Okay, don't flame me. I'm in no way supporting this video. I'm interested to know why they start babies this way. I've taken my time with babies and have no scary incidents similar to the video below. I feel like asking the breeding board because we look to Europe for good sport horse breeding.
Having been born and brought up in England where I started horses under saddle before coming to North America, as well as doing the same in Denmark and at Klosterhof Medingen in Germany, my experiences tell me that this is not the standard modus operandi in Europe.
So how do they break horses in Europe versus America?
This is a link to the system that Flyinge uses. Flyinge and Strömsholm are the two places in Sweden where you can get up to university qualifications within the field of horses, for example Riding Instructor, bereiter and so on). It´s a program of 8 weeks and in the end the horses get ridden in all three gaits.
This is not the standard here. In general people take more time to get the horse used to lunging, saddle and build up a bit of endurance and muscles before mounting.
That said, I think that in this video we don´t see animal cruelty or a disgusting method.
I wouldn't break a horse this way, personally, I'd be scared to sit on such a reactive horse in 15 minutes!
But, I too don't see anything abusive. I see plenty of unnecessary risks, IMO, but nothing abusive...
I can see the value in this method, by being so fast, the horse can't think through it that much and quickly gets confronted to a 'done deal'. Then, the horse can realize it didn't die. Plus, with the people following him on the ground and keeping him very forward all the time... I can see how it works and how there could be an advantage.
But again, not standard here at all, nor would I do it myself!
It may be that this horse was known as a bad boy and they chose to treat him this way in order to break a behavior cycle. I don't know. Even if that were the case, I can think of better ways to go about the job. But, that may be the explanation for why they did what they did. It still is not the norm in good training stations in Europe.
Just because you found a video of someone "breaking" a horse badly, it does not follow that that is the way it is generally done in Europe. Any decent Bereiter will follow a gradual and correct formula based on the dressage training scale. The process will take weeks, not minutes, and the horse will benefit. This video is a great example of how not to start a horse, IMO.
Last edited by Home Again Farm; Jan. 8, 2013 at 12:35 PM.
"It may be that this horse was known as a bad boy and they chose to treat him this way in order to break a behavior cycle."
I did not watch the whole thing but it is strange that such a well bred horse-- that someone thought well enough of to keep a stallion would not have been already started before his 4th year especially as he is such a mature looking fellow. Maybe he had been started in 2012 -without success-and he is in fact the resident bad boy?
I also did not have a problem with it in that it was not abusive to the horse, but it was definitely 30 - 60 days of training crammed into 15 minutes and certainly not the way we would prefer to start our youngsters. That said, we actually have had a couple of young horses that went almost this fast in their training. It was not something that we intended, but they pretty much came out of the field ready to go. It was a full brother / full sister, so I suspect that it was a pedigree thing more than anything, but both were walk/trot/cantering under saddle by the end of the week with a super understanding of the aids.
QUOTE: but both were walk/trot/cantering under saddle by the end of the week with a super understanding of the aids.
Are we this misguided about riding in general - let alone starting horses???????????
Super understanding of aids a few days after bringing horses up from pasture???????
Bragging about "advancing" horses this fast in their training rises some red flags. And skipping correct preparation and correct lunge work in the horse's training, while very widely practiced, it's against common sense - as well as principals of exercise physiology.
Just because the horse has great temperament (the stallion on the video was a saint) does not mean that the training process should be hastened. Skipping certain, incredibly important steps in the horse's training WILL result in serious problems down the line.
A lot of us can do what was shown on the video. It's not magic. The question remains after a session like this: NOW WHAT?
Last edited by szipi; Jan. 8, 2013 at 12:50 PM.
Reason: left out a note
While not abusive, and in certain cases could possibly be helpful for a difficult "bad boy," I can also see it backfiring and causing more trouble. Fast and busy practices like this (a.k.a. The Wild West Cowboy way) are also how the term "broke to ride" came about. THAT is why I, personally, don't like it. It doesn't hurt him, I just don't like it.
It's kind of hard to see him return to his stall (also done in a real hurry) and show a look of "holy shite, what the heck happened?!? Good god, at least it's over and I'm safe in here!" on his face. Yes, I know that will change. It's just not something I prefer to see horses left with versus a more relaxed expression (and body language). *shrug*
"IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique
I have seen a lot of people doing it with the same sort of steps. Lunging first with halter over briddle not having the lungeline in the briddle etc. But theses steps were not cramped in 15 minutes - happened over a time period. The getting on for the first time as he did with the getting into the stirrup first and waiting. The way to follow with whips carefully (!!!) so that the horse moves and does not stop and buck rider of of. The lunging with saddle and bucking etc. etc. I can see a lot of dangerous steps in this video due to the fact that the steps are not yet trained afor a few times. But I do not see abusive things.
I have ridden quite a few horses that have been started with these steps and the all have learned how to react to the aids. people over ehre do not lunge a horse for weeks before they take the next steps, they do not put the saddel on and on for weeks and wait for the next step. And everytime I see people break in their horses they adjust their steps to the development, reaction of the horses.
I admit that this looks very frightening in the video if you saw it for the first time Again I am not likeing the fastness of the steps in the video, but the single steps/ basics are how a lot of people I know do it. e.g. the people I know would put the saddle girth on in the boxstall first and let the horse get used to it a bit. They will do that over a few days. Than they would longe it with saddle, girth for a few days until the wildest bucking stops and the horse stars without bucking. Than the would start let the stirrups hang down and would again lunge a few days until the horse stops bucking and works and so on and so on...
Oh and I may need to add: all the pople I have seen breaking horses in do something like 30-50 or more per year. These poeple know exactly what to think about the reactions and what can happen. And also very important: over here the riders very very often have to do with the horses in the barn. Young horse riders feed horses, riders do the boxstalls, riders groom and saddle them etc. they know the particular horse and it may be easier to expect the particualr reactions.
Unfortunately I do not understand enough dusch to understand the explanations. But I think this is not their normal way but something to demonstrate the different steps they take.
From experience: It will not be any more or less difficult. I would expect "steering and brakes" still not working, but no other reaction against the rider. Especially since this particular one already stood very still when he got on and of the third time in the video. Breaks and sterring will start coming into work. A friend of mine pays a lot of attention that the horses know verbal commands and react immediatly to them before he gets onand he uses the same commands when on the horse. and from verbaly commands to the actions of the rider the horse will make the connection sooner or later (Depending on intelligence of horse and experience of rider...)
I think a lot of you guys are over-reacting to this video.... it was a demonstration for an audience and they used an unbroken 4-year old stallion for this purpose. There was nothing in the video that was unkind or unfair to the horse and I admire the guy that did the riding. The rider was trying to demonstrate the steps involved in starting a horse and since the audience wasn't there for the next couple of weeks, he condensed it to 15 minutes. He even says that this is normally a much longer process and goes out of his way to praise the horse through-out the session.
I only wish that we had more of this type of riding talent in this country.
Siegi Belz www.stalleuropa.com
2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.