Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by baileys best friend, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. baileys best friend

    baileys best friend Active Member

    could you ride a zebra or even domesticate one? what i mean is it possible train one to be just like a normal horse?
    maybe there could be laws against that?
  2. izzy2512

    izzy2512 Gold Member

    I've seen pictures of one been ridden, and then theres that movie about the zebra racing, Racing Stripes. Also seen pictures of a zebra x horse being ridden
  3. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    I don't know if you can but I don't think you should.
    Zebra's are built so different to horses and are purely wild animals and after seeing the one beng ridden in racing stripes it certainly doesn't look right at all.
    But this is an opinion not a fact :), I like seeing them in the wild, if I saw one standing for pats (at a zoo or something with a handler) I probably wouldn't approach it.
  4. Vecchio

    Vecchio Active Member

    I'm pretty sure they have weak backbones, so they have a tendancy to break down and this is why they aren't ridden...
  5. miniequine

    miniequine Well-known Member

    I was told that zebras have very little bend in their neck which makes them difficult to ride and train. leave them to be zebras .
  6. Elanda

    Elanda Gold Member


    Zebra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Captain Horace Hayes, in "Points of the Horse" (circa 1899) compared the usefulness of different zebra species. Hayes saddled and bridled a Mountain zebra in less than one hour, but was unable to give it a "mouth" during the two days it was in his possession. He noted that the zebra's neck was so stiff and strong that he was unable to bend it in any direction. Although he taught it to do what he wanted in a circus ring, when he took it outdoors he was unable to control it. He found the Burchell's zebra easy to break in and considered it ideal for domestication, as it was also immune to the bite of the tsetse fly. He considered the quagga well-suited to domestication due to being stronger, more docile and more horse-like than other zebras.
  7. deschuur

    deschuur Gold Member

    I have not read all the replies so sorry if this is repeated.

    Zebras are wild animals, thier instinct to survive is very strong so they will fight, in the ones that I have seen they have never really been tamed.

    I was also told as a child never to ride a zebra. It is a wild animal and the stress of being ridden often seriously stresses them - I guess this is because they are part of the food chain and when a lion jumps on their back its all over rover!

    I have grown up around african wildlife. Have hand reared lions, leopards, monkeys, antelope and yes zebras too. They are reverted to their wild side. The Zebra in particular was wild despite being hand reared. It was not trainable at all and never came close to us after it was weaned off the bottle.
  8. Saiorse

    Saiorse Well-known Member

    There is a quite famous "Zorse" in France called Stormy. I heard about him in my Parelli days in the '90's as he was owned by a Parelli sponsor and ridden by a Parelli instructor, Andrew (now long gone from Parelli but still with the wealthy former sponsor). I believe Storm did all the usual tricks and Andrew had a hell of a time convincing him to conform. "Like mules," I was told many a time as if that explained everything. The mules I know are simply lovely, though. I also used to live near the Rothschild estate in the UK and in their collection they had several 19th century photographs of their pet zebra's pulling their carriage. 6 in harness at once!


    Horsemanship with Jayne Lavender
  9. nannygoat

    nannygoat Gold Member

    I have an article 'somewhere' at home about the Rothschild Estate zeb's in harness.
    One of the things I can recall off the top of my head is that even when they were considered 'broken' to drive around Hyde Park, they were still harnessed using an overhead pulley system because they couldn't get close enough to them and they were too unreliable (dangerous) to drive on a regular basis.
  10. buggalugs

    buggalugs Well-known Member

    from what i have heard, a zebra has never REALLY been tamed, take a close look at Stripes in the ridden scenes... see something??? painted pony... its only a movie guys!! there is too much wild instinct in them, just like wolves, lions etc, that we try to rear, they all are still wild animals... i suppose if you were really desperate you could try and domesticate a strain of zebras like we did dogs and cats and over time they would probably become "ridable" but if you think about it, isnt that the majesty of these fantstic beasts, besides if you want a hardy pony type thing, just go buy one that can be ridden lol *#)
  11. Lily

    Lily Well-known Member

    Errr, that really is a zebra in Racing Stripes not a painted pony.....

    One of my closest friends is an exotic animal trainer, and happened to be very closely involved in the training of the zebras (there were a few in training at the same time) for that film and she trained the ponies as well. I have pics of some of the training sessions! No painted stripes there! Real live stripes!

    She's also broken in a giraffe and trained a chimp to ride it. No idea what movie that was for though.... (and how on earth you get a saddle to stay on something that talll!!!)
  12. JLacy

    JLacy Active Member

    Buggalugs is actually correct on this. They did use a painted pony for a lot of the scenes. The zebras were also used in the ridden scenes as well, But magic if you actually re watch the movie (in the racing scenes and training for the race track scenes) It's a pony a lot of the times. Heath Harris trained a lot of the horses that were in this movie, And I can remember him telling me that they had to have a lot of zebra's for the riding/racing takes and could only do it in very short bursts as a zebra can very easily collapse.
  13. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    Don't know about the taming... I do know that they they taste good. Had Zebra Stroganoff once.:D
  14. hutchi

    hutchi Well-known Member

    I remember reading that Zebras cannot be trained to be ridden.
    There may be exceptions, as stated above, but I read in several books that they can't be ridden.
  15. snoopydoo

    snoopydoo Well-known Member

    I would have thought that if it were possible and wise, then we would see saddled zebras already. My guess is that because we don't see it then there is a reason why zebras are not ridden. I have seen wild zebras in Kenya - absolutly stunning - they have much more sparkle than their poor zoo counterparts.

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