Breaking in a difficult horse

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by SMW, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. SMW

    SMW Guest

    How would you go about breaking in a young horse with a few vices. He's only 4 and solid built boy who's just under 16hh. His vices are that he pulls back if tied up, hard to do things to his head and ears, pull away sometimes on the lead and when a roller or saddle is put on he bucks like anything. He's a lovely horse and it's a shame he's just wasting in the paddock
  2. NLEC

    NLEC Well-known Member

    I recommend either;

    1.Send him to a professional trainer who should be able to trouble shoot solutions to these fairly basic sounding, and generally related problems.

    2. Start with ground work. He doesn't sound like he has anything basic worked out very well, so assume you have a very oversize confident yearling that has been unhandled - and start with halter training him. Then send him to a professional who will train him to tie up - its a dangerous game when you are dealing with large, mature horses.

    Have you heard of, or had much experience with the principle of pressure and release in regards to training a horse? :)
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  3. Narelle28

    Narelle28 Active Member

    I would solid tie him first and what I do is tie them to a tree for a couple of hours in the shade etc then slowly get him used to you touching him. I don't touch my horses with anything but my hand I don't use bags or tarps or anything like that. See if this works then slowly move on from there
  4. SMW

    SMW Guest

    Have you heard of, or had much experience with the principle of pressure and release in regards to training a horse? :)[/QUOTE]
    I haven't heard of this before but would give things a try if it meant working towards getting him better the basics
  5. JustJam

    JustJam Well-known Member

    Is this your horse, or possibly one you are looking to buy SMW?

    If it is one you are looking to buy, do you have the experience to take him on do you think? What plans would you have for him?

    Sounds like he might be a bit of a handful if you don't have a lot of experience riding and/or training horses :)
  6. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    You would break it in like any other horse but would have to spend a bit of time fixing the problems created by whoever owned the horse. All those vices are human created. If a young horse pulls back when tied - it has not been prepared properly to be tied. If a horse bucks when you put something on its back - it is not prepared properly for something to go on its back. If it is hard to do anything with his head or ear - it hasn't been prepared for its head and ears to be handled!
  7. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    Has he even had rugs on yet SMW? It's just not normal behaviour to buck at anything touching his back, but that is not to say he is "difficult", just that he has not been shown how to do anything with etiquette (which is not bucking or pulling back :p). If you have it firmly set in your mind that this horse is "difficult", then that's what he will be.

    If this is a horse you already own, send him to a professional. If this is a horse you are thinking of taking on, add $2/3000 to his current price-tag as that's what you will be looking at in remedial training.
  8. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Get a professional breaker/trainer to start him to saddle. **)
  9. celestialdancer

    celestialdancer Gold Member

    My older gelding is cold backed and jumps at rugs and even a hard grooming. However he knows to solid and ground tie, and is a gentleman to handle in every way so can work around the problem with confidence.

    My young colt is a cocky little sh*t, so he was taught to tie quickly and has had all basic handling. I believe it's a lot easier to teach them all of this as youngsters, especially when they are going to be big horses with an even bigger attitude!!

    Good luck :)*
  10. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    SMW, if it is not your horse forget it. This horse needs professional help cos it will be beyond most folks as they dont have the tools, experience, knowledge, money and patience to help him.

    He will be dangerous in the wrong hands. Walk away please.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  11. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Personally I like it if they buck with a roller on even after you have done all that desensitising with it....because if they buck to a stand still with the roller on they very rarely do it when you jump up for first ride as they have learnt bucking doesn't equal relief from stimuli. There was a lot to be said for the old fashioned breaking of putting a heap of pressure on them to make them buck. I feel sometimes these days some breakers are too soft with breaking so when you get the horse back you put a bit of pressure on them and the next thing they have got thier head between thier legs and you are thinking, 'What the hell happened there';'?'

    This horse needs a professional breaker. There are plenty of good breakers about and it is going to cost money to fix. It also needs to be worked in a safe breaking yard where it cannot hurt itself so you would need good facilities to break it.

    Just because it is behaving like it is doesn't mean that it is difficult... it could be that it has never had good handling.

    Get help before you get hurt would be my advice. Good luck and stay safe.
  12. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    Sorry GTD I got to disagree with you there. Breaking is just training, getting a horse to accept a saddle uses the same principles as teaching just say leg yield! If you are blowing a horses mind at any stage of handling them you are not preparing the horse or conducting your training right! If a horse gets explosive when you are dealing with it it means you are doing it wrong or you have not establish any respect or trust!
  13. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Maybe I hang around with too many old horse breakers RR:p. There are three old breakers who I break with. One I have broken with for twenty years and he is very old now but still gives verbal advice. They end up with well broken horses so they must know a thing or two. They all 'slow' break. It takes them at least three months to break. They all do things differently but they all do push thier horses in simular ways to cross the boundary and then to bring them back.

    Breaking is such a complex thing...too hard to explain online. I respect what your saying RR**). Maybe I am too old school.
  14. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    I know quite a few breakers myself, old/young, male/female and although they all receive payment from people for breaking horses they are all various quality of horse trainers! Some I would recommend, some I wouldn't! I disagree with you that horse starting is difficult, creating a fully broke horse capable of doing its designated job takes skill but that is a lot more than getting a horse to accept a saddle, turn left/right and sort of stop. It is skilful but not complex, you just have to understand horses and have developed a good timing and feel from experience....not to mention confidence in your abilities :)

    If you put so much pressure on a horse that it becomes over faced and reacts you might get a job done, you might have forced it, for instance, on a horse float or over water, or to pick its leg up but it hasn't necessarily learnt anything or solved the problem, you will probably still have the horse that is anxious of floating, spooks at things or wont pick its feet up for the farrier etc.

    To me you are confusing good horse training to creeping around horses....creeping around horses so that it stresses with the smallest change in their environment is not horse training it is just poor handling.
  15. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    I remember 20-odd years ago when I was young, I "expected" horses at the breakers would buck. It was "part of the process". Now that I have a better (and still long way to go), understanding of horsemanship, I blame not the breaker for the bucking, but the breeders who have left the horse so unhandled that all these fast (in 2/3mths) educations cause huge demonstrations of reaction. To watch a horse in a group, they do not exhibit these flamboyant actions unless they are very young horses having a play (relaxed and bold).

    Recently I had a lovely lady come out to do equissage on my horses. It wasn't until late at night that I realised that 20yrs ago, there's no way on Earth I would have walked out into a paddock with a yearling or 2yo and allowed a stranger to plop her saddle blanket on, then her equipment (weight of a roller), and then do up the girth....all the while on a loose lead and calm horse. I would have expected bucking....but why? Only because that is what I had always seen ';' I now know that is not normal in a calm, well-handled animal.
  16. NLEC

    NLEC Well-known Member

    I personally see no problem with bucking in the early stages, ideally it doesnt happen - but I'm not going to worry myself at all on it if it does in most cases.

    Where the problem can occur, that may reinforce bucking - or if you are lucky have no effect on it at all , is the way the trainer responds to the bucking, not the buck itself. Their are also different types of buck ;) but that is also very hard to discuss online.

    The horse should be moving forwards at all times.

    Allowing a horse to buck to a standstill, perpetuates the fear response.

    Get the horse moving, get the feet moving, move the feet to disengage the buck, and then get the horse moving onto another job.....

    forward forward forward.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  17. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Sorry everyone I think you have misunderstood me. I am not saying 'make' the horse buck!:eek: What I am saying is....if the little bugger is going to buck I would rather they bucked it out on the roller not me.

    I don't mean by any means incite the horse to buck. Just if he humps up.....make up him hump up on a roller.
  18. mirawee

    mirawee Gold Member

    My 18+ year old horses hoon around the paddock bucking...

    I agree with NLEC, horses bucking at certain stages of breaking in do not necessarily mean they are badly handled previously. And horses not bucking when first girthed up doesn't mean they are brilliantly handled! ETA: If broken properly they shouldn't try bucking once the rider is on board though!
  19. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    I wasn't saying that not bucking = brilliant handling ';' I was only saying that 20-odd years ago, I would have expected bucking and ridiculous reactions.

    Forward, forward, forward. Yes, to dispel pent up adrenaline, but why has the adrenaline risen to that point?
  20. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    I agree Wattle with you. You don't want to get them to that point in the first place.

    Some times things happen...... a dog pops out from behind the rubber on the round yard........a chaff bag flies across the arena or something touches the horses body and he is just not ready for it...... and the horse hits the panic button. It is the nature of the horse....fight or flight.

    I got bucked off a youngster about three months ago..... not very well broken in to start with by someone who is a complete 'soft' breaker. Then sent to a mate for remedial training. Had had a whole heap of desensitisation done on him with the trainer. I was riding him out in the bush, he got nappy, I slapped him gently on the bum with the end of rope and he promptly got stuck into it and bucked until he dropped me. Which is one buck with me.....:(.

    Basically he had been spoilt, had never been made to go forward with a rider and had been allowed to get away with way too much. I got back on him and we did halt, walk, trot for the last 5km home and every time he napped on me he got his butt slapped. When he went to drop his head to get stuck into it, he got a one reiner. After the first two tries I could slap his butt when he napped and he would trot. He has never bucked again. This horse was not pushed enough by the breaker. The breaker should have slapped that horses butt with the rope when it refused to move forward after the cue and made it toe the line.

    Anyway I never expect a horse to buck when you first put a saddle on as one hopes that you have done your good work up until then and it will accept the saddle without issue. It is rare that a horse will buck when first rollered and girthed but if they are going to that is when you want to push it so that they buck until they stop. Don't try and stop them let them work out no matter how hard they buck the saddle/roller stays on.

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