Definitions of "Green" "Started" "Broke" etc...
Okay, having a discussion with some of my horsey friends and the subject of definitions came up.
When is a horse not "green" anymore? When is a horse "broke"?
I am under the impression that a green horse is one that you are just starting to introduce work to. It would include, leading, groundwork, tacking up, mounting and the initial introduction of the aids while being rode.
I am also under the impression that everytime you do something with your horse, you are training it - either good habits or bad - the horse will learn something.
Now, I have a horse that is 7. I took him to a trainer this year for some refresher training and she literally got on and rode. Would he still be considered green? Or would he be considered broke? I can jump up and ride him anytime I want, he is responsive to basic commands and is safe to ride.
I have posted him for sale and all the responses I get are from people who I would consider "green" or have a "lack of confidence". They know the basics but would not be able to problem solve if a situation arises - horse balks at something, horse gets herd bound but will quiet down after a few minutes. When I tell the interested parties about my horse, they figure he is "green". I feel like telling them to look in the mirror. It is not that he needs an experienced rider, but a confident rider. I would trust a confident teenager to ride him over an adult who isn't.
Does this make sense to you? Would my horse be considered broke?
There may be differences in location but to me started under saddle/started and broken mean basically the same thing, except that I think started has a natural horsemanship touch to it and broken is more traditional training methods. I've heard people use both though. To get to the stage of broken I think a horse would be able to be ridden at a walk, trot and canter, can turn and stop. Accepts the saddle, bridle and rider. Generally I would also expect to be able to rug this horse, pick up its feet and tack it up without issue.
Green to me means that the horse has been broken but doesn't have much experience. Depending on the horse I could call it green for a few years. To me it could have connotations of a slightly excitable horse, as well as a horse that has not yet learnt anything but the bare basics. I think a horse of most ages can be green. Some horses stop appearing green quicker, and some last longer. Its not really a scientific thing to me, but if someone told me they had a green horse I would think one thats had six months or a year of basic riding, and was beginning to be taken to its first outings and could get a little unsettled, or confused.
I learnt to ride in Australia, so it might be different. I don't call riders green.
Green: You can get up on him and he understands basic commands (Forward, Left, Right, Halt). Started means about the same to me. May have a bit more understanding, but really I think the two are the same
Broke means he understands all his cues. Upward and downward transistions, leg yields, etc.
A finished horse who is generally in the a discipline. For example you could have a finished barrel horse but he is green on jumping. He is competent and consistent on barrels, but is just starting to understand jumping and what goes along with it.
A finished horse would be soft in the mouth, able to collect and extend, etc.
Spastic Dove, I se it the other way around. For me, "broke" and started is the same thing, the horse has had a rider on it's back and can walk around at least.
"green" can last for years. It's a horse that is still figuring out EXACTLY what's wanted. My four year old jumps full courses, but he's still green. My 8 year old was green last year, he could jig, back and take off, that was it. Now he's not perfect, but he knows how to WTC and can do so with a novice
Very weird. I've never heard it interpreted that way.
So if you see a horse that is green for sale, you assume it's more or less...knows what it's doing, but isn't fine tuned yet?
What would you consider your 8 year old then?
Green = Inexperienced, needs some miles in whatever the horse is doing. Same goes for riders. Example: I'm a pretty experienced rider, but a green jumper. The green label can carry over to different stages, I like to think of it like a modifier of another label.
Started = What I would call "saddle broke," basically knows how to carry and take direction from a rider, ready to start putting miles under. Takes a highly experienced and competent rider. Also Green Broke.
Broke = Fairly easily manageable. Knows forward, backward, left and right, W/T/C, and whoa. Has some experience and miles, and easily handles common "spookies" (tarps, ground poles, flags, ropes, etc.) Maybe ready to tackle a light show, but still has "kinks." Needs some fine tuning. Experienced to confident intermediate rider. I would say that my current horse falls in the early stages of the Broke designation.
Well Broke = In addition to "Broke" skills, horse can collect and do some of the more discipline specific movements. In a perfect world, the well broke horse is bombproof or near to it. Beginner rider can easily handle, and a more experienced rider may get a lot from this horse.
Finished = This horse is well educated, generally push button. Most riders can get a lot from this horse if they know what and how to ask. This horse is also likely to be fairly competitive at shows in whatever discipline he is trained for. IMHO, there are relatively few truly finished horses out there, especially compared to the number of horses who fall into various stages of "Broke." Finished is a discipline-specific state of training.
I see 'broke' and 'broken in' as different terms. Broken in means started under saddle, so borken in and started would be the same to me.
Broken in/Started: W/t/c under saddle. Can stop and change direction. That's about it.
Green Broke: As above, but may have had a few more rides, a few trails, maybe a few PC rallies or something. Has the basic commands but not much riding experience. Not used to common spooky situations.
Well Broke: To me, broke doesn't go hand in hand with educated. So a well broke horse is one with many miles of trails/riding experiences. Is fairly quiet with spooky things, can be ridden in a group or alone, not too forward or too lethargic, can be ridden by anyone with basic skills. A lot of ranch/station horse are well broke, but not necessarily educated.
Educated AND well broke: As above, but generally with extensive experience showing in a specific discipline. With know things such as lateral movements, flying changes, collected work, maybe things such as rollbacks/haunch turns/whipcracking (in my field)
I think finished is more of an American term, dont really hear it in AUS, but I would say finished is as above but really at the pinnacle of whatever discipline. A child could get on and go win a class. Basically, push-button.
^^ Good point WS, it is common to have a very broke horse that is not very educated.
I consider green broke/started the same thing. Basically, you can get on, W/T/C with control but no real cadence or collection. They know go, stop, left, right but may need some extra urging to understand what is asked occasionally.
Green means that a horse is just learning a discipline. Like my horses are finished ranch horses but would be considered green in the show ring or when jumping.
Broke means that the horse knows the cues and doesn't resist when asked to do something. Knows go, stop, left, and right and is consistent when responding. Possibly safe as a beginner horse but not for much of anything but general riding. Kindof a jack of all trades, master of none type thing.
Trained means that a horse has a specific discipline that they excell at but are also consistent at other things. A reining horse that can be roped off of, or a WP horse who also does reining and trails. Horse is consistent but not really push button, must have a rider who is competent.
Finished means that the trained horse has about 12,000 more miles on him and is safe for all riders. Very consistent with all cues regardless of how simple or complex. Push button.
i agree with smrobs to a tee a finished horse is well broken n a green horse to me has a basic understanding and is ridable but lacks the understanding of more technical monuvers such as lead changes rollbacks , and such
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