How Long Does It Take to Break a Horse?

Breaking your horse can be quite an intense and difficult task since horses have different behavior and traits just like us, human beings. This means that different horses will not only react to instructions differently but also take lessons differently when it comes to learning. Many horse owners, especially the new ones, have been wondering and asking, ‘How long does it take to break a horse?’ This text will show you the whole process and the duration required to break your horse and train it. If the breaking takes long for your horse, we recommend you to stay patient and avoid being harsh to your house because of frustration. If you’ve assigned a trainer to your horse, you’re recommended to instruct him/her to stay humane and keep records for you to track the training progress easily. If the right procedure is followed, this process is expected to take between four to six weeks. 

What Is Breaking a Horse?

This is simply the training technique applied to eventually get into a horse that is about to be ridden during a race. Initially, breaking your horse was used to mean cracking the stallion’s wild spirit but the term seems to have evolved up to today. A broken horse is recommended for races and competitions since they are considered safe. Broke horses are considered safe for riding since they’re easier to respond to ‘saddle breaking’ instructions while the race is in progress. The breaking/training sessions will include tasks like bridle dressing, saddling, and running with a rider without freaking out or bucking. In the long run, the trainer will train the horse and teach it simple instructions such as walking, steering, and stopping. 

Read: How Long Can a Horse Run Before It Dies?

When to Start Training Your Horse

Training your horse begins as soon as it’s born. Your foal should learn how to put on a foal slip {headcollar), become familiar with the brushing process, picking up their feet, and interact with their handler. Therefore, the learning process begins as early as birth since the foal has to be introduced to its day-to-day activities and new lifestyle with humans. 

Horse Breaking Terminologies

  • Breaking

Breaking in or breaking refers to introducing a rider to your horse and training it to carry one on its back.

  • Unbacked

An unbacked horse is one that has never been ridden before. If you happen to buy an unbacked horse, you’ll need to break it first before riding. Luckily, unbacked horses can still be handled and trained well before you move on to saddling. 

  • Backing

This is the process of starting a young horse, a foal, or even an elder horse that hasn’t been introduced to any training. 

  • Green

This term is used to refer to a horse that lacks experience. It could be a broken horse that hasn’t been exposed to any training experience e.g. cross-country and jumping.

  • Breaking to harness

This is training your horse to ride while pulling a certain vehicle. Usually, this could be a horse that’s been broken already.

  • Riding away

These are the early training weeks of schooling your horse which is usually harder than the breaking-in process.

  • Restarting

This is the process of having to break in a horse that has been broken before already. These cases occur when a horse is left dormant and untouched maybe for a couple of years. Hereby, you’ll have to restart the horse. 

What’s the Best Age for Breaking In?

During the breaking process, every horse owner should be careful not to break their horse too early since this might end up complicating their joints and damaging them later on. Therefore, there are a few things you’ll have to consider to conclude that it’s the perfect breaking time. The appropriate breaking age varies from one horse breed to another since they take different time spans to mature fully. The average age span for breaking a horse usually ranges between four to six years. However, the breaking age will always depend on the breed, temperament levels, and lastly the horse owner’s preferences. 

If you notice that it’s not the right breaking time yet, the trainer will have to leave them for a year or two to give them a chance to develop. While some horses might take six years to mature for breaking in, others are ready to be broken earlier. We advise you to take your time when considering whether the right breaking time has come. Horse breaking is a very crucial stage when breaking your stallion, and we’re therefore advised to approach this process with so much care; since it’s significantly going to affect your stallion’s future performance. 

How Long Does It Take to Break a Horse?

The breaking-in period will obviously vary from one horse breed to another. This process usually takes 4 to 8 weeks when getting the basics in. However, the recommendable period is 90 days for most breeds. As we’ve seen before, different horse breeds react to these lessons differently. Some breeds take a short time learning whilst others might require a lot of attention and consistency during training to get it all right. If the horse has mastered the basics already but you want them to perform some simple additional tasks; you can extend a few days since it’s going to be easier for your stallion. It will all begin with giving your horse simple instructions and commands before bringing the lunges in. After this, you’ll have to work on putting the bridle than the difficult and crucial part, getting to saddle them up. 

The Cost of Breaking a Horse

The training cost of your horse tends to vary depending on your location. In some countries, trainers can charge 30 to 100USD to train their horse. Remember, you’ll have to include the pasture and feeding costs that will be part of the training process. On the other hand, some trainers might offer you 100-400USD a week to break in your horse. The cost for training your horse will therefore vary from one owner to another depending on their residential location and the type of package they’re subscribed to. 

Final Thoughts: How Long Does It Take to Break a Horse?

We believe you don’t have to ask yourself ‘How long does it take to break a horse?’ anymore because this article has everything you need about breaking a horse. 

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