Working with young horses, understanding how they function, anticipating how they will react and being aware of their needs is a skill and a calling. Not every professional rider wants to start horses but those that do offer a service which is invaluable to you and to your horse. Horse scout has number of professionals who list breaking and producing among the services they offer.
Key advantages in asking a professional to start your horse for you.
- They have experience in this specialist area.
- They have started all sorts of youngsters and know what to expect.
- They treat each horse individually
- They follow a set routine (which is progressed and adapted to suit any one particular horse)
- They know how much to ask
- They know when to back off
- They know when to push forwards with training.
- They take the sudden and sometimes explosive reactions in their stride
- They understand which behaviors are reactions to the training and which may indicate problems
- They are successful because they are experienced and skilled at their job.
Using a professional for this key first stage in a horse ridden career can make all the difference to your relationship with your horse. It is easy to let a horse scare you when you are unsure or inexperienced and it is just not worth the risk to you or your horse in terms of your mutual relationship.
There are, however, things which you can do to help prepare your horse:
It is always more effective to train through positive reinforcement and respect rather than using force, which only creates fear.
A horse which respects and trusts you will follow commands better and be a more enjoyable companion than a horse that fears you. However gaining respect is not always a simple scenario and has many facets. Knowing how to interact with your horse is the key in training. Here are some steps to bear in mind if you’re handling a young horse which will prepare him for life in general as well as pre formal breaking- in training.
Respect Is Mutual: Gain Their Trust
The first step to training a horse is creating and maintaining a bond of trust. If your horse doesn’t trust you it will be near impossible to train into being a calm and content riding horse. Grooming is a great way to create a connection between you and your horse. It is soothing and relaxing and is a bonding act within the herd itself. As with any animal you should talk to your horse so it knows your voice, if you frequently talk to your horse it will associate your voice with being a safe command or soothed so make sure to talk sensibly to your horse when trying new things, or going into new places or where he becomes spooked by a noise, object or strange feel……like the water from a hosepipe or a plastic bag in your hand or in the hedge.
Introduce Equipment and Gear Slowly
It’s important not to overwhelm your horse so introducing equipment slowly is a sensible way forward. Horses must first become familiar with common equipment such as bits, brushing boots, travel boots or even maybe the saddle. Introduce the gear slowly by placing it on them for short intervals at a time and gradually building up their use with shear repetition and patience. Rugs are one thing that will become a common place article, used on a daily basis. Always put on from the front to the back and take off by undoing the rug from the back to the front. That way it will never slip back and tangle in their legs. Good old fashioned common sense at all times.
Show Him the World
Don’t hide your young horse away……….Let him see and get used to all the things he will have to cope with as a ridden horse. Spend time in hand safely grazing your horse near a road so he can see and smell and hear all the traffic and comings and goings. The more solid you make him out here the easier and better he will train later on.
Travel train him! Get him used to the trailer…….don’t wait till the day he has to go somewhere. Spend some time feeding him on the ramp and then inside the space. Take him for short journeys when you don’t need to.
Horse Scout has Four professional, newly signed up, who specialize in breaking and producing young horses are:
Claire Rowland- Harrogate
Selina Milnes nr Bristol
Lorna Riley in Durham
Emily Llewellyn in Surrey