Horse training a hobby for Gerbrandt

Dale Gerbrandt pets one of the horses he trained at his home west of Green Lake. While he said he’s still got a lot to learn about the craft, one day he’d like to get into the business of training horses for a living.

By Mac Christie

For Dale Gerbrandt, at least right now, training horses is just a hobby.

Six years ago, he bought five horses, and didn’t want to pay someone to train them, so he did it himself.

“The wife and kids wanted horses,” he said. “I thought, ‘Well, I’ve been around horses quite a bit, so…’”

But he hadn’t had horses for about 10 years, because they’d been living in town, and he personally had limited experience breaking them.

Although he used to watch his father break horses when he was younger, Gerbrandt, 35, said he didn’t learn much from him.

He said he talked to quite a few people, and picked things up here and there, giving the most credit to his former employer Richard Sergent, who run the Bluebell pasture.

Gerbrandt, who lives just west of Green Lake, now has 10 horses, all of which he started and broke so his kids could ride.

“What I do is just break them to ride,” he said, “so they’re not wild and don’t throw you off.”

Although he’s only broke horses for himself, one day he’d like to get into doing it for others.

“My plan is to get into ranch roping in the end,” he said, referring to horses used for jobs such as roping calves out in a pasture.

Although he’s not sure how much time goes into breaking a horse, Gerbrandt said it’s a lot of hours.

The first thing to do, he noted, is get the trust of the horse.

“You want to be totally calm and relaxed when you go in the pen with them,” he added. “You don’t even bother if you’re not in a good mood or something’s bugging you. They’ll pick up on it right away.”

After recieving the horse’s trust, the next step is to get it moving left and right and eventually into a halter.

Depending on the purpose of the horse, the amount of time can vary dramatically.

For example, he said some rodeo or barrel horses probably takes five years of solid training to get them to their peak performance.

But while he knows the basics of the craft, Gerbrandt noted there’s still a lot he has to learn.

“I’d like to go to a few more seminars and learn a few more tips from the professionals,” he said. “Eventually I’d like to get into training.”

For the time being, his children Kayla, 14, and Cody, 11, can reap the benefits.

“My daughter can go out in the field for four or five miles and have a nice ride on a horse,” he said. “She’s really into it.”

He gets a personal satisfaction out of it, as well.

“I enjoy it because you get to see a finished product,” he said. “I know it’s not going to throw you or cause havoc in any way.”

One Response to “Horse training a hobby for Gerbrandt”
  1. Great Post! I’ve been learning a lot from this site.

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