Pets & Animal Horses

Tips on Breaking a Horse

    Building Trust

    • Bonding with a new horse is very important before breaking him/her. Let it see you frequently, pet it, talk to it, and always be kind and gentle. A horse must feel it can trust you before you can accomplish any further tasks. You must also learn your horse's temperament. Be able to figure out what is normal behavior and know when something is wrong. Once you have built a trusting relationship with your horse, teach basic commands, such as when to stand or walk. A young horse must stand when you want to mount it and walk instead of jogging. Trying to chase after it in a field or pasture can be a nightmare. It must know and adhere to these commands or else you will have a lot of frustration when attempting to ride.

    Introduce Saddle and Bit

    • These two items should be introduced in a gradual fashion. Place the bit in your horse's mouth for only a few minutes at a time. Before placing a saddle on it, let it smell the saddle pad so it won't fear having a new object placed on its back. Remove it after a few minutes. By placing a bit in its mouth and saddle on its back for only a few minutes at a time, this allows it to acclimate to the feeling of both. During this time, do not make any sudden moves. Your horse is getting used to the saddle and bit and may be easily spooked. Do this every day for one week, then you may begin to lead it. Start in a safe place like a pasture or an open field. Do not take it out where there are a lot of people or cars. Instead of using a headcollar, use a bridle with reins over its head. This will give you more control if it tries to veer off in another direction.

    Mount the Horse

    • The final stage of breaking a horse is mounting. For the first few days, do not completely mount the horse. Simply stand straight up on the stirrup but do not swing the leg over. Repeat on the other side. If the horse rears, this process makes it much easier to jump off. Do this for three to four days so the horse can become accustomed to your weight on each side. Once the horse gets used to the weight without becoming frightened, it is OK to go ahead and fully mount the horse's back. Lead it slowly in a safe, open location for one to two weeks.

    Step by Step

    • Be sure all of these tasks are completed successfully before moving on to the next. This process will take a few months so patience is a virtue. Do not overwhelm your horse too soon or you may end up getting hurt. Remember, horses are much stronger than people so it must be overcome by the trust that you have built and not strength.

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