Age to Break a Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-16-2012, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Age to Break a Horse

I am sure this has been posted/talked about before on this site, however I tried using the search bar and couldn't find anything so specific so I have started this thread (sorry if repetitive).

I was wondering what everyone believes is the best age to start breaking a horse (training to ride him). Now this isn't specific, but could be for example taking on trail rides, etc, not extensive flatwork. I am very curious to hear everyone's ideas. I also understand that the breed of a horse may be dependent on this to some people.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-16-2012, 08:46 PM
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For much of the horses I ride, starting them as long two year old is okay. Six weeks of riding. Turn out for a few months. Six more weeks. More turn out. Start with more consistant work in the summer of their three year old year.

That fits my schedule for horses, their types and the available work.

I have no problem with other methods, though.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-16-2012, 09:12 PM
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How long is a piece of string?

This question very much depends on the breed of horse, what the horse is to be used for, and the maturity of the horse.
Some horses are not broken until their 4th or 5th year as they are so immature still.
Others are broken as long yearlings and 2 year olds.

Quarters horse and other 'western' breeds tend to be broken younger than the more 'english' breeds, such as many warmblood types which are broken in after their 3rd year, due to slower physical development than others.

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

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post #4 of 12 Old 07-17-2012, 12:48 AM
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If it is your horse, it is really a matter of personal choice! My horses are started as soon as possible, but never backed before age 3.5 never see a trot pole before 4. There is a great deal of work to do prior to swinging a leg over, you can lead/handle, lunge, ground drive...... if you have been taught to do so you can even start lateral movements (if dressage is your thing) from ground. It is totally up to you!
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-17-2012, 01:44 AM
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As foals, (5-6) months I play around with them with the blanket and one of those child/pony saddles you can hold with a finger. they get used to them being all over their body:).
and I'll wrap my arms around where the cinch goes and hug, gets them used to the cinch.
When they are 1 I'll use the same light saddle and add the cinch. But of course not tight. Just snug so it's on there safe. I'll take them for walks with it.

By 2 I'll use a normal weight saddle. I'll get on every once in a while and have them turn, stop, walk forward and back up. (well other ground work has been done, just transferring it to me being on them doing this.) And 2 1/2- 3 I'll get some trotting and longer rides.

But mine are mostly just trail horses
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-17-2012, 03:19 AM
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I will never back a horse before they are 3 yrs old. preferably older, Reeco was 4yrs old when we backed him.
Doesnt matter what breed the growth plates in the knees do not seal untill 3 yrs old and ridin before they are sealed can cause permanat damage.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-17-2012, 03:47 AM
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dd the cinch. But of course not tight. Just snug so it's on there safe. I'll take them for walks with it.

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post #8 of 12 Old 07-17-2012, 05:26 AM
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3-4 years old. My girl will not be broken in until i have had vets approval
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-17-2012, 05:53 AM
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My quater horse was broken in at 2 and has very light work, untill she was about 3 then she started with a bit more extensive training :) It just depends on when you fell your horse is ready.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-17-2012, 11:32 AM
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I begin undersaddle work with ours at 2, now this isn't trail riding or even hard running. But carrying a smaller person for 15 - 30 minutes at a shot couple times a week works for me. They will usually be ready for light cow work or trail riding in the sprin/summer of their third year, and full on use spring of four years old.

My Vet and Farrier are currently splitting my childeren's inheritance.
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break start young horse

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