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I was just wondering how other people get their young horses ready to be started?
So share your thoughts, ideas, anything, pics...
 

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I cover the basics on ground stuff from weanling to 2y/o before breaking and make sure the horse can accomplish them with quality before I will hope in the saddle. I think it helps build a good bond before that next step. Things I normally cover besides (haltering, leading, tying, brushing etc.) I always make sure they have good leading skills (respecting my space, stopping when i stop etc) Then I introduce lounging and have the horse know all the ins and outs. Then I do ground driving, rinse and repeat with knowing it in and out. Then i introduce the saddle and do both ground driving and lounging with the saddle as well. Then I hop on
 

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Ground manners are a must, as well as being able to move any part of the horses body anywhere with only light pressure. Saddling and Bridling is covered and should be a none-issue, and the horse will have learnt how to give vertically and laterally to the bit. They will be able to move out away from me onto a circle and maintain it at a walk and trot, and halt immediatly when I say whoah.

I don't lunge proper.

That's about it. Before getting on I make sure said horse is ok with a person higher than them (i.e. up on a fence) and with weight in the stirrups either side.

If you are more curious, I am keeping a journal on starting a 5yo arab mare, you can search for 'breaking latte'.
 

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From a young age they are used to being handled. As 2 yeara olds I like to get them walking out along the roads so they see traffic, go to a couple of in-hand shows, light lungeing & long reining, wear a saddle, bridle & roller. Turn away over the winter & then start with the backing process as 3 year olds.
 

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I won't buy a mare, I won't buy a family pet, I won't buy an already started horse. I want a 3 or 4 year old untouched stallion.
I geld them the next day after buying.. 2 or 3 days after that I get someone to hold them and climb aboard. No ground work, just hold the horse and help me aboard. I then get the person to lead me.
I do this twice a day for 3 or 4 days and then I am on my own. I take them immediately out in the open fields and start running trails.
I do not like a companion horse. I want them to focus on me.

For halter breaking they are just tied properly and quickly learn for themselves. I usually shoe or trim the first day and that involves some struggle but they get done.

By 2 weeks I have a fairly good trail horse.
I take no nonesence and the bond seems to quickly grow.

They have gone from unhandled to constantly being handled and they seem to thrive on it. I usually get 1 - 2 inches of growth in a few months plus alot of weight gain or muscle.

I teach hobbling right off to teach them restraint.
I teach a good stear, a good stop, side pass and backing the first month.

I feel this type of horse learns respect right off, yes they kick, they nip but only once or twice and they learn that neither of those things gets them anywhere.

I then plan rides, training rides to industrial sites, farm yards, towns, water crossing etc etc but something new every ride.

I also run alot of roads right off. traffic safe is important.

I have used this receipe over and over and every time it ends in a nice horse in short order.

That being said I am strong, a strong rider, experienced and fearless.. It makes for a fearless confident horse.

The worst to start to me are the spoiled overhandled barnyard pets.
Give me a horse that is willing to fight and he will come along faster then one that is handled with kid gloves all his life. And his training will stick.
 

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I have a baby I will be starting this summer. We have established good ground manners (haltering,leading, tying, feet lifting). I have begun tacking him up. In the spring I will take him for long walks with and without the saddle to expose him to cars, trucks, woods, deer moving about in the woods. This helps improve his leading as well as despooking him. I have begun teaching him to give his head to pressure both left and right. When leading I work on verbal cues "Whoa", "Back". When the snow melts my arena becomes a trail obstacle course. If I'm shopping and I see something that might frighten a horse I buy it and add it to my despooking arsenal (swim noodles, windsocks). I will spend hours walking him around having him step over and around logs and cones. I have stood over him and talked to him quite a bit too. We have done it this way with all of the babies we have raised, as well as adult horses we have brought home. Now I can't wait for the snow to melt!
 

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I would rather a horse I start not have any preparation. I really don't care if they know how to lead. I have two 4 year old mares that i will be starting in the next month or so and I have never had a halter on them before. I'm not too worried about this because they will have the right amount of respect for me and within the first week I will be riding them and leading them by any foot or their head. Like Riosdad, I don't care for the horses that have been constantly handled from birth because they generally have not been handled correctly to preserve the sensitivity that is so important when training a horse. A horse that hasn't been handled much won't be crowding you or stepping on your feet. You don't have to work so hard to get the life up in them. I guess my answer to the question is that I don't prepare them to start, I just start them.
 

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I agree with you Riosdad that a horse that has grown up in a more natural environment is easier to train, because it acts like a horse is suppose to act. I like my young horses to grow up in large pastures with older tough horses. These older horses instill a lot of training about respect, and moving away from pressure, and that life does not revolve around you little guy.
 

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Haha, I like how both of the men on here are like "Just get on 'em!" I wish I had that much confidence.
 

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My husband says often how I just need more testosterone to be a better horseperson :) He's from a long line of cowboys and tends to not fall off as much as I do!
 

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kevinshorses how did the owners of these unhaltered 4 year old mares handle wormings, shots, and farrier work?
I am the owner and they run on range. They don't get wormed or shots and the rocks take care of the farrier work. Once I bring them in then I will need to start worming them and such but when they are running in a herd with no other contact with outside horses and hundreds of acres parisites are of little concern.

I'm not saying that I "just get on" them. I do plenty of groundwork in the first weeks of training but I don't do anything before they are ready to ride. Not everybody has that option and for them I would reccomend getting them halter broke and then leaving them alone. Almost every trainer I talk to hates the backyard pets for the reasons I mentioned previously.
 

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Haha, I like how both of the men on here are like "Just get on 'em!" I wish I had that much confidence.
I had a similar attitude when I was fist test-riding my current gelding--an 11 y/o TB off the track, and I was the first person to sit on him in a year. I just said to myself "well, the worst thing that can happen is I fall off!" and got on. It never occurred to me that he could have taken off the looong stretch of field behind him (10 acres, plus corn fields behind it), lol. confidence and stupidity walk a fine line together, don't they?
 

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Haha, I like how both of the men on here are like "Just get on 'em!" I wish I had that much confidence.
We are also men and a little stronger then ladies. To me they are like Ponies. I honestly feel I am stronger then they are .
By comparison what if you were working a little pony?? Would you feel intimidated??

I also like a little fight in my guys. To me if they never try they will never truely be broke. I also want that fight to come when I am ready for it.
Biting?? I know the guy will bit me the 1st chance he gets so I let him try, bait him so to speak and then correct the problem then and there.
Kicking?? I know he will kick so again I bait him and when he lashes out again I correct him, harsh and fast and he dosn't try again.
An unhandled horse is HONEST . He doesn't sneak up on you, he meets you head on.
He tests me over most things right off the batt, I win and he doesn't take it as a defeat but further proof that I am the leader.
Again I don't find it drives them away, it brings them closer. I am stronger, wiser and I am the leader and they get it.

A spoiled barn yard pet has no respect for you. He might spend years around you before he actually goes to bite or kick but somewhere, sometime it will come . The unbroke youngster will do this in the first week, I deal with it and it is out of his system

I have talked about "the gentlemans horse" I have MADE a number of them and I say MADE.
To me all horses, well horses that pass my screening have good temperment, the right stuff and I will mold them.
From the day they arrive I start treating them as finished horses. I just knock the rough edges off leaving the pure horse. LOL
I don't beleive in whipping but a swift knee to the gut is not out of the question for a few infractions.
 

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That is sensible Kevinshorses If they are on that kind of terrain. We have ours on pastures, with soft moist ground so they have to be trimmed every two to three months. I have to be able to walk in to a large pasture slip a halter on him and have him stand still while all of his feet are trimmed. He has to be wormed every two months so he has been trained to accept that. If I didn't do that much with him he would surely be lame and wormy by the time he was old enough to ride.
 

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The more I read from RD and Kevin, the more I think we are on the same wavelength. I also prefer horses that are virtually unhandled. Being halter broke is nice but really doesn't slow the progress at all. I have ridden a couple of horses before I could lead them (Dobe was one). I generally will put a rope halter on a young horse (cause it won't break) then tie them solid to a post. Once they stop fighting and stand quietly, then I start a process of "sacking them out" where I introduce the saddle pad and saddle until they figure out that it isn't going to eat them. I cinch up the saddle then put the snaffle on them. I will tie their head around by slipping one rein through the back d-ring on the saddle and making a wrap around the horn. Just short enough to bend them but long enough so that they can hold their head with the rein loose comfortably. The wrap is strong enough to hold them but loose enough so that they can get free if they really panic. Then I leave them alone for about a half hour or so and let them figure out giving to pressure for themselves. I will find another horse to mess with or something to do in the barn but keep an eye on them. When I notice them standing still with their head turned to that side and the rein loose, I will go and do the other side the same way. After they understand giving to pressure, I will go and trot them in a few circles each way just to warm them up, get them used to how the saddle moves when they travel, and so I can get a feel of whether or not they are going to buck. Then I flap the stirrup leathers on each side until the horse stands so that he doesn't freak when they move while I am getting on. Then I tighten the near rein to bend his neck, put a foot in the stirrup and get on. None of my horses know how to stop before I get on them, that is something they learn in the first day in the round pen while I'm riding. After I get on, I trot and trot and trot and trot until they feel like they are ready to stop; then I trot some more. By the time I let them stop, they are tired enough that they are content to stand and catch their breath. I will trot each way and begin teaching them to follow their nose by changing the size of the circles and sometimes cutting across the center of the pen to change directions. I never start a young horse at a walk, that gives them time to think about where and when they want to buck you off. Depending on how they respond to being ridden, it may be anywhere from 3 days to 5 days before I start riding them outside the pen on big circles in the north lot or loping through the country. I do a lot of trot-stop-back on the way home to teach them rate and refine their stop. I very seldom lunge a horse after the roundpen stage. I expect my horses to be fine with just being caught, saddled, and loped off. My older horse went 4 years without a saddle in the pasture and I needed him one day so I caught him, saddled him, and loped a few circles before putting him in the trailer. He was a little fast but offered no buck.

I am currently in the process of messing with my first foal and I am trying to teach him all the things that I don't want to fight with him about when he weighs 1500 pounds. He'll stand for a farrier, drop his head for the halter, and is now getting used to baths. He leads like my old ranch horses and respects my space (spent an afternoon teaching him "this is my space, you stay out of it") but I am very happy with how he is progressing. I even have him leg yielding from hand pressure consistently. That much less I have to worry about teaching from the saddle. :D

Wow, sorry for the novel.
 

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I've started only 3, all female. The first thing I do is line up the he-strong-man-fearless trainers I plan to hire. Then I start working with my baby, and fussing around, until I can't stand it, and just HAVE to get on over her back, just a little, and before you know it, I'm riding around, and I wouldn't let no pushy trainer touch her if he paid me, ha ha!:lol: That's just another side of the story. I'm quite sure my horses wouldn't pass the tests that RiosDad sets up! I wouldn't either; I just HATE riding in traffic. But I do have a trainer when I want one (and it so happens he IS male) but he's not quite so quick as RiosDad. Takes his time, is quiet, never aggressive, and never backs down.
 

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I was just thinking, has RiosDad ever started a filly? Find the right one and she'll put up a bigger fight than any boy. xD
Horses are horses. It's just a matter of personal preference. How's your horse doing? Can you ride him yet?
 

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Horses are horses. It's just a matter of personal preference. How's your horse doing? Can you ride him yet?
Yes! He took to the French link much better than the regular snaffle, so now he doesn't toss his head anymore to be bridled, even though I still neck rein with him. I found a trainer who lives about an hour away from me whos worked with OTTB's before, and she charges the same as the trainer at my barn. She rides English, but its mostly basic stuff she's teaching him, so I can work on it in my Western saddle no problem. She disagreed with the other trainer completely about how he pays attention to everyone but the rider though, when you give him something else to do other than circle in a round pen (where she was riding him), lol, he works much better. She still uses the inside leg/pressure/weight system to turn him though.
 
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