Can I use this saddle to break a horse? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 68 Old 05-26-2013, 01:35 PM
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Palogal, I see where you are coming from being claustrophobic in a western saddle. I rode for the first time in an english saddle the other day and loved it! So much room to move!
I learned to ride bareback and bought my first saddle. It was western, but I prefer an aussie saddle to it, and english to aussie.

That's probably the reason I always break my horses bareback. I don't like the fact that the western saddle holds me in and doesn't let me bail without getting caught.

toto, I've never had a horse try very hard to get me off when I put the first ride on. That is all taken care of in ground work before I even dream of getting on.

Golden Horse, sometimes I am more balanced riding bareback than with a saddle. I worked really hard on being able to perfect all gaits bareback. I still have a bit of a problem with a huge trot, but all the other gaits are good. I feel that a saddle doesn't provide me with the feel that I like when breaking. It's like keep your hand on a new horse's shoulder when rubbing them over for the first time. You can feel the tense up before they ever lift their leg or jump away.

I can take a couple crow hops bareback no problem. Anything harder I come off, but that is the same in a saddle too. I don't ride bucking very well.

I figure if a girl wants to be a LEGEND, she should just go ahead and be one. ~Calamity Jane
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post #12 of 68 Old 05-26-2013, 01:35 PM
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As the other posters have said - bareback pad with stirrups is not a safe way to go. When I was young, we used to always start the ponies bareback and, now that I think of it, we rode them virtually bareback from then on - my parents were OK with that but not using a saddle as they felt it too dangerous. Now, this may be a time for a good segue into helmets - they're not a bad thing to have on one's head for at least the first few rides. Good luck.
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post #13 of 68 Old 05-26-2013, 01:38 PM
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The only issue you have with breaking bareback is the horse isn't saddle broke. Most riders ride with a saddle. So..when you break for someone else you need to break with a saddle most of the time.
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post #14 of 68 Old 05-26-2013, 01:47 PM
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Agree with previous posters. If you're limber enough to do it, there's a lot to be said for bellying over and sitting on them for the first time bareback, but you do have to get them accustomed to the saddle, so might as well incorporate that into your program.

My favorite saddles to use for breakers were my exercise saddle with a 1/2 tree - light, but up off the withers, lots of flexibility or an old ratty english close contact. I didn't want to use my best saddle or a show saddle, and I usually kept something around just to saddle a baby for the first time so if they decided to try and rub the thing off on the walls of the stall and round pen, no real damage was done.

I would not invest $$$ in a glorified bareback pad.
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post #15 of 68 Old 05-26-2013, 01:55 PM
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I train the horse for the saddle, then put the first 5 or 6 rides on bareback. Introducing the two (cinch and weight on their back) separately, then I combine them.
I'll get a horse used to saddle pads, surcingle, saddle, driving over their shoulder, etc. I pony them with the saddle on, shake them around with the saddle, get on a fence or mounting block and lean over them. I'll lay over them and have them move their feet.
I'll put a walk and trot on bareback, and sometimes I'll add a canter bareback as well. Depends on how much I trust the horse.
After a few rides like this, I'll saddle up and teach them mounting and dismounting, both sides. Then I get on with the saddle and continue with the walk, trot, canter, and add the gallop after a few rides.
I don't like it when a horse doesn't know how to gallop with a rider. I won't gallop all the time, obliviously, but I want a horse to know how to carry me at that gait in case I ever do want/need to gallop.

I also have a bit of thing for the old cowboy method of 'you're stealing a ride until you canter'. I don't canter the first few times on a horse, but I don't consider them green broke or 'ridden' until I can put a comfortable canter on them.

I figure if a girl wants to be a LEGEND, she should just go ahead and be one. ~Calamity Jane
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post #16 of 68 Old 05-26-2013, 02:02 PM
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To the OP, read this thread. There were some really good pre-breaking things in it.

Training Yearlings
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I figure if a girl wants to be a LEGEND, she should just go ahead and be one. ~Calamity Jane
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post #17 of 68 Old 05-26-2013, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
Why is he going to want you off no matter what? I don't understand that thought, surely the whole point about starting a horse is that he doesn't want you off. If he does, you have seriously skipped some important steps in his training.

I'm not sure about the whole back thing, I'm more convinced by the argument that a well fitting saddle makes carrying a rider a more comfortable experience for a horse. However there are a lot of horribly fitted saddles out there, and maybe bareback is more comfortable than a bad fit.

When it comes to it, ride and start him in whatever you are comfortable, and more importantly secure with, even if he isn't trying to get you off a novice horse needs a secure and steady rider.

BUT A BIG FAT NO to a bareback pad with stirrups, simply dangerous.
Lol, you mean to tell me if i make my colt my buddy hell just neal down on his front legs and say 'hop on'? Thats a new one but ill try it.

I respect 'natural' horsemanship- im all about mentally manipulating an animal thats 10xs my weight than physically- i can 'cowboy' a horse with the best of em too and i will if i have too but horses are unpredictable-- you think hes your best friend and he aint gonna throw you off because he likes you? Lol. Youve never been on a 'calm horse' whos your buddy when you feed and brush him- that explodes like a lunatic when you try to get on his back-- youre a complete different person on that horses back then you was on the ground-- thats what i mean.. no flaws in training- the commands you give on the ground are much different when your on the horses back and not every horse is calm when you go to break em is all. Some definitely are calm and cool as a cucumber --not every horse is gonna be that way though- thats a big mistake to think that way.

Last edited by toto; 05-26-2013 at 02:34 PM.
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post #18 of 68 Old 05-26-2013, 02:34 PM
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If a horse is "exploding" while you're giving him his first rides, you have some very big holes in your training. Nothing "buddy" about it.
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post #19 of 68 Old 05-26-2013, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by toto View Post
Lol, you mean to tell me if i make my colt my buddy hell just neal down on his front legs and say 'hop on'? Thats a new one but ill try it.
No I do not mean to tell you that at all, I'm not big into being best buddies with my horse.

All I'm saying is that I prepare my youngsters properly, so having a rider on does not provoke a "must get you off reaction" Of course it can happen, but it is not the norm, if they have a buck in them I prefer that we have sorted that one out at the working in a saddle stage, I don't save it for when I'm riding.

I'm not big into natural horsemanship, whatever that is, I am big into making it easy for a horse to do the right thing, and setting them up to succeed instead of fail.
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post #20 of 68 Old 05-26-2013, 02:45 PM
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Yup, agree with GG. My idea of a successful breaker was one that never bucked or had a major resistance; that meant I had prepared the horse correctly and built up difficulty appropriately. And there are no cookies or carrot sticks in my method; and I frequently broke babies for the track and took them from unhandled to galloping a mile in ~60 - 90 days, so not exactly glacier slow, kid gloves treatment either.

Major resistance - bucking, rearing, refusing to go forward, etc., are ALL signs that there's a hole in the training - the horse is afraid because something hurts or because he doesn't understand what's being asked.

I'm not saying I've never had a breaker show a major resistance, but that when I did, once I rode through it, I sat down, thought thru the problem, figured out where the hole was and started over from that point. The more experience I got with breakers, the fewer episodes of resistance I had.
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