Three Big Mistakes Owners Make When Starting A Horse Under Saddle
Larry Trocha here.
Welcome to another “Horse Training Tips Insider”.
You know, I started my horse training business in 1980.
Since then, I’ve started thousands of horses. Horses of all ages.
And because of that, I’ve come to believe certain facts about horses.
Especially when it comes to starting horses under saddle.
There are three (3) primary mistakes that horse owners make which I feel are critical. I’ll list them below.
Waiting to start your horse past the age of 3 years old.
Yes, I can hear you screaming… Larry, that’s too young. Their joints aren’t set yet.
I’ve talked about this in previous newsletters. Basically, it’s a moot point.
A moot point because of the trade-offs you’ll encounter.
Here’s the truth… the longer you wait, the more set in their ways the horse becomes.
If you start them as a two or three year old, they give up quickly and easily.
Start them past that age and they will usually fight you for months and months. And of course, there are exceptions but they are few and far between.
Horse owner: I rode this horse for two weeks last year and it was fine. No buck or nothing. Now you, the professional trainer, are telling me there is a bucking problem.
There was no problem before. Why is there a problem now?
Trainer: There is a problem now because you didn’t finish the job.
It takes 90 days of consistent riding before the training becomes ingrained and internalized by the horse.
Any less than that, you stopped before the horse was convinced.
Now, you are stating all over again.
Actually, you are starting all over again with a disadvantage… the horse is now older and bolder.
Best not to even start unless you can put in the full 90 days.
You are starting a horse with physical characteristics which are known to be a problem.
By physical characteristics, I mean the shape of the horse’s head. The kind of “eye” that horse has.
There are certain physical characteristics which are known to be a problem or an asset, when it comes to training.
If your horse has a physical characteristic which is known to be bad, you’ll more than likely have a problem.
One physical characteristic which I have become wary of is a “bulging” forehead. There is a bulge right between their eyes.
Those horses are usually very smart… but they usually use their intelligence against you… when the training becomes work.
So far, I’ve trained five of them. I would never buy a horse with a bulging forehead.
Anyway, there are always exceptions to the rules I’ve listed above but not many.
I hope this helps.