training question

training question

Post by John Tayl » Fri, 10 Dec 1993 08:38:15

        Hi. I'm new to the group, but have been reading for a little while  
and I have a question about training.  I haven't been an avid rider for  
about two years now, although when I did ride, it was many times a week.  
One thing I have always wondered was how would one learn how to train  
horses as a partial living?  When I get out of college and get some money  
again, I am going to start riding again and would eventually like to  
become a trainer, which is why I'm asking.  When I've worked at barns in  
the past, its always been as a working student (i.e. recieved no money,  
only learning).  Is this a normal practice?  And if so, how does an  
apprenticing trainer make a living (or even a little money) while  
learning?  Barn hours are pretty harsh, so its quite hard to get another  
Any information on this would be quite helpful.
Thanks for listening.



training question

Post by Tami Kram » Fri, 10 Dec 1993 20:48:23

  John -

  You mentioned you are in college.  What kind of degree are you getting?
  I ask because I see the apprentices at our stable working really hard
  long hours and I'm not sure what it's going to bring them in the future.
  There seems to be a dozen trainers in my area who are 40 or 50 years old
  and have nothing but a little farm and lots of older horses who shouldn't
  really be working anymore.  I think you have to be REALLY good to make
  any money at being a trainer, and I advise anyone who's got the brains
  to get through college to get a real job that will support your riding
  habit.  Of course you don't get to spend as much time riding this way,
  and maybe not the satisfaction of helping others progress, but I just
  think it's really hard to make a living at it.  You don't mention your
  reasons for wanting to become a trainer.

  But the answer to your original question is that (here, at least) the
  apprentices get lessons, board and very little pocket money and are
  allowed to have one horse boarding at the stable, but they get less
  pocket money if this is the case.  If they ever want to become a trainer
  in their own right, they'll have to have some money to buy a stable or
  be outstanding enough that someone will hire them at a stable.  I guess
  they make a little here and there by training and selling horses... but
  the board for those horses has to be paid for in the meantime and if
  one has any physical problems... etc...

  You may not care too much about money, but money is what you asked about.



training question

Post by MAZ.. » Wed, 15 Dec 1993 07:46:39

From: Mike Mazoue
Welcome to the forum John. I'm new here myself. I'm doing the opposite of what
you want to do. I was the third generation of my family to work in Thoroughbred
racing and after 10 yrs. as a race groom and Asst. Trainer, I'm back in College
studying Pre-Physical Therapy. But hopefully, a BS in Physical Therapy will
give me the money to get a few head to train in my flex time which is very
liberal in PT if you free-lance. Do you just want to be a dressage trainer, or
jump trainer or racing trainer? There are all kinds and it's usually low paying.
After 5 yrs. as a groom with a top 5 money earning stable (Bill Mott) I tried to
move up. Got as far as asst. trainer and could never find an owner to train for
to save my life even though I had been the leading groom 4 times in 5 yrs. for
the #5 stable in the country. Probably I should have been more patient and went
to New York. I can't really give you any advice about being a race trainer ex
except to get a job as a hot walker or groom with a top outfit, and try to
progress to asst. trainer with that same stable. Race grooms only make about
$200. clear per week plus stakes money which the trainer decides or is usually
1% of the win money. I ended up working for Louis Roussel here in New orleans.
He pays 3% but runs his horses every blue moon. He gyped his groom Harold
Joseph who groomed the Preakness & Belmont winner Risen Star. 3% amounted to
about $60,000. He offered him an $18,000. Bronco from Ronnie LaMarques
auto dealership. Take it or leave it! He took it and later quit Louie. It's
a tough life on the race track with about 3 relocations per year, long and
early hours. God help you if you work night racing! You'll be working both
day and night! - Mike.


training question

Post by WARRI.. » Tue, 28 Dec 1993 21:27:05

There's an article in Sunday Dec 26,1993 New York Times entitled
"Teachin' Ridin',Ropin' and Fallin' Outta the Durn Saddle" by
Joel Engel. Here are some excerpts (and paraphrases)

...Rudy Ugland, head rangler for "Geronimo" was responsible for the
horseback sequences. Jason Patric learned his skills at Mr. Uglnad's
ranch north of LA, where the wrangler keeps up to 80 horses for movie
  "Mr. Ugland, who is 55, says there were about 700 wranglers in the
business when he began riding in television westerns in 1956. "Every
television show was a western,"he says. "Now there may be 35 active
wranglers making a living."
   Their fortunes have turned upward since "Dances with Wolves" in 1990.
That epic seems to have sparked a number of films- even television shows
like  "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" - that require riding. In fact,
anything set before the turn of the century may use wranglers. This year
horses have played a part in "Sommersby", "Much Ado About Norhing",
"The Ballad of little Jo","Into the West", Geronimo", "The Three
Muskateers" and "Tombstone" among others.
(upcoming westerns are mentioned - including "Wyatt Earp", "Frank &
Jesse","Outlaws", "Bad Girls" (all female western) and "The Quick and
the Dead"
   In nearly four decades of wrangling, Mr. Ugland claims he's never
met an actor he couldn't rain to ride. Apparently he never met Charlie
Sheen...Mr. Sheen had announced even before filming that he was phobic
about horses; the horses in turn seemed unwilling to do what he wanted.
Assistant wranglers had to catch Mr. Sheen, whose horse was running away with
him. After that, he refused to repeat the scene, forcing Mr. Herek to use
a stunt double. ( In Three Musketeers)...The movie's Spanish mounts,
which the director had been told were the finest, turned out to be
too smart for their own good. They began galloping everytime Mr. Herek
yelled "Action!". Eventually he had to substutite a word like "bananna" or
use a hand gesture" .....

   It takes months to teach a horse to drop down. Mr. Ugland says. The
process begins with pulling their heads, then making them fall to one knee,
then getting them to lie down and finally rolling them over. "As long
as you don't hurt them they don't mind" he said. The horse repsonds to
a signal - a tug on a cable (hidden under that saddle) that is attached to
the bridle.
   The effect can be startling. In the 1989 film "Old Gringo", Jimmy Smits
apparently shoots a horse out from under Gregory Peck. So convinced was
the British Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that the horse
had actually been killed that it banned Columbia Pictures from exhibiting
the film in England. Mr. Ugland received a frantic call from the studio
to confirm that he hadn't,in fact,shot the horse. Then the studio asked
him to prove it - to an English representative of the BSPCA.`
 "She came out will a still camera," Mr. Ugland recalls. He brought out
Twister - the horse the BSPCA thought was dead. " I told her to snap the
picture when I gave her the cue-she assured me she was a professional.
Boom, down went Twister, just like he was shot. She never even pressed
the button" Twister lived to star in "Geronimo" too.
In that movie, Mr. Duvall appears to take a tremendous tumble as
Twister goes down, once again the victim of movie gunfire. Mr. Duvall's
stunt double, Dnany Costa, jokes that when the director yelled "Cut", the
crew rushed in to insure that Twister had survived; only then did they
check on him."

There's also an interesting book THE HOLLYWOOD POSSE: THE STORY OF A
Cary, Houghton MIfflin, 1975

Ann ( who watches a LOT of westerns in the winter)


training question

Post by Mary Matej » Sun, 02 Jan 1994 01:03:55

Sometimes they are nice to the horses, sometimes they aren't. My husband
has been in about 10 movies (including Rambo 3. He is one of the Afghani's
that rescue Rambo. On the big buckskin.) There were horses hurt in that


               Good judgement comes from experience -
               Experience comes from bad judgment.



training question

Post by John Nag » Tue, 04 Jan 1994 04:33:31


>There's also an interesting book THE HOLLYWOOD POSSE: THE STORY OF A
>Cary, Houghton MIfflin, 1975

      I've met her; she was a child star in the 1920s, and she still
looks good in her 70s.  She hoped once to have a movie made from the
book, but that never happened.

                                        John Nagle