View Full Version : What would you do?

22-05-05, 01:26 PM
I have a predicament that I am very unsure about my best course of action. I have a 3yr old WB boy that I bred. I love him dearly as he is my baby and has a wonderful temperament and great movement. I do not want to sell him. I will be having him broken in soon and that is where my problem starts. I have had to start working full time and because of this and a young family I would only be able to ride 2-3 times per week. I realise a young just broken in horse needs much much more riding than this and I do not want him wasted.

In about 3 yrs time I will have more time to devote to him but do not know what to do until then. I was thinking of advertising him after he is broken in for lease. However I am worried about him going into the wrong hands and someone wrecking him and also I realise it will be very hard to find someone who wants to spend a few yrs of time and money training and competing a horse and then just give him back. Has anyone else leased out a young horse before and how did you find the experience. Also if I paid someone else to ride and compete him, how much would it cost? What would you do? Any advice appreciated


22-05-05, 02:01 PM
Hi Elaine,

In my opinion (and that is all it is ;-)) I think 3 is too young to be breaking and working WB's anyway. If you bred him and believe that you will have the time for him in 2 to 3 yrs, why not keep him and just let him grow up and mature..... have him broken in at 5, do some light work and then by the time you are ready he will be 6, sound, not sour and ready for your riding career together. Lots of people are always in a hurry to break them in and get them going, either because they have nothing else to ride or because they have been bred to break / train and sell for $$$$ and hence they want to move them on early.

I am of course assuming that keeping and caring for him is an option, but if I were in your situation this is what I would be doing.

I would definitely not be leasing out a youngster, leasing is usually because it is beneficial for both parties and to find someone that is willing to put a lot of work into a young horse for you (that is capable of doing a good job of it) in my opinion would be a rare find. I would hate to think what you would have to pay to have someone ride and compete for a long period!

Of course I wish you well if that is what you choose to do, but I would be very cautious of leasing a youngster that you feel has potential and you wish to go on with!

Good Luck

22-05-05, 02:05 PM
I forgot to say the other option, if you are able to keep him, would be have him broken in now, a little light work and then bush him until you are getting near ready to work and then bring him in and send him of for some training prior to you having the time to put into him. The reason I suggest this is, if circumstances change down the track and you decide you have to sell him, at least you can say "broken in, worked lightly and left to mature", rather than "unbroken due to work".... Just a thought!

23-05-05, 02:18 AM
I would get him broken now. Younger horses are easier to break in, they are more accepting and willing to learn, by the time they get to 5, they are more set in their ways and don't seem to go so well. Also, a big strong 5yo can be much harder to break than a 3yo. Scientific research has also shown that stress on the body at a young age will encourage the bones and tendons to develop more strongly. At 5yo, you won't get this beneficial effect.

Many horses are broken in and then turned out. This way, they have started their education, but aren't worked into the ground. So even if you can't continue his education, it's worthwhile getting him broken now.

Also, depending on the horse's temperament and your own riding skill, working a young horse 2-3 times a week can work out.

If he were mine, I wouldn't lease him out.

Paying a professional to train and compete your horse can be very expensive. I think it would be at least $200 per week, probably more. Also, it has to be someone you trust, I know of more than one professional who happily takes horses on and rarely gives them any training. In one case, the horse was at the trainer's for 2 months and only got ridden the day before it was given back!

23-05-05, 09:50 AM
A little quality work is much better than the risk of suspect work.
Nor do you want to raise a young horse that has to be worked every day or it misbehaves. You can develop a horse to be just the same after months of rest as the last day he was ridden. Our 3 yr olds are ridden 2-3 times a week, go out for breaks of months or in the case of those not fully grown, sometimes a year. They come in where they left off and occasionally come in better.

I wouldn't be concerned about how little you can ride, but you may have other factors to consider.

Children take a lot of time, energy and money, and a young mum may not have the resourses to keep a horse at all let alone try to bring on a youngster.
A number of mums with young family become very concerned about the risks of a young horse, jumping etc. and loose that confident edge that you need.
Think seriously about your individual situation, but there is no rush as far as your young horse is concerned, he will wait untill you have time for him.

23-05-05, 10:45 AM
Elaine -

depending on the horse we often work the freshly broken youngsters only three times a week - Monday, Wednesday, Friday, so that the work is regular but not overwhelming. This helps to prevent them from becoming too tired if they are not fit, and also helps to prevent other problems such as splints.
Some horses are difficult when ridden that way and need six days a week, others are not. It does depend on the horse and you won't be able to tell until it is broken in.
In any case, it won't do the horse any harm to be turned out for a while and maybe sent to a professional for a few weeks in six months time. Perhaps your circumstances will be different by then! Who knows, perhaps your job won't be full time then!
I have to say - as a professional - that we do actually tend to ride the horses we are sent. It does tend to show up if you don't - the results speak for themselves. Professionals who don't ride their horses wouldn't have too many horses for too long.
Sending your horse to a professional will range in price. The cheapest I know of is $170. The most expensive I know is more like $500. My rates are about $240. But you can work out the sums for yourself - if you send the horse away for a year and it is novice/ementary at the end of that year, you will have an elementary horse for about $12,000 - which is a lot cheaper than you are likely to buy and you will actually know what you are getting!
I have a horse to school for all of this year for a HSC student - by the end of the year her elementary horse will be working PSG, which is a much cheaper option than going out and buying a PSG horse, and she got to study!
All of your options have value, it is just a matter of deciding what you want.

23-05-05, 11:22 AM
I would go with Stirling on this one. 3 years is a very young Warmblood. My filly's trainer said that Warmbloods aren't fully grown until they are 8YO, so even if you leave it 2 or 3 years, you still have a developing horse. Most of the research out there is based on TB's and the racing industry (the ones with the dollars to fund research) and TB's are one of the quickest to mature. If you have a big paddock, a young horse will be getting plenty of exercise anyway.

Her trainer also told me that he considers a horse to be green until it has at least 100 hours of riding. It doesn't matter if it takes 3 months or 3 years to get the hours up. I got on my filly for the first time since January today expecting all sorts of bad things to happen. As it turned out, it was just like I never gave her a long break. I am going to give her more time off now, she is still too out of balance (bum high).

23-05-05, 12:26 PM
My 3 1/2 yo trakehner filly is still sitting in the paddock due to lack of time and a on-going workplace injury to my hand. She's been mouthed and wears a saddle with no problems. Everything has ground to a halt due to my injury as I'm severly restricted in what I can do.

I have been deliberating whether to send her to a breaker and then put her back out to paddock or to leave her for another six months to see if my injury shows any sign of improvement. I'm not fussed about giving her until she's nearly 4yo to start with her. I'm hoping to have a sound and sane competition horse for many years to come. What worries me is that I might never be able to ride her.

If the upkeep isn't an issue I'd suggest giving your guy another six months. Overall it's not going to hurt him and may ultimately benefit him in the long run. Or you could break him and turn him away. As other posters have suggested if you do find you don't have the time for him, a going horse is more saleable.

The wonderful horseman Tom Roberts recommended not overworking a young horse(any breed not just warmbloods). His suggestion was a 3yo should have not more than 3 months work in a year. Not in one period and if possible a four day week. Could a program like that fit your lifesytle? You could adjust this and possibly work him every second of third day and give him lots of breaks to mature.

I'd personally wouldn't lease a young horse but would (if finances permit) send my horse to a reputable trainer.

23-05-05, 01:25 PM
My inclination would be to get him backed and then tip him out to grow and mature a bit more. then in 6 months or so send him off again and if you can afford it send him to a pro straight after for a couple of months to really get him going. Pick your timing so that you get him back when the weather should be OK and longer daylight hours so you can maybe lunge lightly as well.

I know where you are coming from re the family and FT work, it doesn't leave much spare time.

If I had the money I would have a horse with a trainer so I could have lessons that concentrated on what I was doing not having me try to teach the horse and learn how to ride the movements at the same time.

23-05-05, 01:36 PM
I agree with most of the posters - back him now and then turn him out.

I started my 3 1/2 yo Trak x Tb gelding abit after xmas. It took me till about easter to the end of april to get a whole 6hrs of ridden work with him - not because he was overly difficult (very touchy though), only becasue i didn't have much time.

I think it was the best thing i could of done. He has grown alot more than i would of thought since xmas (like another 2inches!!) and taking it slow has worked for him (he's my first wb).

On average i rode him once a week till april with doing a bit of ground work a few times a week aswell (now i'm out of action) and he is spelling till julyish. Because of the ground work (and a very good lateral mouth) i had few problems under saddle and i only have big paddocks to ride in (100acres) so i couldn't work him in a small area.

So personally i think the time you have available would be perfect until he is more mature.

23-05-05, 02:25 PM
Thanks for all the great advice. For some silly reason I felt that if a young horse was not always ridden it would become feral ( only used to TB's). It is very reassuring to know that if I do not give him constant work I am not letting him down.

I think I will get him broken in and give him some light work and then turn him out, he is only still very babyish and needs alot more time to grow and mature.

I think that when you look at some of the 3-4yr olds in the magazines and they look so educated and I think I was feeling like I would be really behind with him, so it is great to know the majority are not like that.

Thankyou Ann-maree for your advice, it gave me a whole new perspective on sending a horse to a trainer. At first I thought that sending a horse to a trainer for an extended lenght of time was way too expensive. However seeing it from your point of view really made sense as if I was to buy a educated horse it would cost me just as much and this way I already know and love the horse. Sadly I would have to work an extra 20 hrs a week or not feed the kids to be able to aford it.

Keep the advice rolling.

24-05-05, 02:01 AM
I got my ISH broken at 3 yrs old and he got only light work for about a year and even some time off - it never did him any harm. Remember horses dont fully mature until they are about 8 yrs old. I think your horse would be fine with this.

24-05-05, 02:29 AM
I broke my old mare in at 3yo over 10week period as I find this more beneficial than over 6 weeks then she had spurts of work 4-6 days a week over 3 months then turn out and ridden occasionally to remind her of what her job is she is now rising 6 and is being brought into full work again and I have found I have a much nicer more willing horse to deal with I also have an Anglo and a Morgan ATM that I will break at 3 also and tip out for a wile then bring back in I aim to get them balanced and taking the right canter leads ect then turn them out again till they are around 4 and a half then I may think about full work/training.

24-05-05, 03:06 AM
I broke my Arab mare in at 6 year old. She was very flighty and highstrung as a 2 year old through some bad handling. At 6, she was far more relaxed and confident. Dogs ran out at her on her first ride out and she didn't even shy!
So leaving them a bit longer doesn't hurt them.