If we know anything it’s starting young horses!
Having broken in literally hundreds of horses over the years we have seen everything the species has to offer ;-)
It goes without saying that a proper breaking In is crucial to any horses progress regardless of what lies ahead for their ridden career.
We believe that for a horse to be called fresh broken he must be forward and comfortable under saddle while at the same time having good manners and a confidence in his rider in any situation.
The General Idea
Our straight forward and very well proven system allows the above attitude to be brought out of all types of horse. The environment here is laid back and professional, we find a kind and understanding approach is always best
We have a very busy yard and we don’t slow down because the young horse tied to the rail is having a melt down, The babies have to come up and get over all the horses coming and going, being fed, galloping off without them when they are turned away… The first part of their education here is to just relax. Once they are comfortable being up and among the goings on we begin all the basic ground work starting with gearing up, and mouthing then to the round yard to learn to lunge. Once they are forward and confident it’s off to the arena for the same lessons in a bigger space. When we are happy with their reactions we move onto the long reigns, We drive first in the arena where they are familiar with the work station then onto more exciting places like out in the paddocks! Most babies, after the initial agoraphobia come to love being worked out in the open.
Once he is happy to go off on adventures on the drive by himself and he is soft but accepting in the mouth it’s time for a jockey. We don’t go to softly when in comes to backing, sometimes when done without enough confidence or pressure the horse can appear to be accepting his rider but when it comes to asking the next question he flips out because he is not sure of his rider. As soon as we are in the saddle we have a light contact and legs hugging his sides, this way he knows exactly where you are and takes confidence from you right away.
As soon as he’s happy with his rider he spends a bit of time doing what he’s used to on the lunge but with his jockey on controls, then an experienced mate is tacked up and away we go! To begin with we go out along the steadier tracks of the station behind his friend just gaining confidence in the navigational skills of his new appendage. After a couple of days trotting around the farm we virtually always have a happy horse. Back to the arena where he learns some finer points like moving away from the leg and proper transitions. And the last few days are spent navigating some steeper country and a few ditches and logs, going out by himself and moving stock!
It normally takes 3-4 weeks for us to get a horse to this stage.