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savvylover112 07-31-2009 02:29 PM

starting horses
hey everyone just wondering at what age do you start or break in your horses??

why at this age??

and what is your time scale for training them after they have learnt the basics??


smrobs 07-31-2009 04:03 PM

I usually try to start mine at 3 but sometimes it ends up being older. My timeline is significantly shorter than most other people do. I will usually be riding them on the first or second day that I mess with them and will almost always have them out on the trails by ride 5. In the summer, I am using them on cattle by the time they have a week's training on them. Most are neck reining very well within a month and I have usually roped off them in the pasture by the time they have 3 months. I put tons of miles on my horses in a very short time and I am a firm believer in the old saying "There is nothing better for a young horse than a wet saddle blanket every day." Of course, this time line really depends on each horse and sometimes I have to adjust it accordingly but most do pretty well with just a bit of pressure to learn fast. It is kinda dangerous to have a young horse that is bored, they start thinking of ways to entertain themselves and usually end up with pretty bad vices or behavioral issues.

Qtswede 07-31-2009 05:09 PM

I'm with smrobs. Mine usually start *around 3. Not to say everyhorse is at 3, some go until they're 4 or 5 depending on their build. I wait so that they are physically and mentally ready to get a job.
Time scale? Depends on the horse. Some go faster than others. I usually keep my schedule (since I have kids of my own) to one green horse a summer. I like to have them out of the round pen by the 3rd or 4th ride.

Vidaloco 07-31-2009 06:55 PM

I'm new to training young horses. I started doing small things with them when they were born :lol: I have a very long time line.
We did start riding them this spring after they turned 3. One of them is coming along great. No problems on trails and is getting neck reining and leg cues down well. The other is still in the round pen and arena, she just is not calm enough for trails yet. So I guess bottom line is, it depends on the horse.

Marecare 07-31-2009 09:07 PM

Training begins as soon as they are born and they are exposed to humans and cows.

At about a year old they have had the light introduction to a bit, (without reins) a saddle blanket,and the saddle.
Between one year old and two they are saddled 40 or 50 times.
An older and mature horse is used to pony them at this time and get them out on trails.
At about a year and a half they are introduced to hobbles also.

By two years old they do most light work in the round pen and know what saddling is all about.
If there knees are closed and they have a mature body then they are mounted and walked for a few minutes as a long two year old.

Light riding begins in the spring of their third year and we get out of a pen as soon as we can.

The beginning work is on flat ground and then advances into the hills as they get conditioned and gain balance.
This is also the time that a bosal/hackamore is introduced for a lot of the riding.

Sunny06 07-31-2009 10:22 PM

Riding training? I like about 4. 3 is ok, but 4 is almost fully grown. 3 is still growing.

RiosDad 08-01-2009 01:12 PM

I'm like smrobs. I start them fast and throw alot at them all at once. I prefer close to 4 but my last starter was 3 1/2. I do worry a bit at that age since I only buy arabs. They are slow to mature and usually I put about 2 inches on a horse in 6 months or so with hard work.
I prefer something 1/2 wild with no training other then hopefully minimum halter training.
I often get on them as soon as they arrive at the barn, my 2nd last one within 15 minute and from that day on for the next couple of weeks they get rode 2 times each and every day. After a few weeks I drop to once aday.
The minute I know I have ahold of the horse he heads out into the bush. I spend as little time as possible in a round pen.
My last horse was rode on Sunday and Wednesday he was running bush ALONE. I prefer to do things alone, a buddy system is fine but to me it takes away from the bonding so to speak. I want him to rely on me, not a budy horse.
I take 1 1/2 to 2 years to make a goood horse. By 2 years they have all the times down that is required of an excelllent trail horse.
Gates, ground tie, sidepassing, a strong back, knows his leads, fearless for anything I can think of, loads and unloads himself, can be tied anywhere without a fuss etc etc.
NO ONE getts to ride a baby I am working on. It is a person thing like my tooth brush. ONly I can ride him.
From past experience I find the almost wild ones brought on fast become better then the family pet.
I had 3 older wild ones and each spent a little time with a snubbing post and those 3 almost instantly became great tiers but they did get a harsh lesson at the post.

To start at birth bugging them all threw their lives until it is time to break them can create a SULKY horse/ words that a famous trainer calls family pets. I feel you let them grow up and then break them. A little fight never hurts them but teaches respect, something the family pet doesn't have.
I would take smrobs way of breaking over most.
To me NH is totally out in left field. One month of my way more then beats 3 months of NH. In fact my one month has proven to beat 2 years of NH

Sunny06 08-01-2009 01:27 PM


Originally Posted by RiosDad (Post 366371)
One month of my way more then beats 3 months of NH. In fact my one month has proven to beat 2 years of NH


RiosDad 08-01-2009 01:59 PM


Originally Posted by sunny06 (Post 366378)

We had a lady hand raise a pet until he was almost 6 and then he was sent to the best NH trainer around at a cost of $3000 for 3 months. Everyone at the barn was so excited to see how a real trainer does it. It just so happens at the exact same time I was starting a new guy, a 4 1/2 year olf really bad apple. Everyone got to watch me getting stomped into the ground, run through fences and 1/2 the time the horse won and the other half I won. Most guys and some of the girls helped me at one time or other, even to just holding his head down while I got one.
At the end of 3 months my guy had turned reliable, was side passing, backing running hundreds of miles of roads in busy traffic, was trained to hobble and knew his leads.
He had totally turned around and become actually one of the best in the barn of 25 others.
Well after 3 months the expensive guy came home and we all waited for the big show.. We got alot of twirling lead ropes, but all we really saw was a vicious buck and the owner was done. 2 years later the horse is still not ridden.
Alot of laughing at the barn and no more believers.
Well not in NH anyway.
Another guy, 6 months and 32 rides later his horse is still in the round pen and not turning. Don't want to rush the guy. My guy is that advanced the 1st day.

I may be rough at times but I get the job done and make good horses

Sunny06 08-01-2009 02:07 PM


Originally Posted by RiosDad (Post 366391)
I may be rough at times but I get the job done and make good horses

That would be a good quote for you!

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