Green or not green? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-26-2012, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Green or not green?

I have heard differing opinions of what "green" means as far as a horses training goes. What does it mean to you? Is it a time issue or an experience issue in your opinion?

The last time there was a disagreement was when I was talking about my gelding who is away for four months training to be a trail horse. To me four months is not enough time to be finished and not green. Others disagree and say after a whole spring and most of a summer of riding trails by a professional he should be finished not green. What do you think?
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-26-2012, 10:55 AM
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Green broke to me means good halt, walk, trot, canter gaits, can execute basic lateral movements, knows how to bend, and has some miles under saddle.

By that definition, my horse has a way to go as he's still learning lateral movements and needs work on his canter.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-26-2012, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by smokeslastspot View Post
Is it a time issue or an experience issue in your opinion?
I really think this depends on the horse. No two horses learn exactly the same way at exactly the same time.
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-26-2012, 02:52 PM
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To me, a horse is "green" at anything that s/he is just being introduced to.

By that definition, a green broke horse is one that has learned that a saddle and bridle are not torture devices, a rider is not out to kill, and has learned basic gas, steering, and brake controls. To me, once those most basic respect and control skills are mastered and more complex movements and requests are being taught (i.e., leg yielding, rein back, TOF, TOH, etc.), the horse is starting to move away from "green" territory.

There is a pretty good size gray area, though, as I don't consider a horse "well broke" until s/he is showing some real willingness and even refinement in everything that every horse should know, or all the "nonspecialized" commands. WTC, transitions within and between gaits, quiet relaxed halt, willing rein back, TOF, TOH, balanced turn on center, leg yield, etc.

A horse might be considered to be "very well broke" to "finished" when s/he has a grip on more specialized skills for his/her discipline. For example, I'd expect a very well broke reiner to, in addition to all of the above, be able to spin, or a very well broke trail horse to handle reasonable water crossings easily.

By this outline, my fella would land in the gray area between "green broke" and "well broke." We have a good walk and trot, but his canter still needs work in terms of getting balanced and handy within the gait. We have a fair TOF and TOH that could use refinement, but they're coming. He's struggling with leg yielding, but that's slowly getting better. He's got too many miles under him and is too handy at WT to really be justified in still calling him "green," but he's got a ways to go before I'd be comfortable calling him "well broke," largely due to the amount of work his canter still needs.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-26-2012, 03:07 PM
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Like others, to me a green broke horse has a grasp of the basics and some time under saddle. In other words, they've been started and just now know enough to actually start learning. This is the point where you can start teaching them their new job wether it be trails, barrels, dressage, etc.
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-26-2012, 03:36 PM
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I consider a horse green broke if they're still unsure of everything. I consider a horse green if I wouldn't be willing to try and sell him for a specific discipline (for example if a horse has only trotted around barrels and still needs some help, I would consider it green at barrels).
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-26-2012, 05:31 PM
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The term green, to me, depends on what way you are talking about it.
Green broke/trained means w,t,c,maybe jump, doesn't always have a fit when being asked to do something, and doesn't spook at too much of anything.
Green in a disipline means that they have been ridden and are semi great, calm horses that don't really have a disipline or do a certain type of riding. For instance, a green dressage horse, in my opinion, means they have started in dressage for balance and muscles but can already be ridden in pleasure.
Green, overall, in my opinion is a measure of what they've been out through and have acted calmly and are able to do. Not necessarily a measure of time because a three year old can be as calm as a twenty three year old and not necessarily a measure of ability becuse a green dressage horse could be an award winning reiner. It depends on the words that follow it. I hope this wasn't too confusing
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-30-2012, 04:28 PM
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Green means that you have got the buck out of them, got them stopping, and moving off when called on
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-30-2012, 04:58 PM
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To me there is a huge difference between "green" and "finished". Just because one is no longer green does not in any way indicate he is finished. He may not be green, but be broke. He might be broke, but not well-broke. And he may be well-broke but not finished yet. A lot of horses will get out of the green area but spend the rest of their lives between broke and well-broke, never actually getting what most would considered "finished".

I would hope after 4 months with a trainer the horse would no longer be green. He should be broke by that point. If he has reached the well-broke stage is doubtful but might be done with the right horse and trainer combo. Finished? I highly doubt it.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #10 of 14 Old 06-30-2012, 06:29 PM
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Cat, I couldn't have said it better.
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