How to Break in a Horse in 5 Easy Steps

How to Break in a Horse in 5 Easy Steps


When you get your own horse, breaking him in can seem like an incredibly daunting task. However, with the right preparation and techniques, it can be easy to make sure your horse gets used to his new home quickly, and then you’ll be able to get started on training him in time to ride him this summer! This guide will walk you through the process of breaking in a horse step by step, so you’ll have no problem getting your very own saddle bronc running smoothly at home in no time!


Step 1 - Getting Started

Start by walking your horse. Make sure you walk on a lead rope so you have complete control of your horse at all times. Walk for 10-15 minutes and make sure you walk them both ways, with and against traffic if possible. This will get your horse accustomed to walking alongside people and cars that are passing you on either side of the road or lane. This is also an excellent opportunity for them to become accustomed to various sights, sounds, smells and traffic along their route.


Step 2 - Understand Equine Temperament

Before you begin, it’s important to understand equine temperament. Because horses are prey animals, they evolved with fight-or-flight instincts. Each horse is an individual, but many people find that their steeds can be afraid of their own shadows!


Step 3 - Get Your Horse Ready

It’s important to remember that even after you’ve broken your horse, they may not be completely trained. They will take time and training before they’re ready for riding, so if you have any expectations of riding immediately after breaking them, think again.


Step 4 - Learn Horse Body Language

When you're ready to start training your horse, it's important that you know what your animal is trying to tell you. The better you are at interpreting these cues, particularly negative ones, and responding accordingly, with less force, before your horse becomes frightened or frustrated, the smoother and more enjoyable your training process will be.


Step 5 - Bond With Your Horse

Once you have established who is really in charge, it’s time to get your horse used to carrying you around. While riding him out, be sure not to sit directly behind his withers; instead, place your seat right back on his hips so that he can feel you behind him. As he grows accustomed to having you on his back, gradually shift forward until you are sitting over his shoulders.

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