View Full Version : Breaking in, seeking opinions/idea

25-04-04, 03:39 PM
I have a 2 1/4 yo trak/tb cross who was mouthed at 2 yo and not had anything else done yet. I've had a number of conflicting opinions about breaking her in. Some people have said to do it now because she is very mature and others who advocate waiting until she is at least 4 yo.

Personally I was going to acustom her to wearing a saddle over the next 6 months and then back her very late in the year. After about 6-8 weeks of learning to carry a weight on her back I was going to put her back out to paddock for a long spell (6 months plus). She knows the funadamentals of lunging but we haven't done much at all(don't like lunging young horses esp.WB) and I was going to start long reining very soon.

I'm interested in how other people will respond, what they would do etc. Any opinions are welcome.

Before I have a host of people calling me inexperienced and clamouring for me to send her to a breaker I would like to say that I've spent years breaking gallopers and schooling young horses, it's just when it's your own horse and not destined for the track things seem different. This is also the first warmblood I've owned.


26-04-04, 11:04 PM
Hi Mandy
In response to your posting, I can see nothing wrong with the timeframe to backing your wb now. Obviously you are taking your time, and this is a good thing, as you are basing the introduction to saddle and riding on her development.

We had our delightful Benito/Korrit filly backed at 2.6 years and then spelled her for past 12 months. In that time she has grown significantly in height and gained tremendous amounts of weight. She is about to come back to our main property and be put back under saddle and given light work. She will go out and compete as a 4 yr old. Lots of ground work had been done with her until she was backed but no pressure applied.

I would say mouthing is fine, but I would wait until your wb is at least 2.6 before a saddle is introduced and only if their frame was solid and steady enough to take the pressure. Give them a spelling time after this procedure and continue the ground work, then within about the 6 month time frame reintroduce the saddle and commence light work. We've never had any problems with doing this and all our horses are sound, great legs and healthy temps.

Mind you, the slowest I have ever had to deal with was a HUGE wb by Lander out of a monopol mare. He was soooo slow in development, we didnt have him backed until he was almost 4 years. Now at 8 he is eagerly waiting to get out and strut his stuff - IF I ever get the time to do so, but I would rather ride my Trakehner mare anyday. She is a little closer to the ground, more elegant and definately the type of wb I am more interested in.

27-04-04, 04:04 PM
Thanks Trakehner for the encouraging words.

I guess I'm about 6-7 years out of practice and breaking gallopers is a lot different from breaking a horse you own, cherish and hope will be a world beater.

I got a lot of flack for not mouthing her earlier but I waited until she turned two and was checked by a dentist first. At present she is still on the small side but is very solidly built. As she is used to wearing a roller the saddle can wait until later (I was thinking September when she will be 2 years, 8 months) and I was looking to back her towards the end of the year (when she is nearly three)before it's back out to the paddock to grow up.

It's nice to see people taking their time with their youngsters, I've seen too many 2/3 yo warmbloods for sale already broken in and in full work. I'm afraid I'm pushing her too quickly but I keep telling myself she is only 50% warmblood and has thrown more to her TB mum than her Trakehner dad. She has accepted everything so far with a maturity beyond her years and a calm and trusting attitude. The minute she seems stressed I'll slow things right down and start again from the beginning.


01-05-04, 01:35 PM
Sounds like a good plan Mandy.

My wb/tb (Hann) filly was 2 and 8 months when she went to the breaker and was with him 3 weeks, came home and did about two weeks work, then two weeks off, then another 4 or 5 weeks of 2 to 3 days a week, then she was turned out until a month ago. She is now much more mature mentally, is EXCEPTIONALLY quiet and willing to please, and is coming along in leaps and bounds. I will continue to work her 2 to 3 days a week until spring, when she will have about two months off during her growing period. Despite her TB blood, she is very much a classic hannoverian type and is only 15.2 at present but will probably finish at around 16h. Being from the good old Ferdinand/Fechtor line of horses, mares are generally smaller than the boys.

She is presently getting 2 to 3 days work a week, is quiet enough that I don't need to lunge her before getting on, although I do, just to loosen her muscles up before I start ridden work. I am SO pleased with her trainability, she picks things up so very quickly and is already leg yielding confidently at walk and trot.

This is my first warmblood too, after coming from a long line of part-arabian and stockhorses, all of which I have broken in at 2yo and gone on to ride for many years. My previous riding horse before the wb filly, is a 14.3 stockhorse mare who found it very hard to find her balance, until the age of about 4. I am amazed at the difference in the current filly in her ability to use herself, she seems so balanced and finds it so easy to canter! I just goes to show how much easier it is to prepare/train a horse for dressage that is bred and built to do the job. Oh, the JOY of riding a baby horse, and not being tipped forward in the saddle constantly, lol! Where my filly is now after no more than 10 rides since coming back into 'work', took me until 4yo with the stockhorse mare.

I'm now a totally dedicated warmblood fan! lol! :-)

Best of luck with your filly Mandy, I'm sure you'll make the right decisions for you and her, and that you'll enjoy every moment along the way, well, at least most of them anyway! :-)