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Forum: The Online Equestrian Message Forum for Herefordshire,Worcs, Glos, Shrops & Wales
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Breaking

My colt(soon to be gelding in a week hee hee!)is well grown and I am wondering whether to back him,he was 2 in march,he's a sports horse(TB sire,sports horse dam),he is getting very strong and is sometimes a pain to lead,he is definetely feeling the spring grass!.I havent done much ground work with him other than him seeing traffic,grooming,feet and boxing him as I wanted to let him be a baby for a bit.I'm debating whether to put a bridle and saddle on him and start some lunging/long reining and sitting on him as a 3 yr old..is this a good idea or should I leave him until he's 3 to start him?

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Re: Breaking

Well, as you haven't done much groundwork with him yet, I would start with that. It would definitely improve his manners! You can see how he copes with that and then review the backing. Best to take it slow and really establish the basics from the ground.

Re: Breaking

I too would do lots of groundwork in hand to help with his manners.
I definately wouldn't start the backing process until at LEAST 3yrs old. These sport horses need time to mature. Too much too soon is not going to do him and good for the long term. Remember they do not complete their growth until around 5yrs old so if possible I leave backing until 4yrs.

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Re: Breaking

Thanks both,I have decided to try some inhand showing once he's gelded so will be putting a bridle on him,doing some leading about and lunging/long reining before contemplating backing next year,hopefully in a couple of months time the hormones will have settled a bit and he wont be as stallion like,which is his only problem at the moment as he's otherwise well mannered.

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Re: Breaking

If your 2 yr old is big and a bit of a handful, back him. Don't fully break him as his limbs and joints will still be immature, but backing is definately a good idea!
Good luck

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Re: Breaking

I agree with Sally, I have experienced a youngster with alot of attitude, we made the decision to have her broken at 2 year's old. (Up until then a nightmare to show or even handle) I rode her each day for 15 minutes, nothing major just a walk & trot, we did this for 4 months.(Showed her & did well) Then turned her away to mature. Now back in work and totally different horse, quick to learn, no more tantrums just great to be around. Good luck

Re: Breaking

Thanks I dont think he's mature enough to ride yet(still narrow in front and behind)with a high backend so still growing lots,he is filling out eveyday though,he has been well handled and has had a bit in his mouth,rope under his belly,over his head etc.The only time he was naughty was leading out the field as he is now taking on stallion behaviour and rearing,nipping and trying to mount my poor tb gelding!,a week thurs he is booked in for gelding so we'll go from there.

Re: Breaking

I think that the issue really is the terminology and / or the thought of him either being left to be a baby or backing / breaking. It does not have to be either or ...the idea that one has this sorta intense "breaking" phase at a certain age seems to be a bit wierd

imo the education should be continual in that sooooooo much can be done with a horse to further its eduaction and develop manners waaaayyy before getting on its back ... to me that is the last bit. You can have all the basics in hand and on long lines...... lateral work included ..... all the de spooking etc so that the brain is engaged and learning and the principles of ridden work understood before a saddle is even on.

sounds like more of the work like doing with the rope / desensitisation / moving his feet etc the way to go rather than lunging ........... challenge his brain

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Re: Breaking

Based on observation of other people and my own personal experience of one colt...it won't hurt at all just to sit on him occasionally before he is formally backed - just a minute or two each time so he gets the idea. Not a bad thing to do it before he comes into his full strength if he tends to be uppity. Mine became quite rude at 2 years but his manners got better between 2 and 3. His attitude was improved by giving him things to do and think about, like the sitting-on and going for walks and brave training. Having had a mini sit-upon three times over the winter I got the urge for a first ride last week when leading him out on a walk and he carried me for half a mile without incident. OK, he has a super temperament naturally but I'm sure the messing about over the last year is what made it so easy. Have fun!!