Breaking in - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 01-09-2013, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 7
• Horses: 1
Breaking in

Whats the earliest you can break in a cob. Mine is quite stocky and built already, he is only 8months was thinking of doing it at 1 1/2, too early? Originally we were going to wait until he was 2years old, but he is growing very fast :)
Rhianna93 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 11 Old 01-09-2013, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Stroudsburg, Pa
Posts: 984
• Horses: 4
2-2 1/2 at the very earliest. Anything before that is asking for problems.
kassierae is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 01-09-2013, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
Posts: 16,385
• Horses: 3
Regardless of his size, 1 1/2 is still a baby.

The longer you wait, the better. There are plenty of ground exercises you can do with him. Don't rush to get him under saddle.
themacpack, Annanoel and Foxhunter like this.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
Speed Racer is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 01-09-2013, 12:52 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,378
• Horses: 2
My personal preference is three, and I consider anything under two to be ridiculous. It isn't about how fast he's growing - regardless of how large he is or isn't at 1 1/2 he still won't be as physically mature as a horse of 3 or 2. Being equal in physical size does not mean being equal in physical and mental maturity.
themacpack is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 01-09-2013, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 564
• Horses: 2
I've never started a horse sooner than 3, and several as late as 4. IMO even 2 years old is too early for more than maybe a tiny bit of saddling and ground driving, anything younger than 2 is completely out of the question.
Posted via Mobile Device
themacpack likes this.
SnowCowgirl is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 01-15-2013, 07:06 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Stafford, Va
Posts: 420
• Horses: 1
Two is ok to start a foal, as a natural progression of your ground training program, but still too young for any amount of time in the saddle, other than for simple, short (time-wise) exercises a couple times a week. No hard stuff, no jumping, no barrels, etc. Their growth plates are still soft and spending too much time with a load on their back can leave them with physical problems for life. Don't put a 200+ lb person on them for any amount of time at all.

Three is a good age for a breaking and little more riding, work in the arena, and maybe a short trail ride or two a week. They are ready for a little tougher exercise, maybe starting in their projected discipline. Still as a natural progression in the training program. Some horses mature a little faster than others, so it's still a matter of the individual horse's physiology. Unless you are a trained vet, you're not going to be able to tell, so it's best to go easy. However, there are a lot of 3 year-old race horses that seem to do fine, physically.

By four, pretty much all horses are physically mature enough for hard riding and tough duty.

Ranches often bring in horses from the range and break them in their fifth year. They break them pretty quickly and train them while working them, so they start right off working hard. Wouldn't work with a 2-3 year-old.

It's also good to keep in mind that horses generally are aged by birth year, not by birth date. So unless you know the actual date of a horse's birth, A "two year-old" could be anything from 13 months to 35 months old. When a rancher brought in horses from the range to be broke for ranch stock, If he took horses that were in their 5th year, he knew they were at least 3-5 years old and were physically mature enough for hard work.
themacpack and LisaG like this.
thenrie is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 01-15-2013, 07:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Stafford, Va
Posts: 420
• Horses: 1
Had another thought that might help the understanding:

I would relate horses' physical maturation to the human maturation process as follows:

A two year-old horse is like a 12-14 year-old person. Just past puberty, getting strong, but still growing. Musculature and coordination are still a bit out of sync, because the skeletal structure is growing so quickly. Able to do hard work for short lengths of time, but be careful. Willing, but lacks the mentality for serious work for more than short time spans.

A three year-old is like a 15-18 year-old, whose skeletal structure is now sound and just about as physically sound as it will get. Coordination is getting good now, but there is a lot of muscle yet to be built. Still has a tough time staying focused on the task at hand. Likes to test the limits, very impressionable. Here is where training and discipline can make or break both horses and humans.

A four year-old is like a 19-22 year-old person, who is now college-age and is fully capable of handling anything a human should be able to handle, as far as skeletal structure is concerned. Now the task is to build muscle, continue to train coordination, but mostly to train the mind.

A five year-old is like a mid-twenties person, who is now fully capable, both physically and mentally, of being a contributing member of society. Physically capable of doing whatever the gifts/limitations God gave them will allow. Mentally, they should now be able to focus on whatever task is at hand for whatever amount of time is required. Of course, in both horses and humans, their individual personality, prior training, discipline, and circumstances will have a lot to do with their physical/mental/emotional health and maturity, and personal happiness, from here on out.

One thing I know: Proper discipline and training at all stages makes happy people and happy horses (ergo happy horse owners).

Make sense?
New_image, themacpack and LisaG like this.
thenrie is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 01-15-2013, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,178
• Horses: 0
I find there to be no valuable reason to start a horse before his or her third year. Prior to two they are babies. They are still growing, maturing mentally and physically as we as fusing throughout their entire second year. So three it is. With an animal that lives to be 30 years old and offers you as many as twenty usable riding years, I think that there is nothing they benefit in being started even lightly in their second year. Why push it with "careful riding" when you can just start a more mature horse at 3 and keep going from there? That said, my 9 month old filly is "growing fast" as well, already 14.3hh but there is NO way that anyone will be on her in six months. Growth rate does not justify starting a horse early.
themacpack likes this.
New_image is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 01-15-2013, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 2,456
• Horses: 4
Do not even think about getting on that horse till he's old enough. Would you put an adult on a 6 year old child and tell that kid to hold that person up? I sure hope not. It doesn't matter how big the horse is you must wait for the growth plates to mature so they can even support a person. You could do serious irreparable damage to this horses legs, joints and spine if you rush this. This question shows a serious lack of education on your horsemanship I hope you learned something. I think you need to read more threads, articles, and books about horses and young horse training.
themacpack likes this.

Noey's Herd

Last edited by Peppy Barrel Racing; 01-15-2013 at 12:52 PM.
Peppy Barrel Racing is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 01-15-2013, 07:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 373
• Horses: 0
Please wait until at least three. I know the thoroughbred and some other horse industries break them early, but breaking later is one of the best things you can do to ensure your horse's long term soundness so he can be a happy partner for you for years to come.

My current pony was not broken in until age five (he was unstarted when I purchased him) and I did not find him more difficult to work with than the 3/4 year olds I have ridden. In fact, in some ways he was easier!
BearPony is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Breaking in a TB Firstred Horse Training 11 09-19-2012 09:05 AM
Breaking in help horseandlurcherlover Horse Training 14 06-01-2012 07:49 AM
Breaking in bit CurlyIsASpecialStandie Horse Training 7 12-04-2011 08:36 PM
Breaking Bad Anyone? birdiechirp Movies, Music, and TV 0 10-19-2011 06:53 PM
BREAKING HELP spencer.nethercutt Horse Training 1 11-29-2007 12:02 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome