Bit of a long post, but I'm curious to know what people expect from a breaker. A friend of mine recently sent their horse off to be broken in. I've known the breaker for a while and have always been impressed by how well mannered and calm her horses are. She even let me hop on her competition horse and one of her youngsters while she was out at a training day - both horses were an absolute joy to ride and I felt super safe cantering them around. She has a knack for creating calm, sensible horses, which is why I recommended her to my friend when she purchased an unbroken horse that only had very basic handling. The breaker charges a fixed fee for her breaking in program, which is a minimum of 8 weeks but sometimes goes over (in which case there is no additional cost). To me this makes sense. There are people who will say "I'm only prepared to pay for 4 weeks" and expect the same outcome as if their horse was in training for double that time. When their horse comes back half finished they're quick to badmouth the breaker for cutting corners, and ultimately it's the breaker's name and reputation that will suffer. The breaker I recommended spends a lot of time desensitising the horses and putting them in lots of different situations to ensure they're safe for the owner to ride. All her breakers are ridden out in open paddocks, on trails, around cattle, on roads etc before they go home. Her thorough breaking in process is what she's built her reputation on, so it seems reasonable to me that she has a fixed program. Unfortunately my friend has been unhappy with the way the program is structured. The breaker spent the first 3 weeks desensitising the horse and doing a lot of work on the ground (tying up, pick up feet, long reining, walking over tarps, wash bay etc). Week 4 the saddle went on and the breaker had some very gentle rides in the round pen while continuing groundwork. Week 5 she began increasing the intensity of the rides in the round pen. When I spoke to my friend at Week 6 she sounded really unhappy at how long everything was taking. She was expecting the horse to be going on trails and doing all the exciting stuff, and was disappointed that the horse was only just starting to get ridden outside the round pen. I told her 6 weeks was really not a long time in the overall scheme of things, and that although it was taking longer it's because the breaker was being thorough. I told her she needed to trust the breaker's process, and also reminded her the horse would only be green broken when she got it back so not to expect too much. She took this on board, but still seemed impatient and frustrated. The breaker has since told my friend she would like to keep the horse for an extra 2 weeks (at no extra cost) due to her competition schedule taking her away for extended periods. Again, to me this shows the breaker is committed to doing the right thing and not cutting corners, but my friend was really annoyed by the delay. I guess I'm a bit surprised that my friend, who is herself quite an accomplished rider and has trained a few green horses herself, is picking apart the breaker for taking things slowly. I'm almost certain she is badmouthing this breaker to other people too, which seems totally unfair. I went to see the horse with my friend the other weekend - unfortunately the breaker was away at a comp, so we just long reined the horse in the roundpen. It was blowing a gale but the horse stayed focused and worked beautifully. I was impressed by how calm, confident and happy the horse was even in challenging conditions, but my friend was really 'meh' about the whole thing. I don't know, am I expecting too little here, or is my friend expecting too much? I feel like the training is rock solid and it will be easy for my friend to build on the foundation the breaker has put down, but she doesn't seem to see that? What would you expect if you sent a horse that only had basic handling (literally only knows how to lead and nothing else) to a breaker?