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Small_Town_Girl 08-20-2008 01:15 PM

What step comes next? Need Help!
I need someone who has experience or knowledge on
breaking a horse.As you may know, I have started working
with our blue roan colt(yes, still a stallion, but EXTREMELY
calm and gentle, getting gelded in September if everything
goes to plan.)

So far, we are able to saddle him and mount him and be
ledaround on his back without ANY problem, but I was
just wondering what step should come next. When should
we try a bridle and a bit? I thought I would ask because I
really want to go about doing this the right way.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated! :D

girl_on_black_pony 08-20-2008 06:48 PM

I I were you I'd start lunging with tack. Then introduce a rider to just sit on him. Then lunge with the rider. Then lead the rider around. Then use a halter/leadrope as reins. Then Id introduce a bridle. Snaffle, to be prescise

smrobs 12-12-2008 08:48 PM

Yes, I would try a bridle and bit. Get him to be responsive to bit cues before you get on him though. You should be able to turn his head and get him to turn his body before you ever get in the saddle. I suggest a loose ring snaffle, that is what I use on all of mine. Usually, when I start a colt, I will "tie thier head around" first. What I mean is I will run the rein through the back D-ring of the saddle and then drape it over the saddle horn. I will just make it tight enough that they have to bend their neck a little and can easily stand with the rein loose. Also, I don't ever tie the end of the rein to the saddle horn because that can be dangerous. I just drape it over and if the horse pulls it loose, I just go back and replace it. I doesn't take very long for the horse to figure it out. I watch them and when I see them go to straighten their neck out, contact the bit, and immediately bend their neck to make the rein hang, I go let them go. Lots of trainers do this by hand on the ground and either way will work well but I learned from my dad and he would do this while he went and rode other colts he was breaking to save time. When they learn to give to rein cues and you have taught them to have forward motion under saddle, I get on and start trotting circles. I don't know if you will understand how I have explained it because sometimes doing it a telling about it are 2 different things. Good luck and let us know how things go.

free_sprtd 12-12-2008 09:48 PM

^^ sounds interesting smrobs, i have a hard time understanding but I plan on re-reading it :)

What I have planned for my guy is to work in the tack first and build a little muscle and get him used to being able to balance, ect. Then I plan on being led around a few more times, then put on the lunge line and go from there. But as said in pp, getting them used to cues from the reins and bit is a good idea. What I want to do (dont' know if it will work) is not focus on the bit so much as the riders body language and verbal cues. I am trying to keep the bit as a reinforcer of vergal and leg cues, but we'll have to see how that goes. I do plan on doing some work with the bit though. Oh and remember to practice doing everything on both sides :).

smrobs 12-12-2008 10:14 PM

If you have specific questions, I will answer them and try to be clearer in my explination. Hard to use the right words for the actions sometimes. Good luck with yours free sprtd and that is a good idea to focus on leg, body and verbal cues. Ours are trained mostly using leg and rein cues. Not all of ours are ridden by people who know how to ride and too much sensativity to body cues other that purposeful leg cues can confuse them and cause problems. But that is how I learned to ride and how i enjoy it. Some people prefer to not have to use the reins at all. To each his own. :P

free_sprtd 12-13-2008 12:09 AM

thanks!! oh ok I just re-read what you said about response to bit pressure and that is actually an awesome idea! thanks I will be using that as well. So that helps with turning as well right? sorry it's been a long day and mindless questions come from a brain of mush lol.

Small _town- Good luck with your little guy, and if possible it's nice if you can have a trainer help out even for just a couple sessions here and there to help give you direction. :)

smrobs 12-13-2008 06:35 AM

Yes, it does help with turning too. If you consistently use the same amount of pressure, they will remain light on the rein. You can also use this method to re-train horses who have begun to brace against the bit. It will teach them to yield very effectively. Sometimes though, especially with a young horse it takes some time for them to realize that they need to follow their nose into the direct-rein turn and for a few steps, they may have their head pointed to the left and continue to travel straight. :) By the way, no such thing as a mindless question.

Midwest Paint 12-13-2008 07:53 AM

I think what you are describing are "neck flexion" exercises.. Am I right?

With these flexion exercises you are softening the the neck to give the head to pressure. After applying the briddle and bit to your horse, you begin to pull on one reign and bring the reign to the barrel of the chest, pulling the head of the horse by the bit with the reign. You keep constant and steady pressure until you feel the tension in the neck give on the horse. Once you get that "release" you let go of the reign. You do this several times and equally on each side with pressuring the neck to give.

Tracking so far? :)

smrobs 12-13-2008 07:57 AM

Yep, exactly. I just use the hands free approach. Next time I go home, I will use one of my broke horses and try to get pix of how I do it and how tight I have the rein.

Midwest Paint 12-13-2008 08:12 AM

Ahhh... Cool.. I guessed it then! Woohoo! I had to re-read it myself, then a light went on! LOL!

Now, just for fun here is another neat little technique thats fun to play with and is useful for those horses that either "cant" use a bit, or an owner who prefers to use a hackamore:

Just like you would with the "bit" method of flexion, you can do the same thing "free handed" while teaching the horse to give to a hack. To do this, you stand directly next to the horse, mid way down along the barrel of the horse. Face the horses body. With the hand closest to the tail end, place it on the spine of the horse. With the opposite hand, reach out and grasp the face of the horse on top on the "nasal bars". (Mid way between the nose and the eye, there are two natural indentations of the face that spread out towards the nose). When placing your hand on this part of the face, cup your hand in a "C" shape, draping the fingers over one side of the face, and thumb on the opposite side. Using only pressure from the index finger and thumb, bring the face of the horse around to his/her own chest. By applying only a very soft and small amount of pressure from the "balls" of your fingers joints, you simulate the knots in a rope halter and hackamore.

Same method as you would with a bridle and bit, but more constructed for a hackamore type training. I found that some horses have either teeth problems or loss, and some owners only want a hack used as they feel its softer on the horse. I also use this with some of my youth as they may be too young for a bit, but its still fun practical exercises.

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