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Found this video on breaking horses in Europe...

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  • #21
    I have to agree with Siegi. Yes all the steps were condensed for time purposes but the horse handled each one and was not treated unfairly.

    The gentleman who starts our young horses gets on them the first day baring any large road blocks. Most of them are happily rolling forward under saddle within an hour.

    He like the rider in the video is an astute horsemen and pressed the program forward as long as the horse understands the small lessons.
    "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"


    • #22
      I was certainly not bragging ... just stating that we had TWO young horses that were so incredibly easy that their training progressed very quickly. I also stated that we typically take 30 to 60 days to get a young horse to this point. The two I mentioned were the exception and certainly not the rule and I was crediting their pedigree for it as they were full siblings. I was absolutely not recommending this training method, so am seriously confused as to your strong objection to my post.

      Just as an aside ... neither of the two above mentioned horses ever had any training issues down the line and continue to exhibit their excellent rideability, willingness to work, and high trainability.

      Originally posted by szipi View Post
      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?


      • #23
        Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
        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.

        I agree. I saw nothing truly terrible. It was obviously a demonstration...and thus condensed. Good light rider...quick timing and decent ground help. I saw nothing that really scared me or was all that crazy other than I would have normally would have broken it up more over a week....and could never get on from the ground they way he did. I have other riders do that after I've already started them.....I don't do mounting from the ground any more!!! That horse will be just fine from the presentation...and I'm positive they would go back and basically restart him.
        Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Jan. 8, 2013, 07:07 PM.
        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


        • #24
          I don't see over-reacting here. Horses are not supposed to fit into time tables - they need the time it takes to get the job done quietly without teaching the horse to be reactive. The theory 'he will learn he cannot get away with this type of behaviour' holds no merit with me. Some horses are born broke, some need more time. I've never agreed with the clinic scenario where trainers are expected to rush things.

          There are horse breakers, there are horse trainers, and there are horse riders (most of us). Horsemen/horsewomen have the title bestowed upon them by their peers.
          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


          • #25
            The OP asked if this was the way things typically are done in Europe and seemed horrified at the speed with which the training was done. I answered that this is not how thing are typically done, as I was referring to the time given to each step (not the sequence of the steps). I agree entirely with the sequence Alexandra described, as well as the time the steps typically take.

            Though, this may be a condensed demonstration of the stages by which a horse is typically trained, it is not "typical" in the time taken for each step. That really was my only real criticism. I don't read Dutch, so did not know it was a condensed demonstration.
            Mary Lou


            Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


            • #26
              I was expecting to see something terrible. Besides a too short "lunge line," I didn't see anything to wad panties over...
              Barn rat for life


              • #27
                I have watched a rider working with a young TB in just this way. Not my way of doing things, but this rider/trainer was quite successful with her system.
                Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                • #28
                  OP asked also Why this is done that way.
                  As said the video seems to be som Demo of steps.
                  But if the way of these steps are questioned as such from OP, than I can say that the people I know that do it in those steps have experienced that with this type of initial breaking they get as far as with any different steps, but faster - time is money. The important difference for me starts when the first rounds without lungeline around the outside in a as quiet way are possible. At that point the training starts for me and here I expect for myself sensitive and still effektive ways to teach the horse. At that point things will make the difference. And also how the horse is worked on the lunge line before someone sits on it makes a difference to me.
                  I am not responsible for spelling misstacks - just my PC
                  2017: March: Filly by Lissaro - SPS Don Frederico - SPS Prince Thatch
                  May: Finnigan - Sandro Hit - SPS Rouletto


                  • #29
                    I spent most of my life starting colts, many different ways, depending on what colts and what the stable/trainer wanted.

                    I watched that and the colt had been handled before plenty, was not a watchy, spooky feral horse, that was in the colt starter's favor.
                    He also had help, that he didn't really use that well, the help was a bit late, not that good timing and irregular.

                    What he did there is what we call "steal a ride", not really teach thru different measured steps and eventually get a saddle and a rider on without fireworks, but smoothly, as if the colt had already been under saddle before.

                    You can hurry all as he did there and most times get by fine and have many colts going on more or less, but you also create resistances and a colt that is overwhelmed and wondering what happened, not one that has learned progressively to think about what is going on.
                    Those colts take long to relax, they tend to hold their breath, you can feel their hearts beating, they are stressing.

                    In settings like he was there and horses like he has there, really sweet ones, I would have longed a bit smoother first, then maybe get on without a saddle and someone longing the colt forward.
                    The add the saddle and keep the colt going without giving it a chance to try to hump up, that was totally unnecessary resistant motor memory the colt learned there.
                    Then get on with the colt saddled and someone still longing the colt, as it then knows to go forward on the longe line and it is under some control, for a few minutes, before turning it loose.

                    The fellow was a little careless when he didn't notice the colt was resisting and eventually reared.

                    Any time a colt acts up, it is a black mark on the handling he is getting.
                    Enough will happen that can't be helped, not good horsemanship to let it happen unnecessarily or worse, provoke it.

                    That fellow sure was limber, that I have to say, but also may cause some bad habits, as he knows he can get out of the way if things go South and so at times is not as careful as he should be.

                    I assume that, if the colt had been different, he would have worked him differently.
                    He did what he did because that is what he could do with that colt.
                    I know that I did more sooner with some colts, a few I took extra long also.

                    As our old riding instructor kept repeating, always pay careful attention and utterly respect the horse first, all other will then fall into place.


                    • #30
                      I guess I have experienced horses carefully started that that may have not blinked an eye initally --but "woke up" to the experience (I am not sure how to describe it otherwise) a few rides later, so that getting by the first ride without fuss or muss was great, but not a guarantee it was smooth sailing thereon.(Edited to add: I guess I am thinking the horse did not have that much time to absorb/process what was going on.)

                      Is it odd he is being started as a 4 year old?


                      • #31
                        I was thinking "Man, that guy has some nards!" LOL!
                        I LOVE my Chickens!


                        • #32
                          Fearless rider
                          "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach


                          • #33
                            I only made it four minutes. In that four minutes I saw a reactive horse that was over faced and defending himself by striking. Even with race horses the race doesn't start until they are in the gate for their first race. Taking your time not only makes sense but it makes it much safer for both parties. I am knocking vigorously on wood while saying this but I have never had a horse as much as crow hop when we started them. It was just another step in the natural progression of things that they were prepared for and accepted readily. At least he put a helmet on.
                            McDowell Racing Stables

                            Home Away From Home


                            • #34
                              Wow I only watched 4 minutes. I have only broken 2 horsses, one filly and one stallion, niether reacted to a saddle like that. But I handled them from birth. SO no, I don't like that approach. sorry


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                                I only made it four minutes. In that four minutes I saw a reactive horse that was over faced and defending himself by striking. Even with race horses the race doesn't start until they are in the gate for their first race. Taking your time not only makes sense but it makes it much safer for both parties. I am knocking vigorously on wood while saying this but I have never had a horse as much as crow hop when we started them. It was just another step in the natural progression of things that they were prepared for and accepted readily. At least he put a helmet on.
                                Yes, that is so, no fireworks is the mark of a good horseman, have the horse learn to cooperate all along, not be scared and confused.

                                Then, as some explain, that may have been a special situation, but who would want to take such a hurry up job?
                                It is not that the horse didn't get ridden, but that there are better ways to go about it.


                                • #36
                                  Ok first point, Nijhof would not post a video online that would potentially damage their reputation.

                                  Second point, when a yard has 200 horses to break starting first of the year for MPTs and stallion tests, they don't have time to waste.

                                  Third point, this video was an excellent demonstration of how to initiate the horse into being a riding horse. It was short, sweet and to the point.

                                  There was nothing abusive, rude or vicious about how this gentleman did it. He had knowledgable people on the ground while he respectfully put himself in the saddle. The constant dismounts and remounts were key. The rider did not push the horse to move, but rather sat securely while allowing the horse to measure his own acceptance of what was happening.

                                  The long term outcome of this type of backing is that in 60-90 days he will walk, trot, canter, do lead changes and jump.

                                  I say watch the video more and learn from it. In Europe the horse industry is not only a business but a culture. I'm sure there are many who do not follow sound guidelines when approaching the backing and training of horses. However, this horse is a perfect example of why they are so good at pumping out so many horse each year that we Americans keep going over there to buy.

                                  There are many ways to back a horse, but turning out a product for sport starts when the horses are young. In fact, this horse is a year older than most get started. A good example of this kind of training is our own horse Zita HS. I bought her at 3 1/2, she had already passed her MPT with States Premium, she was flatting beautifully and jumping. Now she is 5 coming 6 this year and she was winner of several 5 yr old classes here in the US last season. She Has been shown by a Pro and a junior rider successfully, and jumping 1.20-1.25m easily. Tell me that their methods don't work?!

                                  To each his own, but learning from the people who drive this industry in Europe isn't a bad place to start.

                                  Hyperion Stud, LLC.
                                  Europe's Finest, Made in America
                                  Standing Elite and Approved Stallions


                                  • #37
                                    Like the good old days!!!

                                    It felt like going back 30 years ago watching cowboys in my area breaking their horses! Almost the same... lunging few minutes, putting an old saddle on (only they were letting the horses run in the paddock with the saddle ) catching him after he made his scene and then jumping on his back to go for a ride with other riders and then he would proceed to mount and dismount his horse until he was fine. The horse was ''broken''.

                                    I thought this was long gone.

                                    This horse learned to carry something on this back, in a kind of stressful way and of course, it takes at the most 15 minutes to do that. Nothing special here and certainly nothing I would be proud to show on a video or in front of a crowd.

                                    This horse will not be traumatized, just surprised and more resistent for a while. But there are so many and better way to start a colt.
                                    Breeder of Royal Dutch Sport Horse


                                    • #38
                                      that is one nice horse!

                                      i will only say that i have no issues with what was done - just the time frame used.

                                      i also agree that we american tend to do things too slowly and take way too much time. its a hard habit to break tho!


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                        i also agree that we american tend to do things too slowly and take way too much time. its a hard habit to break tho!
                                        "Slow is fast" with horses. That's a universal truth.


                                        • #40
                                          Yuk. Abusive would be a very big word but there are certainly less unpleasant ways to start them and it's certainly not a role model I would follow
                                          The horse doesn't even have a basic understanding of human-equine interaction, he strikes, he snaps, he has little steering from the ground and I'd do a lot of other things with him before even thinking of sitting on his back.
                                          Froh zu sein bedarf es wenig...