Safe to "break" a 15 year old to ride?
I have a rescue mare I purchased last year. She was with her abuser since she was two years old. I'm not sure she is broke or not, I plan to try it out tomorrow hopefully. My question is, if she isn't broke, would it be safe to break her at such a late age? I know one of the other mares that was aso rescued from there, was broke as a board. While I was pickng her up, I seen this man messing with the other mare to see if she was broke enough. He picked up her feet, pushed on her, jumped on her back (with only someone holding her halter) and she didn't move but an inch to corrct herself. So there is a possibility she is broke.
So what do you think? Shoud I even attempt to break her if she isn't?
Ok I will refrain from my standard "I hate the word break" sermon.. lucky you! A horse just like any other critter is still very capable of learning at any stage of life. I have trained 10 and 12 year olds that have been nothing but pasture mowers. Yes it can be done and done fairly easily, my concern here is "Has been with her abuser" How abused? I think it's a great idea to check her thoroughly. Get her in a halter and wrap a slip tie around a smooth metal pole then mildly spook her. Pick up her feet, put your fingers in her ears, mouth and nose. See how much stimuli she stands.. plastic bag on a stick? Is she jumpy? lots of questions that need answered before you check her "broke" status. Or you can just jump aboard and join ranks with her "abuser" (said in jest, you are here asking questions before trying, that makes you unlikely to be an abuser)
What is your experience level? Are you qualified to take on a possibly very bent, overly spooky four legged steam roller? Do you have access to someone that is?
"Is she broke?" isn't the main question, "is she safe and sane?" is.
I guess I shouldn't have said "abuser" more like "neglectful owner". She was close to starving to death when she was reposessed by the owners bank because he failed to stay good on a loan.
Experience level would be, enough I wouldn't just jump on he back. I have my way of how I plan on to figure out if she is broke, without just jumping aboard. I do have access to someone that has a lot more experience than me.
My main question here, was just if she is not "broke", is it correct or "okay" to try at her age.
I think some of the best horses out there are between the ages of 10-20...Nice good age ....I wouldn't see why you couldn't unless there was something physically or mentally wrong with her .
Absolutely. Theres not reason why she cant be broke to ride. As long as shes sound and healthy, definitely start her under saddle and see what shell do over the next few weeks.
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If you've got experience starting them, there's no reason why she couldn't learn now. The only difference I've noticed between a youngster and an older horse is that the older ones tend to be more stiff/less flexible and a bit more likely to sull up.
Like longshot said, take it on like she's not saddle trained since you don't know for sure if she is or not. Start her at square one. That way if there are holes you will find them and can fill in the blanks along the way.
I just reread my post and I realize I should have put a couple LOLs in there, it sounded harsh when I was going for levity.. sorry
If she is otherwise sound, then certainly she can be trained. In some ways working with more mature horses is easier, and in some ways harder. Easier in that they are usually settled down and lazy, harder in that they have VERY established patterns of behavior and reactions that will take longer to overcome. An older horse more easily connects action to release, therefore they will grasp complex demands more quickly than a younger horse they offset this though with unwillingness to "give" but you are far less likely to have the explosive outbursts from a 15 year old.. unlike my daughter at 15 who was very given to explosive outbursts... but then so was the father of aforementioned 15 year old...lol
We are about to start a 10 year old pasture puff gelding under saddle. His owner has used him as a bucking horse a few times, and now wants to use him as a roping horse. I have no qualms about his age or his history, because all that matters is that he is brought to a working state of mind. I know he is a very sensitive horse and will require some finesse to gain his partnership. But it is certainly not unattainable. It's different, but not impossible, nor wrong.
Ignore people that say "Horses stop learning at __ years old". I have been told that by many experienced horse people, and it's just a bunch of hooey. The horse doesn't stop learning at any age. If it did, it would keel over and die when you decided to place the water bucket somewhere different or changed facilities.
This is my biggest pet peeve. Why do people think a horse can be too old to break? That's like saying once a person is past college they can never learn anything new. I just broke a 19 year old rescue Arab. She was crazy as all get out but after four months I could ride her. She had to build up muscle by ground work first so she could carry me.
They listen better, don't have add anymore and seem to learn quicker. If they are sound and healthy there's no reason they can't be trained.
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I've just never heard of someone teaching a horse to ride at more than 10 years. Though ironically I called her previous owner (still working out kinks in getting her transferred to me and getting her colt registered), and he was like "Are you riding her?" I was like "Is she broke?" You know what he said? He said, "Yes, but it has been a while." So I guess that question is answered...
So, when going about it tomorrow, should I reintroduce the blanket and saddle to her, as if she was a two year old and see how she reacts beyond that?
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