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What makes a horse green?

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    What makes a horse green?

    I’m just curious what everyone’s definition is. I saw an ad for a 13 year old horse the other day, listed as green. Unless it was started late for some reason, I thought to myself why on earth would a 13 year old still be green?!?!

    Is there a point in training you no longer consider them green, regardless of age? Combination of training and age?

    #2
    Green simply means untrained or not trained yet. It has nothing to do with age.

    A trail ride horse will be green at dressage.

    A dressage horse will be green at Jumping.

    etc, etc, etc
    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

    Comment


      #3
      For us, a green horse is one with little training of any kind, at any age.

      As the saying goes, the best you can do for your horse is to train it well, so it will always land in a good place, with that good, solid training:

      Comment


        #4
        Envy

        Comment


          #5
          A horse can be green at any age. Maybe it didn’t get ridden much until recently, or maybe it has only been hacked around but never given any real under saddle education. Lots of possibilities for a green 13 year old.

          Green is also relative to the job at hand. You can have a very experienced mid-level event horse, that is just moving up to intermediate and thus is green at that level. A lifelong dressage horse that is just starting reining will be green to the discipline. It’s all relative.

          ETA: realized this didn’t really answer the question. I would consider a horse “not green” for the job at hand when I feel that it has reliably proven that it is properly trained for that job, and can perform it consistently and successfully when ridden correctly. Mileage counts too- enough hours performing said job to confirm that the horse is comfortable and confident.

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by clanter View Post
            Envy

            Comment


              #7
              Bluey, I love that meme. Should be required reading for beginning riders.

              Comment


                #8
                I can’t remember who said it, someone on COTH here, “ready to start your way”

                My horse is 8 and green, never had any consistent training, can walk trot canter, and that’s about it. He has no kind of finesse, will run into walls if you forget to steer, definitely ready to start my way.
                "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Nova2000 View Post
                  I’m just curious what everyone’s definition is. I saw an ad for a 13 year old horse the other day, listed as green. Unless it was started late for some reason, I thought to myself why on earth would a 13 year old still be green?!?!

                  Is there a point in training you no longer consider them green, regardless of age? Combination of training and age?
                  Lots of nice horses fall through the cracks, lots of horses are started late or not at all. They get started training, or maybe they never get started, things go wrong with the people in their lives and they sit in a field for 5 years and never get trained. Sometimes this is because the horse has an injury or a behaviour problem but it can just as easily be that the person got sick or ran out of time, energy, focus.

                  I would expect a green horse to be OK with a rider walk trot and maybe canter, but to be unbalanced in the arena, to not understand lateral work, to find a 20 metre circle difficult.

                  Horses can be green at any age. The market for a green or unbroken 20 year old horse is about nonexistent though.

                  I hang around at the low end of nice horses. Everyone wants a bargain on a good horse. I have seen lots of ten year old horses just getting started under saddle, and things work out. Obviously there's no time line here for a real show career, but people do make them into riding horses and learn a lot in the process.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My first thought - lying in their poop
                    A proud friend of bar.ka.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by KBC View Post
                      I can’t remember who said it, someone on COTH here, “ready to start your way”

                      My horse is 8 and green, never had any consistent training, can walk trot canter, and that’s about it. He has no kind of finesse, will run into walls if you forget to steer, definitely ready to start my way.
                      me. 🤣
                      I refer to it as “ready to finish your way!”
                      I think “green” is a term relative to a person too. What I consider to be green, you may consider to be pretty handy and broke.
                      but generally speaking, I refer to a horse as green when they still need hand holding and routine correction to properly perform their job.

                      if I had a horse on cattle and I had to consistently remind that horse not to leak forward on the cow or had to routinely arc him on that cow because he wanted to dump his shoulder, I would consider him green on a cow.

                      if I had a Reiner that did not change leads consistently unless I did a bit of counter cantering and working on body positioning and then asked him to change leads with perfect timing, I would consider him green changing leads.
                      Same in the sliding stop....if he needs quite a bit of help aligning those shoulders so he runs down straight and then needs quite a bit of help in the stop to get his timing right and he still gets a little proppy in the front end, I would consider him green in that area.

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Equisis View Post
                        Mileage counts too- enough hours performing said job to confirm that the horse is comfortable and confident.
                        I think that's important too. I realized when looking online what a differnce there is in the opinion of the definition though. Based on most of the above comments, my horse wouldn't be considered green. We walk, trot, canter, and steer. We have the basic balance, and starting 1st Level work, plus the beginings of shoulder-in, and counter canter, but at 5 although he has an amazing brain, I still consider him green.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          When you take it on a trail ride and it spooks when it hears you open the velcro secured saddle pad pocket.
                          Also when it is deathly afraid to cross a small stream.

                          Also if a horse, from any discipline, is unable to perform the activities depicted in the following videos.


                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knRp...&pbjreload=101

                          or

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MzxXvUjHr0

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Well, green *should* mean "has the basic skills and is ready to train in your discipline". But the Craigslist version of green is often "tons of problems but we'll pretend this 13-yo horse just hasn't been started yet". Just as with humans, there's a window where horses are more biologically primed to learn new things. Outside that window, they're harder to teach. We can pretend that 13 yo is just green but honestly even if free, they'll cost more than a young (true) green horse you paid $ for. That's not to say they're worthless, but go in with your eyes open.

                            Comment

                              Original Poster

                              #15
                              Mukluk Great. Now I suddenly find myself shopping for swords. I just can’t decide if I only want one or if I should go for two. I have a little shoulder trouble on the one side, but I’ll save on shipping if I just go ahead and get the two.

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #16
                                HungarianHippo im not going into anything LOL. I’m happy with my one horse. It just got me thinking that’s all!

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Nova2000 View Post
                                  Mukluk Great. Now I suddenly find myself shopping for swords. I just can’t decide if I only want one or if I should go for two. I have a little shoulder trouble on the one side, but I’ll save on shipping if I just go ahead and get the two.
                                  Definitely go for the two!!!! Your shoulder may surprise you!!!! And you will certainly dazzle your neighbors!!!!!

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    I find it's one of those terms that has come to mean so many different things and requires so much clarification that it usually means exactly nothing

                                    IME, it has meant any or all of the following:

                                    - very, very broke but new to a certain particular skill or movement, usually referenced specifically as "green to ________"
                                    - been sat on. Maybe. So long as you count someone holding their toddler on the horse's back as "being sat on"
                                    - been ridden at some point in the very, very distant past but long enough ago that no one has any idea if or what the horse knows
                                    - newly started to the most basic of skills like w/t/c, baby lateral work, steering/bend, etc but in need of miles and finishing (what I think people initially intended "green" to mean...)
                                    - dangerous, which someone found out when they went to go ride the horse and got bucked off, etc
                                    - has serious holes in their education to the point where they may as well be started over again but hey, someone taught them something at some point so they aren't completely unbroke

                                    Basically, I ignore the term completely now if it's used to describe a horse I'm interested in. The horse will tell me what they know or don't know.

                                    Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Of course, you get TBs off the track, and they are all considered green, regardless of age. And they have a TON of training, just not in a discipline other than racing. So, everyone's definition of green is going to be different. I often find a horse's greenness is in direct relation to the rider's skill set.
                                      My hopeful road to the 2021 RRP TB Makeover: https://paradoxfarm.blog/

                                      Comment

                                        Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Abbie.S View Post
                                        I find it's one of those terms that has come to mean so many different things and requires so much clarification that it usually means exactly nothing

                                        IME, it has meant any or all of the following:

                                        - very, very broke but new to a certain particular skill or movement, usually referenced specifically as "green to ________"
                                        - been sat on. Maybe. So long as you count someone holding their toddler on the horse's back as "being sat on"
                                        - been ridden at some point in the very, very distant past but long enough ago that no one has any idea if or what the horse knows
                                        - newly started to the most basic of skills like w/t/c, baby lateral work, steering/bend, etc but in need of miles and finishing (what I think people initially intended "green" to mean...)
                                        - dangerous, which someone found out when they went to go ride the horse and got bucked off, etc
                                        - has serious holes in their education to the point where they may as well be started over again but hey, someone taught them something at some point so they aren't completely unbroke

                                        Basically, I ignore the term completely now if it's used to describe a horse I'm interested in. The horse will tell me what they know or don't know.
                                        Abbie.S I think this is the best answer yet, especially the “sat on”

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