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racerider 11-24-2010 03:40 PM

How young is your horse when you start training?

Eolith 11-24-2010 03:50 PM

To answer the question in your title, you train the horse throughout life from day one. There is ALWAYS something new you can teach a horse no matter the age or experience, and the more you do the better!

In terms of when to actually start them under saddle... that's a mixed bag depending on the horse, the breed, the trainer, the discipline etc. I lean towards not starting them until they're three, and even then not really riding in all sincerity until four.

Saskia 11-24-2010 03:57 PM

Its fine do some ground training (such as picking up feet, leading, floating etc) when they're young, but I believe its best to wait until they are at least 3 before you start all the bitting, lunging and what not which then leads to ridden work. My horse is a bit over 3 now, and I am just do roundyard work with him. I plan to break him over the next three months and then just do lots of trails and basic arena work with him.

When he is going on four I'll start considering a bit more dressage and longer rides.

racerider 11-24-2010 04:04 PM

We had pretty good luck with our last horse. started breaking him at 3 and he took to it quick - not the sharpest tool in the shed, but maybe thats why he didn't fight much.

smrobs 11-24-2010 04:19 PM

I prefer getting all the basics down when they are foals; leading, tying, feet, clippers, handling, things of that sort. As for starting them under saddle, I prefer to wait until they are 3 but I am okay with starting them at 2 if a customer requests it. My own though, I wait until they are at least 3.

~*~anebel~*~ 11-24-2010 04:48 PM

Personally, I prefer to start formal groundwork at 3 and then actually break them the spring of their 4th year. Otherwise it is easy to compromise their joints, especially if they haven't fused yet.

racerider 11-24-2010 04:57 PM

you don't find them harder to break when you start ground work at 3??

smrobs 11-24-2010 05:04 PM

I don't really find much more difficult about starting the older horses unless they have been ruined by someone before me. I saddle broke a 10-12 year old mare this summer and while she was certainly a challenge, it still wasn't really that hard.

~*~anebel~*~ 11-24-2010 05:12 PM


Originally Posted by racerider (Post 827708)
you don't find them harder to break when you start ground work at 3??

FORMAL ground work. They are still handled for the vet and farrier before that. I'm not going to lunge or longline something younger than 3.

trailhorserider 11-24-2010 05:44 PM

I like the article, in theory. That's why I imprinted my foal and handled him from day one.

In actuality, he is 4 months old now and has a lot of "attitude." He does everything I want him to do, it's just that he has to nip and chew on things when he does it.

So now I have a 4 month old that leads, ties, trailer loads, ponies, picks up his feet, etc., but also nips, rears, and climbs on the horse I am riding. I worry that we have respect issues.

Maybe the perfect balance is my neighbor. She gets her colts as basically unhandled weanlings and yearlings and then works with them from there and they turn out really awesome. Or maybe it's just me, because the colt I am raising is my first.

What I do believe in, which is why I am ponying my colt (besides for exercise) is that she takes her colts trail riding, and by the time they are two, when she sends them off to her trainer, they are experienced little trail horses, just not carrying a rider. But they are used to the terrain, the wildlife, going over logs, up and down hills, etc., all before they are even saddle broke. It's really cool to watch and I think it is good for them. :-)

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