouble in the long run!!!! ........

    while tied up she put her head down to eat & put foot through the reins when i turned away for 2 seconds to pick up my helmet ... instead of crazy she stood there, head giving to the pressure while i picked up her leg to unhook her!!

    & yesterday when lunging in running reins ... was a brat & turned to the outside :mad: & then got the rope caught around the post!! instead of having a hissy fit she stood their quietly looking at me with the look of .. mum save me, im stuck!!!

    so has definitely made her a LOT safer & less Thoroughbred than if i hadnt used his methods!!!
  5. JustJam

    JustJam Well-known Member

    Wow! That was fast!

    Ordered a DVD from Mr HP (online) on Tuesday... it arrived today, Thursday!

    If the DVD is as good as the service then I will be very impressed! lol
  6. Serenity

    Serenity Well-known Member

    The same thing happened to me, ordered online and within 2 days it was here!! Just have to find some time to sit down and watch it LOL :)
  7. Karijini

    Karijini Well-known Member


    Ok, don't get ahead of yourselves, but I can confirm that John and Linda are returning to WA and it looks to be fairly soonish :)*

    I promise to keep the Stockies on here informed first as to when/where etc. At this point it is looking like a ridden clinic only this time round with Linda and John will be assisting, so no problem assessments this time.

    Stay tuned... will give more info as it comes to hand but please note that this may not be for a few months yet!!! :))
  8. Andhi

    Andhi Gold Member

    Bags being first in!
  9. casperjesse

    casperjesse Well-known Member

    Very interested. Keep me informed. Please:)*
  10. Serenity

    Serenity Well-known Member

    Me too !!!**)
  11. JustJam

    JustJam Well-known Member

    As I am farrrrrrr too polite to hip-and-shoulder anyone *cough* I will just take my place in line, please :)

    Because there was absolutely nothing on the goggle-box tonight, I watched my DVD (Above the Bit)... veeerrrryyyyy interesting! Maybe I am just a complete ditz, but I would have liked even more verbal explanation. However, it was extremely enlightening... so will see how we go tomorrow *#)
  12. Pepsea

    Pepsea Gold Member

    OO how exciting, id just be happy to be a fence sitter :D but would eff wanna bring one of mine :D
  13. Bethy

    Bethy Gold Member

    Karijini... can you please put me on the list. I had a lesson with Linda last time they came over and I would do ANYTHING for another one when they come again.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know when they're coming.

  14. lulubelle

    lulubelle New Member

    Oh me too please........If I am not too late?
  15. Late Starter

    Late Starter Well-known Member

    yep, I'll put my hand up too please to be put on the list.

    I've been watching some of his video's on youtube and they're fascinating; still trying to decide which dvd of his to get first for my 11yr old that I'm still training to come down onto the bit properly and has an unbalanced canter (althoug improving) - any suggestions....?
  16. Pepsea

    Pepsea Gold Member

    late starter i havent seen either dvd but it soulds like above the bit and balance at the canter would help you lol! possibally inside leg to outside rein :D
  17. monomeeth

    monomeeth Well-known Member

    A lone voice in the woods here, but I would say be careful of folks who say they use O'Leary's methods. Not all have his skill or timing and a sensitive horse can have a bad start. I have no problem with his style, it is very similar to what I was taught many many moons ago by a good local breaker, if a little more rushed. Just be careful of those using his techniques without his feel or patience, especially if you have a youngster who is a bit sensitive, not the brightest, or not mentally mature. If they are a square peg they might be squashed into a round hole! It will be too late when the horse comes home nervous and with bad habits it didn't go with, and yes this has happened. Then the horse gets blamed instead of the breaker.

    I am not entirely convinced that breaking them in in four weeks is in the horse's best interests, either, even if it is cheaper. Can fry some young brains. I see no harm in a slower approach considering we want this horse to last us for many years. I was taught that if they buck at any stage you have gone too fast. Seems now that that is not longer a rule. I'd rather mine didn't even learn to buck under saddle!

    Just sayin'!

    Oh, and don't bother buying the OTTB DVD without the mouthing one. They neglect to mention that it is crucial if you are to get any benefit out of the OTTB one as he doesn't explain it there. Also on the OTTB one they change horses halfway through which in my opinion defeats the purpose of it.

  18. anamcara

    anamcara New Member

    We have to be careful Stockies.... if no one ever says anything bad because it is not good manners to do so, people will get the wrong impression and we all make decisions based on what we read on here. I know I did.

    HP is amazing and his mouthing system works well. However, it is not the only way to do it and surely could be done wrong in the wrong hands. I have pointed people with problem horses towards his website as I feel it is a fantastic resource. BUT.. .I bought the OTTB dvd and was extremely dissatisfied with it. They didn't mention that I'd also need the mouthing one (they gave the impression it would be included) and it is pretty useless without it. Also the horse they start with ends up with Sacro Iliac problems (not their fault) and they switch to a calm horse who you never saw go through the starting process. It doesn't really show their method working from start (loopy OTTB) to calm horse.

    Also other trainers professing to follow his methods are not the HP team. They *are* a team. You can't expect a trainer to spend three weeks on a horse doing the HP part and have it going as well as they do without the MRS HP part IMHO.
    I sent my young horse to a local trainer with trust because of what I'd read on here and also because of their affiliation with HP. The youngster never 'joined' with the trainer, didn't really settle to the tying up, had loads of cuts and injuries, and bucked each time she was ridden. I had sent her with the instructions that if she was too immature, not to ride her. They rode her, she bucked, they now tell me she'll have to be restarted again in six months. Why did they go so far as to ride if she wasn't ready?

    She came home nervous and jittery and confused. She had lost a lot of weight and is still healing from the injuries. I regret sending her there.

    In the time I spent there I saw MOST of the horses improve immensely. I also saw some failures, but where are the owners of these horses? Why do none of them come on here and let us know to be more wary? Maybe only some types of horses suit particular trainers. It would be good to know that before we send them.

    Each horse is different and each trainer is different. Don't just trust one trainer's methods... read around and think as you go. Don't rush. Have a read of Mark Rashid and Tom Dorrance and others like them.

    off my box now...
  19. HorseSlave

    HorseSlave Well-known Member

    Sensible advice anamcara IMHO. No trainer is God. Pretty much all of them have something to offer. John's primary popularity appears to be because he is so accessible, which is great, but isn't the be all and end all.

    Just remember, not everything you read on the web is the best advice for you and yours (including this!! :) ).
  20. Reigate

    Reigate Well-known Member

    In MY opinion, from what I have heard and seen, John and Linda are both great horse people and have great results.........

    With anything though people cannot go and do a weekend clinic and expect to know as much as the person teaching it.......... the person who does the weekend clinic or studies the videos/DVDs/Website CANNOT possibly expect to be able to read a horse like the person who has written/filmed/produced the work you are 'learning' from........

    You dont see EVERYTHING in a video or a weekend clinic - you dont get to see any bits that are either selectively edited out or edited due to lack of time to put them in, or the subtle communication between horse and handler.........

    And every horse and every person is different..........

    Some people no matter the experience or education they get are ever going to be 'that good'.......... and the other way round too - some people have a natrual feel and may get to a high standard with very little 'education'...........

    We considered sending our boy Bill down to John to break in for us - however we decided to go with a friend of ours who is local to us, and we could easily go and see how Bill was going, and he is also a VERY good horseman.

    We would have broken Bill in ourselves, however Bill knew us as mum and dad and we wanted him to gain experience with OTHER horses, OTHER people and OTHER sights and sounds..........

    Its worked really well........ our friend was thrilled with how Bill came up, as were we!!!!

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