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Auventera Two
Nov. 22, 2005, 12:47 PM
Why are racehorses backed in their stalls?

Bacchus
Nov. 22, 2005, 12:52 PM
Yep, we did/do it. The main precaution is that the stall is high enough, and we remove buckets, etc. The horses have been sacked, backed, etc. The stalls I've used are at least 12 by 12. We don't have an arenahttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif We do have a roundpen, but when you have a few horses and riders, there's no time to start everyone in it. That said, the last horse I started in the stall was a loner at a facility with a shedrow and roundpen. We did it in the stall because that's where we always do ithttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I had one rear on me, which was a little scary, but I've never been thrown or hurt in a stall. The yearlings are pretty well started before we get on.

SeaOat
Nov. 22, 2005, 01:21 PM
I personally find breaking or backing horses in stalls to be WAY more of a hazard to ones health than using a round-pen.
I have been forced to break babies a number of ways and by far the most preferable was a few days in round-pen (solid walls and w/ steep banking) then out to the track in pods. Ee-ha. My own daughter, who is getting on 15 +/- babies a day is reminding me why this is for young people only http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I think (the less I know the better) they still do some work in stalls, which bothers me.

Go to Fjordjockey's photo album for updates....yeash. She has a black eye, cantalope sized knee and a smile in latest shots.

2Traks
Nov. 22, 2005, 01:56 PM
My ex-neighbor is a racehorse trainer and he always gets on them in the stalls to start them.

CuriosoJorge
Nov. 22, 2005, 02:06 PM
"(1)Why? (2)What safety precautions are taken to avoid injury to rider? (3)Do you feel this is a perfectly safe practice that poses no more danger to the rider than mounting a horse in an arena? (3)What size are these stalls?"

1. Because it's a confinsed area in which the yearling feels safe.

2. Someone at the head, buckets removed. Obviously the yearling has been saddled, leaned on, etc. in preparation; this is not a rodeo ideally. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

3. Yes. Well, it's as "perfectly safe" as anything else you do around a horse if it's done properly.

4. Normal size, 12x12 or so.

I hope that one day you have the opportunity to tour a true Thoroughbred facility. Mixing yearlings in with racing and breeding stock as you described on the other thread is not SOP for most facilities. The yearlings have their own section of the farm (or their own farm!) and a manager just for them.

Avra
Nov. 22, 2005, 02:07 PM
We start backing them in the stalls, but generally it is just a matter of sitting on them the first few times, and maybe leading them once or twice around, before going on to walk up and down the aisle.

We don't have a round pen (and neither do most farms around us) but we do have a small paddock--that is the step after the aisle. Then they go out to the track after they are walk/ trot/ cantering in the paddock.

Starting them in the stalls makes them less inclined to panic and take off/ buck, and it keeps them more focused. I think it expedites things--most TBs are broken as yearlings, and don't have time for the more extensive groundwork sporthorse babies get. They also are more respectful (and often better disciplined), at least in my experience.

Our stalls are on the biggish side, maybe 14x16? It's not ideal, but with horses, what is?

Janet
Nov. 22, 2005, 02:20 PM
Not a race horse, but that is how I first backed Music. A nice, familiar, confined space.

Red Hunter
Nov. 22, 2005, 02:24 PM
I agree with the race horse people, that to sit on a young horse for the first time, it is best to do it in a stall. The horse is much quieter in the stall and is not as apt to freak out as much versus being out in a more open space.

SkyBeauty
Nov. 22, 2005, 02:29 PM
First of all, you have to consider that most(certainly not all) baby trainers want the babies broke quickly, in the least amount of time possible. This doesn't allow for lunging in a round pen, or line driving, or anything else even remotely time consuming. Generally, this type of breaking involves turning the each rider loose with a horse in a standard 12X12 stall, and letting him or her go at it. This allows for breaking six or more horses at a time, depending on how many riders are available. By the end of the morning, every baby in the barn will have had a rider up and turned in the stall.

The first day, the rider will usually sack the horse out, put on the bridle and the saddle, and hold the girth tight with one hand, not actually fastening it yet. Then he turns the horse in the stall, with a rope shank attached to the bit or to the halter. By not fastening the girth, if the horse comes unglued, the saddle can be removed quickly, instaed of sliding under the belly, as it might if just loosely fastened. Once the horse accepts the girth, then it is tightened by degrees, turning the horse both ways at every step. Then the rider will jump up and "belly" the horse, until he accepts the weight, then he will get astride and sit. Next comes turning with a rider. Some trainers will have a groom turn the horse on a shank with the rider up at first, some let the rider do it themselves, using the reins, their stick and their heels. Most riders I know would rather tough it out themselves rather than risk their neck to a groom who might flip the horse if it acts up. This often all happens on the very first day, with two or three more days of turning in the stall, and then straight out to the shedrow and/or paddock. If a horse is particularly bad or nervous, the rider may take longer, but the average horse gets that far in a single session at most training centers.
The idea of having the horse in a stall for all of this is that not only is a horse usually more comfortable in his own stall, instead of out in the open in a strange place, but a round pen gives them way too much room to get away from you, and it gives them way more room to buck. Trying to do all that in an open round pen all at once would be far more dangerous than in a stall, as long as the rider knows what he's doing. I personally cannot imagine climbing on a brand new baby the first day in an open round pen. Give me a nice enclosed stall any day of the week. We used to break around 130 babies every season, and in 7 years I only remember two riders getting hurt. One was when the groom did manage to flip the baby over on top of him by yanking down on the shank while he was up, and the other was a rider who refused to put a shank on the horse at all, and it got away from him when he put the saddle on the first time, breaking hs finger.
It's all what you're used to. You just have to be able to adapt to the situation.

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 22, 2005, 02:52 PM
...I'm warnin' you guys...run away!!!!!! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

SeaOat
Nov. 22, 2005, 02:56 PM
We did not lounge in the roundpen in the same sense others might....except to wear their butts out before putting on saddle & cinching. More wearing out on next day before re-saddling, backing and putting up rider for a round & round session. Repeat on third day & by fourth we were jogging on track.
In Italy we had to break babies on the public tracks, adding to the thrill.
I find having a horse flip in a stall to be a wee too confining. Given the option of a roomy banked roundpen over a 12X12 you'd catch my drift.
PS. Our girths go up quick and tight enough NOT to slip as a thrashing or upset baby is not something easily tackled to take off a loose saddle.....some use a surcingle to avoid that upset, but we lacked the time needing to get around 10 done at a time to complete a set.
Edited to add: A solid round-pen is not considered "open space" to a horse. They tend to be pretty focused there, and many of our yearlings abroad came from farms where they recieved little if no previous handling. A few were even focused enough to know which of the two humans alone with them was to die first...
RaceTB, I'm w/ you...too old for that yit!

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 22, 2005, 03:25 PM
I know I was spoiled,..having Rokeby and its wonderful horsemen as my milieu in the early days...but I've found all race barn's yearling operations to be excellent, and their methods professional and humane. Which is where I take umbrage at Two Simple's uneducated criticisms in another forum: "Mounting a horse in a stall is one of the cardinal sins of horsemanship. It is extreeeeeemly dangerous. I am so glad everything worked out well, but you might not have been so lucky. Especially considering this horse was WILD."
"Having toured a TB racing barn, I can say that their stalls were the standard size, maybe 10x12 with normal height ceilings. There were no accomodations to allow for "riding" in a stall.

So if you want to get on a crazy, unbroken horse in it's stall, then that's your perogative. But my life is a little too precious for me to take stupid chances like that."

...and MY reply [and many others]
Well, I'll tell generations of excellent trainers, patient, hard working ground people, and dedicated exercise jocks that you toured a racing stable.. and that the yearling industry is filled with unsafe idiots.
Leroy, if you're still out there, God bless..I'd throw a leg over anything with a horseman like you on the ground.
There's more..but I'll let it go at that http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif
Hey SeaOat! How's it hangin'?? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 22, 2005, 03:44 PM
...arrrgh, Sorry, I'm on a roll tonight http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif
..and 2Simple, You didn't stick around in H/J long enough to hear one of the finest HUNTER owner/riders explain this is the way MOST professional barns of ANY discipline break babies.

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Nov. 22, 2005, 03:56 PM
She wasn't the only one. Left to early from that party. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Its not crazy nor is it idiotic when done by people who know what they are doing. And that is the key. 2Simple you stated your BO tried to blanket a horse. And got hurt. How do you know she didn't scare the horse, catch it off guard or did some other thing which startled this horse and sent it into a tale spin. There are reasons horses do what they do. Most are linked to people in a hurry, not having the knowledge or just plain being stupid. We didn't have near as many accidents in our youth as there are now, but thats a whole nother thread.

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 22, 2005, 04:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I hope that one day you have the opportunity to tour a true Thoroughbred facility. Mixing yearlings in with racing and breeding stock as you described on the other thread is not SOP for most facilities. The yearlings have their own section of the farm (or their own farm!) and a manager just for them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Amen. Now, off to win friends and influence people elswhere!..LMAO!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

bwf
Nov. 22, 2005, 05:01 PM
Well I have Hunter Ponies. I start them in the stall. I also tie their bits on the halter but I use yarn. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I halter break them on day 3 after they are born. When they are two they learn how to do some lounging. They learn hor to tie to a ring in the stall. They get tacked up in a stall. They learn to have the bit in their mouths. I then stand on a small step and then stand above them. I then lay on their backs. I get to where I can swing a leg over and stay low on their necks. Then one day I sit up. When they are being good and I can get on and off in the stall and walk in a circle we move to a round pen. They then learn to walk, and stop. When they master that I stop for a year and start them back when they are 4. Start over in the stall then move to round pen, and walk and trot. Then move to a ring where they w-t-and canter. I also try to teach them how to ground drive while they are 3 and have the year off. I have never had a problem and most just come along.

Chanter
Nov. 22, 2005, 05:25 PM
I live in Ocala. A: Standard stalls here are 16x16, including for yearlings. B: I do not know a farm w/o a round pen. C: Yes, youngsters are started in stalls.

mht
Nov. 22, 2005, 06:14 PM
All the stories above are the reason I send all of my babies to private facilities to be broken-as if they are going to be riding horses, not race horses. When they go into the track, they already know what is going on and the trainer and the exercise riders are quite grateful. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 22, 2005, 06:31 PM
Well, our babies at race facilities are lovingly handled, jog through the country lanes, figure eight, go on van rides, stand quietly in the gate..swap leads and work alone or in a set..stand for the blacksmith and baths..let you trim whiskers ..and pull their manes..I don't understand what more you would want..or how this differs in a "private facility" for "riding horses". I'd like to think our trainers and jocks are quite grateful for the job WE do also.

Chanter
Nov. 22, 2005, 06:59 PM
Sincerely MHT, the difference is? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

mht
Nov. 23, 2005, 05:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Reply </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Chanter, did you read SkyBeauty's post? I think it speaks for itself. I realize not all trainers/training facilities work like that, but I don't want to take the chance that my horses end up at a place that trains such as that. These are my home-bred 'babies' and I just prefer doing it my way. Nothing more needs to be said.

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 23, 2005, 05:56 AM
To paraphrase Don Stewart; "Excuuuuse me, Ah didn't realise ah was surrounded by EEEXPERTS!" http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif

Underdog
Nov. 23, 2005, 06:49 AM
Well I've done it in the stall. Many years ago I worked at a TB breeding farm and we got on them in their own stall. I even started my own WB this way....ya know why?
They feel SAFE in their stall!

One time I had a Mare in the crossties to give her an injection of penecillin. This was the last dose..but she reacted to it. NOT a pretty sight. She was literally trying to climb the haybales and crawl over top of the wall to get back INTO her stall. She felt safe there.
I never in my life saw anything like it from a horse. Thank God she didn't make it, it would have been a drop. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif
She came out of it and was fine.

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Nov. 23, 2005, 06:54 AM
Perhaps they do it because it has been proven safe 2Simple. Not because they think it is. Having grown up doing race horses, pony club (whats your rating, mine's A), hunted and shown in the "big" shows, taken OTTB and retrained, we learn alot over the years. Keeping an open mind is how you do it. When you had at hand, mentors who no longer are around these days, we sat and listened. You watched, and you absorbed what they did. No one jumped into the show ring. No one got to ride the good stock, you earned it, every step of the way. And, stupidity in any form was not tolerated, it was plain dangerous. So not seeing eye to eye is fine. You constantly point to proper & safe horsemanship, your statement not mine, as being the only way. Without ever trying what we are talking about, how would you know?

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 23, 2005, 07:05 AM
ARRRRGGGHHH!! Hey UDog and Radio..thanks. At least we put our money where our mouths are..and can cite great horses, people and experiences..not vaguely refer to the "top" barns we worked in and then post condescending idiocy. I'm reeaaal cranky...can I just answer BITE ME to all these posts and have done with it??? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Nov. 23, 2005, 07:12 AM
Why yes you can Race. Hmmm, wheres the icon for BITE ME? http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Bacchus
Nov. 23, 2005, 07:54 AM
Two Simple, you really should back what you say with some facts. I've seen/read horrible things about hunter folks. Completely unsafe and stupid and cruel to horses. There are many things in the hunter world, western world, dressage world, gaited world, etc., that I don't agree with, and I hope you don't, either. I won't give you any names or facts--you'll just have to trust mehttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I must say, I'm glad you and I disagree!

Timex
Nov. 23, 2005, 07:56 AM
i would argue that the reason that so many TBs end up at slaughter, broken down, whatever, is not tied to whether they are started in a stall or in a field. i can't quite get the correlation there...

that being said, i've started babies for the track, in a stall, and have never felt unsafe. if you know what you're doing, it's no more dangerous then starting a baby anywhere else. and there's a reason why kids have been ripped a new one for mounting in the barn aisle: they're KIDS. minors. who normally DON'T have the best common sense, and who are CLIENTS, not employees who have been hired and paid to accept certain risks.

SkyBeauty
Nov. 23, 2005, 07:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mht:
All the stories above are the reason I send all of my babies to private facilities to be broken-as if they are going to be riding horses, not race horses. When they go into the track, they already know what is going on and the trainer and the exercise riders are quite grateful. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

To be perfectly fair, it isn't the breaking process that causes badly broke babies, it is the after the breaking process that results in whether or not a horse is well mannered. A horse that is rushed to the track without being properly ridden around, taught lead changes, stopping, relaxing, etc will be a problem no matter what the initial saddling process was like. Most breaking facilities actually spend a good deal of time out in the field, hacking around and just standing after the initial saddling process. Riders usually do all of that just to insure their own safety, since they're going to be the ones stuck riding the horse in question.
Your trainer must be an exception, but in reality, most trainers absolutely hate to get horses that have been started like riding horses. They generally won't tell a client that, because they don't want to offend them, but they usually don't ask to send all of their own horses to get broke that way, either. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
By and large it takes far more effort to start race-training babies who were started as riding horses, then those started in the traditional manner.
One of the more usual problems with breaking a racehorse like a riding horse is that they usually aren't taught to gallop on the bit. They are taught to gallop, but usually on a fairly loose rein. Every time you try to gather them up for a proper gallop, they stop,or start shaking and tossing their head, because they aren't used to being put on the bit. It usually takes weeks to teach them to gallop properly, and until then you have to beg the riders to get on them, since nobody likes to ride them with all of the associated problems, like risking getting your nose broken when the horse throws his head up to avoid the bit.

Just My Style
Nov. 23, 2005, 07:58 AM
Well, I worked for a trainer that had racing Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses. All the babies were handled daily from birth, sacked, ground driven and then "ridden" in their stalls. They learned to load, clip, have manes pulled, pick up their feet. The ones who did not make it on the track were excellent candidates for riding horses. Maybe I just worked for a responsible breeder/ trainer.

Anyway, it wasn't actually "riding". It was technically "sitting" and "leading". http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif The babies got comfortable with the idea of a person putting all their weight on them and moving forward a step or two. After only about 2-3 days of this, we went to the smaller ring. Honestly, after all the ground work the babies were really wonderful. I can't remember any ever flipping or freaking out. They all just stood there. We got a few snorts. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

With in weeks we were on the track. I don't do race horses anymore, but I wouldn't dream of breaking a horse any other way.

SkyBeauty
Nov. 23, 2005, 08:10 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mht:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Reply </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Chanter, did you read SkyBeauty's post? I think it speaks for itself. I realize not all trainers/training facilities work like that, but I don't want to take the chance that my horses end up at a place that trains such as that. These are my home-bred 'babies' and I just prefer doing it my way. Nothing more needs to be said. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm probably taking your comment the wrong way here, but for me it conjures up visions of dark, dank stalls, with whips and rodeo events going on in every stall, with all of the associated yelling and screaming. I assure you that isn't at all true.
No baby gets forced to do anything, or beaten to behave. Each step of the process is guided by how the horse handles it, so that it is a pleasant experience for them. If they object to any part, then you just stay at that level until he gets used to it and relaxes, then you go on. If done properly, most babies are so relaxed with the whole process that it isn't any big deal to get all the way to turning with the rider up the first day. Some horses stall out earlier and take longer to accept everything, and they get the time that they need. But most handle it beautifully the first day.
It is in a rider's best interest to make the breaking process a pleasant and rewarding one for the horse, because he is going to be riding that horse, and any mistakes will come back to haunt him.
Most racehorse babies get a much higher standard of care in a training barn than I've ever seen in any riding horse barn. Admittedly, I haven't been in many riding horse barns, probably only 15 or so, but I'd far rather have my horses at a real training facility, with people who are familiar with race training than in any of the barns I've been in.

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 23, 2005, 08:43 AM
THANK YOU RACE GANG!!!! You said it all [and without the bite me icon http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif]...Who has a favorite runner they broke and are most proud of??? Mine is: Hero's Honor..a clown to break and an excellent sire...I have a soft spot for the great TURF horses anyway (:

Red Hunter
Nov. 23, 2005, 09:19 AM
Two Simple,

Like you, I was of the opinion that to sit on a horse in a barn was a big "no no" for the reasons you mention -- it is very unsafe. It is a practice that I never do on any horse, mainly because the ceilings of most barns are too low and if a horse reared, you could get hurt.

That being said -- When I moved to Virginia and started exercising horses for a horse trader here, they owned several race horses. They also bred race horses and when it came time to break these horses, I was asked to help in the breaking/training. My background is in English/Western training and showing of Quarter Horses. I have started many babies in my early years. Always in the round pen or out in an open field.

Well, I was shown by the owners of this farm how they started their babies. When they told me they wanted me to get up on the back of a 2-year old filly in a stall, I told them "they were nuts, I wasn't going to get myself killed, I would take my chances out in the field." I then asked the guy who owned the farm for a demonstration of the stall breaking. To my utter amazement, the filly just stood there while he got on her back. He repeated this process every day for about one week, and then took her outside in the field to ride. She was as good as gold.

I then decided to try one of the the 2-year olds myself in the stall. Same thing happened. The process was quit uneventfull. The stall we used was a 12' x 12' and had a very high ceiling. Over the next six months, I worked with a number of young TBs, getting on their backs for the first time, all in the stalls.

One thing I must say is that I learned a great deal from Race Horse People, the stall breaking being one of them.

Timex
Nov. 23, 2005, 09:34 AM
you mean that you can actually learn something from someone of another discipline?!?!?!?!? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif who'd a thunk it!!!! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

(Sorry, Red Hunter, couldn't resist it! it was just too easy.)

Red Hunter
Nov. 23, 2005, 09:57 AM
Timex,

No need to be sorry, I really need to edit my statement to say that I have learned the most from Race Horse people versus any of the other disciplines.

llt
Nov. 23, 2005, 10:16 AM
Reading Two Simple's post brought back years of repression and angst, all originating from getting on horses in stalls.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I've seen little kids get in trouble for mounting up in the aisles. To do so was punishment of mucking stalls, getting a phone home to the parents, and kicked out of lessons on a "timeout" until the lesson was learned.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I too suffered, from breaking horses in stalls. It led me to bedwetting, and a mild case of tourette's. Please friends, do not mount horses in their stalls, the consequenses can be severe.

Timex
Nov. 23, 2005, 10:18 AM
Red Hunter, sorry, i wasn't meaning to pick fun, but i deal with a group of people who think that thier trainer's way is the ONLY way, and us h/j, dressage, eventing, race and western pleasure people are all idiots who do nothing other then cripple our horses. so i couldn't help myself. so it wasn't directed at you, you just happened to phrase it just right, to make me unable to contain myself. that, and the fact i have nothing else to do with myself right now. LOL

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 23, 2005, 10:25 AM
For grooming and presentation..the shakey tail world of course!..and surprisingly, for corrective shoeing innovations...the jug heads!
...sorry..gaited and trotters http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 23, 2005, 10:26 AM
llt....ROTFLMAO!!!!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif
God, I needed that.

Red Hunter
Nov. 23, 2005, 11:02 AM
Timex,
I also deal with many horse people who think that their trainer's way the only way. It drives me crazy. I believe that there are many ways to train, groom, or whatever when it comes to horses. What works for one, may not work for another. I quite often have changed the way I do something when I see that, perhaps, it could be done better another way. And, many times, they were not what my various trainers taught me to do.

llt -- I appreciate your sence of humor!!!

Jessi P
Nov. 23, 2005, 02:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SkyBeauty:
Most racehorse babies get a much higher standard of care in a training barn than I've ever seen in any riding horse barn. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Most of them are WORTH MUCH MORE $$$$$$$$, which is certainly a contributing factor.

Most yearlings (speaking commercial sales babies here) are worth more as yearlings than they will ever be worth in their lives. Sure there is the odd duck that will flourish as a racehorse and outrun its pedigree/conformation but most commercial sales yearlings wont earn back their purchase price. Even most of the $Million+ babies wont earn back their purchase price. BUT - I digress.........


I sure wouldnt want to send an expensive baby to some nitwit that was afraid to break it in the stall - big investment.

And right on! to Sky Beauty who said that babies broke as riding horses are a total PITA. They have to re-learn so much, and as SkyB pointed out the biggest problem is getting them on the bit. But it is good that they know about tractors, tarps, and that kinda scary stuff.

Freebird!
Nov. 23, 2005, 03:13 PM
Ditto for everything Hobie Cat posted. I used to gallop racehorses for a living. In the morning, I would gallop with the rest of the riders, on the fit, trained ones, and in the afternoons, I would break all the babies. They were pretty much ridden solely by me, until they were at the point of going around at a w/t/c and trail riding - since the track was a mile walk, on a wooded path.

We - the trainer and I - broke the babies the same as has been mentioned. First day we would saddle them, then bridle, and then ground drive, all in the round pen (though the first step was getting them to "Join Up" with us, loose in the round pen) Next day we would ground drive around the shedrow, which went all the way around the barn. If I had my way, we would stay at that step for quite a while, but owners liked things done at a faster pace, so the next day we normally backed them - and yes, in their stall. First I would lay arose them - with the saddle on - while the trainer held my leg with one hand, and the horse's head with the other. We would circle both ways, and if the horse was OK about everything, I would swing a leg over, and circle a bit more. I always felt very safe in a stall, mainly because the trainer was an excellent handler. Really, when you start youngsters, the grounds person is the most important one there, IMHO. The day after that we would go either in the round pen, or sometimes straight to the shedrow - with or without the pony horse. Then next was riding in the arena - with a calm horse to follow, and lastly we would go to the track.

What SkyBeauty and Hobie Cat said was spot on. The only babies I ever started that were truly dangerous were the ones that had been "started" for a week or so by a H/J/Dressage trainer. Those babies always scared the heck out of me. One, was terrified of every little sound, because he had been pampered so much, while the other would just keep running backwards when it cam time to gallop.

Now, for those who say that you would never subject your show/pleasure horse to this kind of training, well to each his own I guess, but I would - and have I might add - break every horse I ever sit on this way, no matter what it is going to be when it grows up.

SO, is my way the only way? Of course not, but it works for me and my horses - well, technically ponies at the moment, lol - so, why change?

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 23, 2005, 03:19 PM
Ditto ditto ditto.....Happy Thanksgiving from all the critters and well broke TBs at Ripton Farm....and one happy pet turkey..for now!!!!!!!
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gifattached.."Chief"

Hunter's Rest
Nov. 23, 2005, 03:56 PM
I've stayed out of this one since you guys are making so much 'sense' out of the situation. But reading the whole topic (YES, I read EVERY post) I think a few things:
1. No stall I've broken babies in even had a ceiling. Mostly old tobacco barns in Ky. or my own barn without ceiling over the stalls. I think the OP is imagining 'regular' stalls with a ceiling which, of any height, would be sorta scary, I agree.
2. Freebird is RIGHT ON about the non-racetrack broke horses. Yikes. Tbs broke for the track (and actually sent to the track) know Everything about the world (tractors moving towards them, past them, traffic, cars, other horses walk trot canter gallop and working past you (in both directions), living 23.5/7 in a friggin' stall and still being pretty civil (mostly), crowds, flapping flags, loudspeakers, everything. Ok, perhaps not 'slowing down when you pull on the reins' or going officially on the bit but, heck, I'd trade those things anyday of the week for a quality horse who has the track experience.
3. The final thought is for racetb - or is it freebird - when were you at Rokeby? My (late) husband worked there for about 15 years breaking the babies and I think he was there with the one you listed above. I'd love to compare notes!! He was there for Red Ransom. Was that when you were??

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 23, 2005, 04:28 PM
Hey Hunter's!! I was there for 3 or 4 years. Colts only...and jump race horses headed for Europe once in a while. Ohhhhh, early to mid 80's?? Leroy was my ground man always. David was another mainstay then...and Gregory. OF COURSE I forget what horses, what years. Penny Bank, Lightning Leap, Hero's Honor, Danger's Hour, Fit To Fight.. come to mind. Bernie Garrit [?] was yearling manager. Mack Miller made an appearance now and then. If your late husband was part of this team, bless him..They were the finest.

Freebird!
Nov. 23, 2005, 04:43 PM
Forgot to add - I galloped at Chaboquasset Farm in Palmetto Ga. At the time it was a huge TB farm - had broodmares, babies (though the mares were shipped off to KY to actually foal) Keeneland Sales preps, rehabs, fit racehorses, and of course the youngsters in training. My husband learned to gallp racehorses with Janet Elliot in Penn.

mht
Nov. 23, 2005, 05:14 PM
Having now taken about all the abuse I care to for "my" point of view, I suppose 25 years of having done it this way counts for nothing because it doesn't concur with your points of view.

It is my opinion, I am entitled to it, as you are to yours. What works for you may not work for me. And yes, my trainer is very happy with the quality of work put on the horses before they arrive at the track, and no, they don't have a reputation that keeps the exercise riders away from them. In fact, the morning riders and the jockeys, for that matter, quite like them.

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 23, 2005, 05:42 PM
Your husband learned from a good one Freebird!!
mht..Your point of view was dismissive and condescending, especially to post in the race forum with that attitude, and not expect us to defend ourselves. Do your yearlings experience starting gates and working in sets..broken as riding horses? I'd think these things are rather appreciated by the next folks in line to work with them.

Carol Ames
Nov. 23, 2005, 05:53 PM
I have startedthe race horse babies in stalls because that was wthe way th farm manager nag wanted it , did I feel safe?, NO!You ar really t the mercy of whoever ishelping you, and, I have had one peson get stepped on , but,luckily not worse; if all te steps have been taken, i would prefer doing it outside, in a ring if necessary. but, I did in my younger , stupider days backone , a TB show horse to be inan open field with my older gelding there to lend "moral support", and. also keep the colt inline Having an older horse to "supervise" made the workeasy for the colt, and, me, he, the colt,ent on to win championships in the hildrens' hunter division at Uppervile as a 4 year old, so,I guess the training "stuck" I did not know much about TTeASM then, but realize now that we went through all te step so that carrying a rider was a"non event"

Carol Ames
Nov. 23, 2005, 06:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">e who think that their trainer's way the only way. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Whenyou reworking foran owner or trainer their way IS te only way, I have been very slow tolearn, but, it's true, unless they ask yo for a better way.

Carol Ames
Nov. 23, 2005, 06:17 PM
I have started race horse babies in stalls because that was wthe way th farm manager wanted it , did I feel safe?, NO!You are really t the mercy of whoever is helping you, and, I have had one peson get stepped on , but,luckily not worse; if all the steps have been taken, i would prefer doing it outside, in a ring if necessary. but, I did in my younger , stupider days back one , a TB show horse to be in an open field with my older gelding there to lend "moral support", and. also keep the colt inline Having an older horse to "supervise" made the workeasy for the colt, and, me, he, the colt,went on to win championships in the hildrens' hunter division at Uppervile as a 4 year old, so,I guess the training "stuck" I did not know much about TTeAM then, but realize now that we went through all the steps so that carrying a rider was a"non event"

Carol Ames
Nov. 23, 2005, 06:21 PM
e who think that their trainer's way the only way.[
Whenyou areworking foran owner or trainer their way IS he only way, I have been very slow to learn this, but, it's true, unless they ask you for a better way.don't ofer any suggestions., or new fangled way of doing things; It frightens the humans, too much. The horse may like it but.the owners, and, trainers get very frightened, after all, What id IFit WORKED? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

mht
Nov. 23, 2005, 07:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Racetb:
Your husband learned from a good one Freebird!!
mht..Your point of view was dismissive and condescending, especially to post in the race forum with that attitude, and not expect us to defend ourselves. Do your yearlings experience starting gates and working in sets..broken as riding horses? I'd think these things are rather appreciated by the next folks in line to work with them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, my yearlings don't experience this, because I don't believe in breaking yearlings either, which will probably get lots of negative comments here, as well. My horses get started as late two year olds, and never race until they are three. I believe in letting them mature somewhat, so the trainer has a horse that stays sound enough to race past their three year old season. I don't think you quite understand how horses in training are handled here. There are very few places/training centres that have their own tracks, let alone starting gates. Pretty much all of this work takes place at the track, so if you can provide a horse to your trainer that doesn't require breaking that just makes their job that much easier.

Underdog
Nov. 23, 2005, 07:38 PM
Well, not sifting thru every post..but..what to take away from this table?

Get inside the mind of the horse?
Now THERES AN IDEA!

I guess if nothing else...I've observed animals around me and watched what works. Not just horses. LOL!
I've never spent a dime on the * Natural Trainers*, but they have a place in this world..and I worry bout that...
It's so friggin simple. If you have patience..or an ear..or a clue.

But lets all have a second helping of turkey...I'm cooking.
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

SeaOat
Nov. 23, 2005, 08:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Underdog:
One time I had a Mare in the crossties to give her an injection of penecillin. This was the last dose..but she reacted to it. NOT a pretty sight. She was literally trying to climb the haybales and crawl over top of the wall to get back INTO her stall. She felt safe there.
I never in my life saw anything like it from a horse. Thank God she didn't make it, it would have been a drop. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Cross-ties.....big no no in my book under any condition but to pop one w/ penicillin?? Yikes! Your horse wasn't in his mind while reacting so could have cared less about his stall. And most react w/in seconds by dropping and thrashing. After years of giving it, one slightly askew toss of a whisker after injection of pen & I'm OUT of the stall asap.

SeaOat
Nov. 23, 2005, 08:37 PM
Hey RaceTB:
Nuttin shakin here ma'dear....SO is at the beach w/ family, kid is at Franklin Smith's farm breaking babies and I'm working 2 of the 3 jobs on T-day....can we spell yuck? Oh, I do have the company of Blinky, the pigeons and a cat or two on this snowy day. How sad is that?! Pigeon lady is on the damned race track all day.....what a greeting card image that conjures up http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

foundationmare
Nov. 23, 2005, 09:06 PM
Wow! Haven't been on the board much because I'm so freaking busy minding my darlings on the track. Came to this thread late but am scratching my head over it. I've had a fair amount of experience in the process of breaking babies and have done so in the presence of some pros. They have all....all!...initiated the process in the stall, from initial familiarity with tack to bellying up and then planting butt on the back. It involves circling in the stall, lots of touching and smacking (at a loss for a different word) in a way that accustoms the horse to this new form of human contact. I have 100% respect for the people I've been working with and they produce well-broke horses that are sensible and ready to move forward in their training.

Whether or not "riding" a horse in it's stall is safe is irrelevant. I have never felt that it was any more dangerous than sending their goosy butts out to an arena or a round pen. There's no human/horse contact that is safe. To believe otherwise is naive. We just lost an assistant starter who had a lifetime of experience as a horseman and a pissy filly kicked him while she was being loaded into the gate.

The racing world isn't perfect and there are too many times when we are confronted with its cruel underbelly. Let's not dismiss the many, many people who love their racers and take good care of them. Let's also not turn a blind eye to the sad lives of horses in other sanctioned disciplines and the poor, neglected fixtures of benign existence.

Showbizz
Nov. 23, 2005, 10:17 PM
I'm with foundationmare on this one. Starting horses *can* be dangerous no matter where/how you do it. In my opinion, the best way to do it is the way that makes the one in the dangerous position the most comfortable - as the horse can sense whether they are confident or not and will feed off of it accordingly.

I'm the most comfortable in a bigger arena. That's not to say that's the safest place to be. It just makes me comfortable to have space to move should there be an issue. I've started about 100 horses and my methods work for me. I have a friend who has started just as many, and she does it in the round pen and w/t/c the first day she backs them. Her method doesn't work for me. It does work beautifully for her.

The gist? If breaking babies in a stall works for you - no reason to change it http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif If it doesn't work for you, there's no reason to knock those who it does work for.

missgrey
Nov. 24, 2005, 10:58 AM
I don't have first hand experience with backing in stalls, but I have heard it is the way most people do it.
I know at Keeneland for the sales when we had yearlings that were fractious for baths, we bathed them in a stall! Out in the open they were HORRIBLE. Put them in a stall and they were calm as can be.

fish
Nov. 24, 2005, 12:06 PM
I believe the orginal poster asked about precautions taken when starting racehorses in their stalls. I broke babies as part of T.J. Kelly's crew in the 80's. Precautions were as follows: 1) the horses were "turned" (i.e. lunged at a walk) in their stalls for a week or two before backing to learn "gi-up," whoa, and turning, of course; 2) we first bellied and then backed them in their stalls with the same groom who'd taught the turning acting as groundperson. The grooms kept the horses going forward, thereby preventing rearing, flipping, going down with the rider, etc. I was especially glad to have a helmet for bellying, because the stalls (in Florida) were cement block, and my head banged into the walls quite a bit as the horse was being turned. After a week or so in the stall with both rider and groom, the groom left the stall and we rode them alone in the stall for a few days. Next, the door was opened and we started "shedrowing," stopping every several rounds of the shedrow to practice the same turns the horses had learned in their stalls. After a month or so of "shedrowing" (mostly at a brisk trot, with interruptions to practice turning and change file leaders), we rode into paddocks where we practiced large, loopy figure 8's also in single file. After a few weeks in the paddocks, we were ready to go to the track, start walking through the gates, etc. During this entire procedure, I will say that I and most of the other riders felt the safest in the stalls and the least so in the paddocks. The close quarters of the stall did keep them quiet, while the majority of them initially seemed to view the relatively open spaces of the paddocks as an invitation to explode. The first few days of trying to figure eight looked like a super-rodeo with many horses leaping into the sky off their hindlegs like rockets.

As I believe someone else mentioned, it is no small feat to teach young horses confined to stalls 23+ hours/day that they need to be obedient under saddle.

Personally, I think the greatest drawback-- for LOTS of reasons-- to the way TB's are started is not that they are ridden in the stalls but that they are KEPT in them all day long.

On my own farm, the horses all live out almost all the time. I've started some in their stalls, some in the fields, some in the arena... it all depends on where the horse and the people I'm working with at the time feel the most comfortable... as someone else said, confidence is the important thing.

I did find it interesting, however, that Olin Armstrong, who might well have started more top young hunters than anyone else in the country, uses an in-stall method almost exactly like Mr. Kelly's.

SeaOat
Nov. 24, 2005, 12:38 PM
Might not have crossed some minds, but the primary reason people use stalls (IMO) is it is what's most readily available for most operations. Leave them out all day/night & bring into barn for a session. Several yearlings w/ several stalls handy. I've *had* to do it that way but prefer not having myself and a horse and a wall in close company.
My most ideal situation, or at least one aspect of it, was our set up in Italy which made me change how I'd been breaking (forgetting how in IT we were sending sets of babies out wrong-way w/ older horses galloping by= a thrill in itself) in stalls years before. There, our stable, alloted 60 stalls annually for yearlings w/ 20 for remaining older horses (very seldom did #s waver) and had the good planning of 3 solid walled & banked round-pens. It took less than a week to get all 60 yearlings out on the track, some who arrived barely halter broke. Regardless of how rank, the seclusion/quiet of the pen had their attention (more than any stall) with room to get the hell out from under when needed. Added advantage of being able to send them round & round in soft footing for extra energy snuffer before saddling. I have had one pen for my small group ever since.
--&gt;What is best about NOT being in a stall? When you have several babies being done in one barn, it only takes one to really go off, making all kinds of racket, to set off the others. Many memories of all sitting atop our babies, each eye-balling the one obviously about to blow and thinking "crike, please don't do it".
Also, most horses are BETTER in a new/strange enviroment as it's not offering the security of familiar territory! Kinda like kids, eh? Anyone who's run a first-time starter w/ shell shock knows the diff between a horse who knows his footing verses one who doesn't. Most will cling & listen to his handler in a new place much better.
Say what you want about this top place or that & how they did it in stalls yadda-yadda but having done it every way imaginable (still talking horses here http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif), I'll take an enclosed round-pen http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Nov. 24, 2005, 12:54 PM
....and don't forget the most important person, responsible for you and your youngster...THE GROUND PERSON. After weaning, this is the person your yearling looks to for security and behavioral cues. He or she has introduced the colt to every new experience, from grooming to shipping to blacksmith and vet...that blessed human at your colt's head..in the stall, on the pony or standing in the gate...is a highly under rated, MAJOR part of the breaking equation.

CMBEQ
Nov. 24, 2005, 04:38 PM
LOL. Wow. I didn't realize that my post over in H/J's started such a big deal. Let's see, I agree with all the racetrackers on here. At first I was kinda nervous to get on in the stall, but I really trusted my ground person. Now, I don't know that I would do it any other way...when it comes to breaking racehorses. My paint on the other hand, is trained completely differently as she is a show horse and I've taken a different approach with her, so I wouldn't be completely turned off to getting on her in a round pen/arena.

I think it's funny that two step, or whatever the name is implied that I don't value my life and I don't feel it's precious. Well, that's the opposite of what's true and I also value my career. So being able to learn from people with so much more experience, and different ways of doing things to me is very important. However, I wouldn't exactly jeopardize my safety. I felt comfortable 90% of the time. And the ONE time I didn't feel safe I was on this filly in the ROUND PEN and she reared straight up in the air. She was quiet and fine in the stall mind you. But when she almost flipped over, I told the trainer that I was getting off of her. A man I respect a whole lot told me after this, because I was upset with myself for not being able to ride her, that I did the right thing. He said, "There are thousands of babies to break, and only ONE of you." So yeah, if I don't feel comfortable, I'm getting off. However, I think it's a perfectly acceptable and common practice.

And also, sorry if I didn't clarify...the horse wasn't "wild". He was just terrified of people because he was beaten. There are tons of ways to do things, and tons of ways that work for tons of people. It's unfortunate that some people can't be open minded when it comes to training ideas, learning from one another and getting more insight as to the thing that's supposedly so imporant to them, the horses.

sycee
Nov. 27, 2005, 04:19 PM
I in no way claim to be an expert of any discipline... However, I have worked at a few fairly well-known hunter barns that have horses in the young futurities, etc. and they are all started in the stalls, as were all the young TBs that my family bred and raised. I find it much easier to deal with a young horse in a stall,with a trustworthy groundperson than any other way. After learning to stop, walk, turn, then we took them out to a round pen or ring. But it is just so much easier to have them confined where they also feel safe. Again, I'm not claiming to know any more than anyone else, just passing along what worked for quite a few professionals and myself.

witherbee
Nov. 30, 2005, 11:09 AM
We also break our TB yearlings in the stall. We also break our show horses the same way. We first teach them to wall tie (as weanlings), then work on grooming them on the wall, then bitting, then tacking up, then turning, then leaning over their backs. We usually take them out and walk with them in the shedrow to do teh final backing depending on the horse). All of this is done at each horse's speed, so we'll stay at any point as needed. As for waiting until they are 2, we don't do that because we only break them for an average of 10 days and then stop with them until they are 2 year olds and/or are ready to begin training according to their individual readiness).

As for teh whole 4-H and Pony Club thing, I would HOPE they's tell kids to mount up outside the stall and not "ride" in the stall http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif - after all, they are KIDS. We're talking apples and oranges here - most TB stalls are fairly big with no ceilings. Also, the people that work with TBs and break them are not little pony clubbers learning how to groom, ride and show. This is a fast paced business with many very good horseman (yes, there are plenty of bad apples like other disciplines). To hang onto a creedo from the pony club or your old riding instructor when we're talking about TB racehorses seems a bit absurd to me. I thing they are great rules and I follow them when I'm in my hunter mode too, but to say it's unsafe and to be so adament about it seems stubborn at best. To each his own, and by all means stick to your guns, but it's rather insulting to those of us who follow our methodd that WORK for us to be told that we're unsafe and that our thinking is wrong and leads to the slaughter and the HIGH number of broken down horses that you've seen is just arrogant and insulting. I'd love to show you all of our "graduates" who are eventing, showing and are schoolies, and yes, many of them at ripe old ages. Such attacks when people are trying to explain a method are unwarrented IMO. No one is saying that everyone SHOULD use the stall method, just why and how it seems to work and be so prevalent in racing barns (and evidently in some hunter barns).
To get back to that, we just finished breaking broke the two yearlings (coming two yr olds) that we keep at our home. Neither of them turned a hair at any of it - the girthing, backing etc was quiet, calm and like they'd been doing it their whole lives. Very stress-free for all involved, and this is common for our babies and for most of the people I know in the industry. There are some that skip steps and end up with rank or scared youngsters on the track and I always feel sorry for those babies. I see the same thing in other disciplines though - some people are just not patient enough to be dealing with babies (or animals in general).

Hunter's Rest
Nov. 30, 2005, 12:15 PM
Thought of this this morning as I 'whoa'-ed outside my stall to get off and lead horse into stall after riding -- its not considered 'dangerous' to back and turn a young horse in a stall because the stalls typically don't have ceilings, plus, you're not riding the horse OUT of hte stall (and therefore risking hitting your head on the stall door frame.) Well, ok, you go out once, or maybe twice, while being led, as the youngsters go from turning in stall to being 'ridden' in shedrow, but that's once or twice, with a handler, not coming and going from the stall all the time mounted.
Though, that said, there's plenty of pro. barns in all disciplines that the pros get a little lazy and certainly ride in their stalls after riding (if not so often ride out on their way to ride.) Its just a laziness thing. I would tell my kiddie students not to, but see lots of pro's do it all the time.

Albion
Nov. 30, 2005, 01:08 PM
We always rode into the stalls after shedrowing, galloping, etc. - the trainer claimed it made it easier to gate train them, as they were used to walking through a narrow opening with someone on their back, as opposed to stopping outside of it.

I was never nervous bellying/backing the babies in the stall, as long as I had one of the "good" grooms at the horse's head.

Chanter
Nov. 30, 2005, 03:48 PM
Fact of training life: Horses are ridden out of & back into their stalls. Yes, it is a sin under Pony Club rules, but this is not Pony Club. Ducking in/out of the stall is the least of a riders worries whilst upon a youngster.

alterforsaftey
Dec. 1, 2005, 08:13 AM
HMMMM I think some of the folks who are against breaking babies with using a stall initially to get the young horse used to a rider in a quiet safe environment may have had some bad examples.

I think a lot of folks have experienced the rank or willful horse coming off the track and "maybe assume" that it is from traumatic training and the track...

I train jumpers and eventers and what I can say is that many of the horses I get from certain trainers are amazing because the staff on the farm or where the yearling are sent are amazing. A few of the trainers we get these horses from walk, trot, canter, swap and are broke to the leg better than most horses that have spent time with a english or western trainer. WHY because the people breaking them know that people at the track will be putting their lives in the hands of the people starting these colts.

Sometimes I have been called to pick up these horses at the track and other times it is clear at the farm that these horses are not going to run. I have been able to watch the work with theses babies and there is no drama, there can not be as these horses cost more than most of these so called show pampered horses even dreamed of being worth. The colts at both farms here in california are started in stalls, where many firsts have happened. There first foot handling, first groom, sacking out and first tack up! These babies feel safe there and with the people who do hundreds of babies just like them.

I realize it is not for many of the warm blood youngsters or other breeds who have been left in a field to mature and are now 4 years old. I would not get on one of them in a stall either.

And when we get them off the track that have not had good starts I send a few back to the ranch in the gilroy area and they are RE_STARTED and I know and trust them. some of my jumper friends are shocked that I would send them to a track trainer but the proof is in the pudding an they do a great job!

Jleegriffith
Dec. 1, 2005, 04:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Well, I worked for a trainer that had racing Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses. All the babies were handled daily from birth, sacked, ground driven and then "ridden" in their stalls. They learned to load, clip, have manes pulled, pick up their feet. The ones who did not make it on the track were excellent candidates for riding horses. Maybe I just worked for a responsible breeder/ trainer.

Anyway, it wasn't actually "riding". It was technically "sitting" and "leading". The babies got comfortable with the idea of a person putting all their weight on them and moving forward a step or two. After only about 2-3 days of this, we went to the smaller ring. Honestly, after all the ground work the babies were really wonderful. I can't remember any ever flipping or freaking out. They all just stood there. We got a few snorts.

With in weeks we were on the track. I don't do race horses anymore, but I wouldn't dream of breaking a horse any other way.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

My stepfather is a trainer and we have always broke all of our horses in the stalls and at one point in time we were breaking about 30 2-3yrs. You start out slow by getting them used to the tack and sacking them out. Getting used to everything flapping on them and banging around. Then lay over them for a few days while a handler walks the horse. Progressing until you are sitting astride and riding them around the stall. Then you start around the shedrow and then onto the track out in groups. It's a step by step process.

I totally agree that the most dangerous times are when they are in open space. Boy oh boy they just don't know how to behave. I still use this method on all my show horses and I have never had a bad one. As everyone else said the key person is your groundperson who knows what to do and how to help if you get into trouble.

Rapid Run
Dec. 3, 2005, 11:11 AM
Got into this topic at a late date! Hey Racetb - I think most of those colts we "broke" were actually already being ridden with a halter and lead in from the pasture!!

After leaving Rokeby and moving to Florida I was lucky enough to go to work for Tartan Farm. My husband still breaks 50+ yearlings every year the way they started them at Tartan. Before any riders get on them he has lunged and ground driven every single one of them himself. Then they are worked with in the stall for a few days and then out to the round pen. All our yearlings learn how to handle themselves alone, in a group, in a big field and they also learn lead changes and mounting from the ground (helps for those unexpected dismounts on the far side of the track!)
I don't think that a stall is the ideal place to start babies but they do feel safe and are in familiar surroundings and I have yet to come up with an alternate choice.

Meadow36
Dec. 7, 2005, 07:07 PM
I've broken about twenty or so horses, all in the round pen. However, these hunter/dressage horses had the luxury of having all the ground work done, probably about two weeks worth, before mounting. All this work was done in the round pen, so this became their comfort zone. Most of the time I could belly them bareback for a few days after a longe session (with no ground person) and by the time I threw that leg over it was no big deal. Within three weeks I'm usually hacking them around a small arena. I've never used the stall method because that isn't what I was taught, but thousands of race professionals can't be wrong. My main problem with the whole thing is how much they are rushed through the process, but money talks, I guess.

I love racing, I always have, but I really wish they would switch the Triple Crown and make it for four year olds. I think we'd see a lot less injuries then. It's too bad it will never happen.

WhiteCamry
Dec. 8, 2005, 06:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Meadow36:

I love racing, I always have, but I really wish they would switch the Triple Crown and make it for four year olds. I think we'd see a lot less injuries then. It's too bad it will never happen. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

FWIW, there's a TC, of sorts, for 4YOs - The Handicap Triple Crown. The Metropolitan, Brooklyn & Suburban Handicaps. I don't know if the JC officially recognizes it as a formal package. At any rate, they're all run in NY so they don't make much news around the country.

bjrudq
Dec. 9, 2005, 01:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">and don't forget the most important person, responsible for you and your youngster...THE GROUND PERSON. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


as one with very little experience here, i second that.

i have backed only two horses-my own-and one was done in a large indoor arena on the lunge line; the other in the stall.

both times i felt relatively safe and confident because i had an EXPERT on the ground.

no problems whatsoever with either one; and i still own and ride both of them to this day.

caffeinated
Dec. 9, 2005, 02:06 PM
seems like a stall would be safer than the way I got on my guy the first time- bareback, no rope on the halter, from a big round bale in the middle of a field.

LOL.

badaboom
Dec. 10, 2005, 12:45 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> took lessons at one of the top Jumper barns in the Midwest

I have boarded horses for about a million years at top dressage barns
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

My lord TS, have you NEVER just been at a regular barn? It is quite an experience, horses, people, hay, poop..you know, the regular stuff.

I grow weary.

Linny
Dec. 10, 2005, 01:28 PM
White Camry, the NY Handicap TC was disbanded years ago. The Brooklyn was run in December for a while and this year was run on the Belmont S undercard. The Met and Suburban are still prominent but the Brooklyn is a G2 now. I think that even the Suburban was downgraded for a few years in the 90's.

Racetb*Aefvue Farm*Biziz Ltd.
Dec. 10, 2005, 02:31 PM
Hey Rapid Run!! Merry Christmas..haven't been over here in a while..hope all is well. It IS amazing the number of yearlings one gets on over the years without incident..and the Rokeby crew probably WAS riding them in from the fields every day as weanlings..LOL!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif
...and thanks to everyone who helped me find my new guy's win pictures. The TBD photographer was super nice..and my Prairie's impressive MSW win photo is on it's way!!!

WhiteCamry
Dec. 12, 2005, 08:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Linny:
White Camry, the NY Handicap TC was disbanded years ago. The Brooklyn was run in December for a while and this year was run on the Belmont S undercard. The Met and Suburban are still prominent but the Brooklyn is a G2 now. I think that even the Suburban was downgraded for a few years in the 90's. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

A pity. Letting a package like that break up does nothing for the sport's publicity.

The Fjord Jockey
Dec. 12, 2005, 06:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mht:
All the stories above are the reason I send all of my babies to private facilities to be broken-as if they are going to be riding horses, not race horses. When they go into the track, they already know what is going on and the trainer and the exercise riders are quite grateful. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, you can cooshy the environment your horses are in all you want, but that doesn't mean you are going to avoid injury or mishap.

And by the way: Yep, I've been banged up (as my mom mentioned in one of the "stories above") but our babies learn pretty much everything before they go to the track, INCLUDING working from the gate. Sometimes, manure just happens.

They're horses, for crying out loud, and no matter how much you baby them, they are still unpredictable animals.

Spurt
Dec. 12, 2005, 06:42 PM
We actually prefer horses that have been at facilities that have a training track and alot of stuff going on. Because when you get a 2 year old in at Churchill usually derby time(the worst possible time) and they see all those horses, people, you want them to be used to that stuff not some horse that has been rode in a field and never left the farm.
Our yearlings got broke in the fall(just riding in pasture, steering and whoa) early spring they will get rode again on basics in field and then go to a training facility with a track learn to gallop a bit and bring them in after derby. You don't want them too fit thats the problem with farms they think they are doing you a favor when they have them working already. Nope, because they went too fast and horses are alot harder to handle when they are fit and strong then fat and get tired easy.

Albion
Dec. 12, 2005, 07:23 PM
I rode at a training track that had 2 barns - the guy I rode for & another. The babies did see quite a lot, although not as much action as you would see at a real track. But they learned to cope with older horses breezing, horses coming towards them, passing them, etc. The long walk from the barn to the track also provided plenty of opportunities for baby idiocy and desensatization. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif It was pretty quiet, but not TOO quiet.

Risa
Dec. 12, 2005, 07:56 PM
Unfortunetly I do not have the time nor the patience to read five pages on this thread - so I'm unsure to the reaction of this question. I'll just imput what I know.

I am an exersize rider and therefore around many baby breakers at the race track. It is completely true that they are broken in the stall - but it really depends on the person who's breaking and their prefernce.

(1)Why?

A smaller area the horse can go - the more the rider can focus on the baby. The baby is normally comfortable with the stall already. The rider can make use of the walls to their advantage and the horse generally can't start a broncing fit inside. In a round pen - if control is lost - a run around it can be hard to get back. Also - time spent long-lining is only a few days. Generally speaking - horses that are on the lunge and worked on the ground for months have the ability to be first "bellyed up" in the round pen because they've had much more done to them and they have more trust built up. When the race horses are shipped to the stalls - long lined for a few days and then got on - they dont have time to think.

(2)What safety precautions are taken to avoid injury to rider?

The same as any - it's their own risk. All the stalls at the barn have roofs that are 20 feet above them - so there's no slamming into a low roof. The groom is always outside the stall ready to help as needed.


(3)Do you feel this is a perfectly safe practice that poses no more danger to the rider than mounting a horse in an arena?

Mounting a baby for the first time ANYWHERE is a danger. Each rider is DIFFERENT and more comfortable and safer in different places. If a baby-starter of 20 years had broke them in a stall with hardly any problems and then was asked to get on them in an arena - the risk of something bad happening is increased. Either way - the rider should know what they're doing. There is always a risk and always a danger - so I naturally find the stall a dangerous place just as an arena. In both areas bad things could happen in equal severity.


(3)What size are these stalls?

roughly 12 x 12

mht
Dec. 13, 2005, 06:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by The Fjord Jockey:
Actually, you can cooshy the environment your horses are in all you want, but that doesn't mean you are going to avoid injury or mishap.
================================================
Where in my post did I say that injury or mishap would be avoided by sending them to private facilities? Yes, they are horses, and they have been know to do some pretty stupid things.

===============================================
And by the way: Yep, I've been banged up (as my mom mentioned in one of the "stories above") but our babies learn pretty much everything before they go to the track, INCLUDING working from the gate. Sometimes, manure just happens.
================================================
In our area, there are VERY few training centres. My trainer does not have one, or work out of one. The more work I can get on a horse before it gets to the track makes for less work for her. And, an added benefit is the reduced cost. Let's see-$20/day as compared to $45/day-what would you do, knowing that the person who is breaking your horse for you is excellent?

================================================
They're horses, for crying out loud, and no matter how much you baby them, they are still unpredictable animals. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
================================================
I also don't see anything in my original post about babying. I was raised in a farm environment with cattle and the occasional horse. Yes, they are animals, they're not pets.

The Fjord Jockey
Dec. 13, 2005, 06:16 PM
Well I don't know what you call a pet, but pretty much all of mine are animals. Just because I work with racehorses doesn't mean I'm into that whole "treat them like numbers" thing.

You said you send your horses to private facilities, and you said it in a tone that would suggest these facilities are better than the ones mentioned above. You also said, "All the stories above are the reason I send all of my babies to private facilities". Sorry but that sounds to me like you think somehow the injuries that were mentioned wouldn't happen because your horses are trained like "riding horses".

Otherwise, I can't really respond to your post, because the thread is about the horse's environment, not the human's....no matter how many cows are involved.

mht
Dec. 13, 2005, 06:59 PM
I have probably had race horses for longer that you have been on this earth. I know what works for me, and what doesn't. As the owner and the person paying the bills I am entitled to some input on my horses training. If this is the way I choose to go, so be it.

You know full well what I meant when I said they are animals, not pets (think of the slaughter threads).

And if you choose to re-read my reply to you, I again reiterate that I never said that injuries wouldn't happen - I know too well what can happen in ANY situation, horses being what they are.

harryjohnson Aefvue Senior Gardens
Dec. 14, 2005, 03:44 PM
It's been a while since I have looked at this thread, but......mht, how many "public facilities" can you send a horse to to be saddle broke, as opposed to the "private facilities" you opt for. And race horses ARE riding horses, I doubt that you have had race horses for longer than I have been on earth, but if indeed you have, I am impressed you can remember that far back. The race horses owned by my family have always been saddle broke, in the privacy of our farm, safe in their stalls.

Chanter
Dec. 14, 2005, 07:37 PM
Hey Harry, you could always use your new motor coach as a traveling breaking stall. The bedroom should be big enough. Earn some money with those new wheels! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

harryjohnson Aefvue Senior Gardens
Dec. 14, 2005, 08:08 PM
Chanter, I am far too old and too heavy to be breaking horses. The bedroom would be big enough, the ceiling too low, and I don't think it would hold up to a kick like oak will!