What age should you halter break? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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What age should you halter break?

I was reading an interesting debate article on what is a good age to halter break, it was really interesting.

what is your opinion on this topic?
THERE IS TO BE NO FIGHTING ON THIS THREAD PLEASE!! everyone is entitled to their own opinions, thank you.

this is the article i was reading:
Halter Breaking the Foal
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 03:23 AM
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We start as early as possible usually once they are weaned but halter training is usually it for training until they hit a year and then we start ground work. Turn them out with the herd til 2. Light backing at 2, turned out again til 3 and then at 3 we start to put some miles on. My cousin trains barrel horses and uses a similar technique. She starts patterns at 3-4 but doesn't full out run them til 6.
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Eta: at 2 is very very light riding, mostly just getting use to the tack.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 06:41 AM
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Very interesting article. It seemed to be a big selling thing to me. And just based on personal experience. I halter broke my filly when she was about 3 weeks old. She'd had a halter on before that though. I did a lot of pressure and release with her, and I even used a butt rope. She is incredibly light on her face and doesn't seem to be much of a panicker. Interesting theory, but again I think it was mostly for selling point. Wonder if anyone's ever used this guys technique?
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 08:28 AM
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I got the same selling vibe AW. Just like everything else horse there are going to be different methods and thoughts on when & how like any other piece of training.

Here foals have a halter on early (generally within the first couple of days) Actual halter breaking at a few weeks old, along side the dam & with a butt rope. I don't feel a butt rope makes them dull, its simply a safety measure to make it less stressful on them and prevents/lessens much of the pull back and fight. My current youngsters were started this way (as have hundreds of foals born here over the last 50 years) and both require very, very little pressure to respond. My coming 2 yo will work halterless showmanship patterns and has since he was a weanling. I'm open to learning about new/different methods but am also of the "if it's not broke, don't try to fix it" school of thought.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 09:36 AM
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I halter break mine within thier first month if I can or if I buy a weanling then immediately. It's just a safety precaution in my book. Like take for example my colt jet when he was two weeks old he was attacked by a dog and had to have emergency care and 17 stitches. After that he had to have wound cleaning and disinfecting daily plus antibiotics twice a day. So he had to become halter broke immediately plus used to handling. Has it caused him any problems that he was halter broke at a young age? Nope not a bit nor have I seen anything to indicate dullness. He's a sharp athletic colt and sensitive to light touch from the halter. I handle my young ones almost daily but I don't halter or train them daily. Before they are one I like to establish great ground manners, backing up, standing tied, yielding fore and hind quarters, wear light blankets, little bit of whip desensitizing, being able to touch everywhere, picking up all four feet and loading in the trailer. I take it slow and they learn one thing at a time. And usually by a year old they have pretty great manners. Then after that I put them out with my adult horses who can give them more life lessons. Now I just pet on them daily and maybe once or twice a month halter for a short refresher then they are back out to pasture. This way they can be horses but keep thier good manners :-D
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Last edited by Peppy Barrel Racing; 01-15-2013 at 09:39 AM.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 09:40 AM
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Starts day one. by the time they are a month old they are being lead out of their stalls out to the pasture.

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post #7 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by nrhareiner View Post
Starts day one. by the time they are a month old they are being lead out of their stalls out to the pasture.
My old trainer has a halter on them within their first day and leads them with mommy with a halter and lead wherever they go. SO I agree - day one!
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 09:38 PM
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Yeppers, day one for me as well. If something needs to be done to foal or mom, you have got to have a way to safely handle both. There's no reason not to have well behaved babies.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 09:51 PM
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I handle mine a lot when they are Born but don't actually get them leading till after they are weaned and calm down.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 10:01 PM
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Halter breaking occurs at day 3 for me, however restrictive handling, and exposing the foal to being physically held and encouraging it to respond calmly occurs within mere hours of birth.
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