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Age to Break a Horse?

This is a discussion on Age to Break a Horse? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • break a horse after the age of three
  • Age for breaking horses in ireland

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    05-14-2010, 10:14 PM
  #31
Foal
Riding a horse is the end result of training a horse. Start training from the time they are born and by the time they are ready to carry the weight of rider and gear life is good.

There are lots of forms of riding--work, pleasure, every day, once a week, performance-so there is no absolute answer.

You can start preparing them for their journey from the beginning.

I've seen 2 year olds fit as a 6 year old and actively working. I've seen 10 year olds that I wouldn't ride until they were in the proper shape to carry the load.
     
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    05-14-2010, 10:17 PM
  #32
Green Broke
^but then again, ( I'm a dressage rider) in my mind riding the horse is only the very beginning of training that never ends.
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    05-14-2010, 11:50 PM
  #33
Green Broke
Depends entirely on the horse.

As an average, the legs joints are closed by 2.5 years at the very latest - possibly 3 on some bigger breeds. After that, it's the spine that's the issue - and that doesn't finish fully fusing until a minimum of 6 years old, so anybody trying to keep the self righteous attitude about 4 being ok and 2 being unacceptable should brush up on equine development first. You have FAR more chance injuring a 4 old horse with improper training then you do with a 2 year old under the guidance of an educated and well schooled trainer. They have a spine that's just as susceptible to injury in places as a 2 year old.

It has far less to do with age then it does with proper training and guidance. There are PLENTY of 2 year olds that are going to be better off down the road then a big chunk of 4 year olds because of this misguided idea that a 4 year old horse is "mature" and able to handle 10x the concussion of a 2 year old. It simply isn't so.
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    05-14-2010, 11:58 PM
  #34
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by savvylover112    
lol well I have seen pigs fly so there lol

Well over here it really depends what the horse is going to be doing and what it is bred for generally here in Ireland the breaking age is 3 for any breed. If it is a TB however it gets complicated. If it is going to be a flat racer it will be broken as a yearling which I think is way too young, if they want to flat race but then move onto over hurdles they tend to break them at 2 and a half which is a more suitable age and if they are bred as national hunt horses they will be broken as three year olds left out and then brought back in in their fourth year for training and starting racing.

Nothing is impossible I suppose.
It's the same here in America, horses in general here are usaully broke at age 2-4 years old though, but there are a few that break at age 1.
     
    05-15-2010, 12:12 AM
  #35
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacabreMikolaj    
Depends entirely on the horse.

As an average, the legs joints are closed by 2.5 years at the very latest - possibly 3 on some bigger breeds. After that, it's the spine that's the issue - and that doesn't finish fully fusing until a minimum of 6 years old, so anybody trying to keep the self righteous attitude about 4 being ok and 2 being unacceptable should brush up on equine development first. You have FAR more chance injuring a 4 old horse with improper training then you do with a 2 year old under the guidance of an educated and well schooled trainer. They have a spine that's just as susceptible to injury in places as a 2 year old.

It has far less to do with age then it does with proper training and guidance. There are PLENTY of 2 year olds that are going to be better off down the road then a big chunk of 4 year olds because of this misguided idea that a 4 year old horse is "mature" and able to handle 10x the concussion of a 2 year old. It simply isn't so.
BUT, your better off breaking a 4 year old then a 2.5 year old with the same exact training.
Another thing is horses usaully broke at the older age of 3.5-4 are usaully given a lot more ground training then a younger horse, this gives time for the horse to get used to the saddle/bit/human contact idea. I think this is fair to the horse so you don't rush them. Agian, this is just my own opinion.

I really enjoy reading everyone's opionions, I find it interesting.
     
    05-15-2010, 01:58 PM
  #36
Weanling
Good point, LolHorse. I also think any mistakes that might happen at 2 are remembered longer than at 4.
     
    05-15-2010, 02:49 PM
  #37
Trained
I'm too lazy to read through all those pages of replies

Anyway, I would start saddling and maybe just sitting on and doing some walking at age 2, nothing like running hard or big stops and turns or anything. But age 3 and 4 is when the school really starts and they get shown eactly what is expected, especially for the futurities I have then ready at two and then at age 3 I finish them and just tone their performance so by age 4 they are ready.

Ages mine were broke -

Jester - Two
Annie - Yearling (She's racing bred, had a two-year-old racing year before we bought her)
Gringo- Two
Rico - Three
Rebel - Yearling (Also race bred, but never ran. Lucky to be sound.)

I don't know about any others. But we always star tours at two.
     
    05-15-2010, 04:21 PM
  #38
Weanling
I am on the 3-5 bandwagon. Beyond the physical arguement I like where the horse is mentally at that time. It's a matter of personal preference more than anything else. I
     
    05-16-2010, 12:23 AM
  #39
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by LolHorse    
BUT, your better off breaking a 4 year old then a 2.5 year old with the same exact training.
Another thing is horses usaully broke at the older age of 3.5-4 are usaully given a lot more ground training then a younger horse, this gives time for the horse to get used to the saddle/bit/human contact idea. I think this is fair to the horse so you don't rush them. Agian, this is just my own opinion.

I really enjoy reading everyone's opionions, I find it interesting.
Your argument is absolutely moot though based on the fact that no two horses will ever be the same in training. I find it quite the opposite - people basically assume a 4 year old is an "adult" horse, and will ride it harder and faster then any youngster while it still has vulnerable points on the spine. How many people here gasp at the idea of riding a 2 year old, and yet think jumping a 4 year old is perfectly fine? Joints are closed between 2-3 years old, so you're right up against the same wall - they both can suffer spinal damage.
     
    05-16-2010, 03:03 AM
  #40
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by LolHorse    
But that's what you heard. I've also heard pigs fly, but do they?
Not saying what you said is false, heck it may be true.
It IS false.
     

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