I have a 16 year old broodmare (saddlebred/Arab). I have been working with her under saddle. I am using a snaffle...new bit to me. I always used a curb bit when I had horses 20 years ago. Getting back into horses and was wondering if anyone has suggestions when training an older horse on the basics. She has good ground manners. Working her in the round ring for now as she has minimal "steerability" :). Any suggestions would be great, thank you.
The age does not really matter as it is just the "best tool for the job" that you are looking for.
If you are trying to flex the horse and get her supple,then it is hard to beat the snaffle bit for training.
Thanks for the reply, I think she will be fine with the snaffle, for some reason today she was mouthing it alot. She really knows very little.
If your horse has not had a bit in her mouth for a while you might take the reins off and have her wear it during the day for a while as you work around the barn.
I think some of the mouthing might go away after a week or so after she gets accustomed to having it in her mouth again.
How are you doing it? I have thought about training my 16 year old broodmare as well but not sure.
Thanks, I will try the bit without reins. I started with basic ground manner review and then have worked on getting her used to having the saddle on. Worked with her in the round ring with and without saddle. My daughter in law is helping me....let her sit on first :). She's younger and bounces better. Really though, she didn't mind have the saddle and weight on her. I think she was jumped on bareback in the pasture at one time or another in her 16 years. She seems mostly confused on what to do once in the saddle. Patience seems to be key.
The only tricky thing about training aged horses in that they are set in their ways. Unlike a young two year old who is just learning the ropes and figuring out their roles in the world, a 16 year old horse has been around forever and is a lot surer of their selves, which in turns give them more confidence to resist training methods.
Train them the same as you would a two year old, with a lot of ground work focusing on responsiveness and softness.
Good luck. It will be fun to see how well you do with her. :) I've never trained an older one. I do like the advice about the bit without reins. We have a bit in our yearlings mouths everytime they are tied up for anything aroudnn the house. Just make sure your halter doesn't pull on your bridle or make it too small. :) Have fun.
Older horses--especially brood mares--should have a vet check and ferrier check before you make the choice to "ride" them. Hip problems are common in brood mares--especially older ones.
If all checks out start at the beginning expecting to have to un-learn some things. proper conditioning is huge so be sure that you focus on that.
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