When a horse reaches the age of two years, he is ready to be broken to a rider. One of the most important things to remember when working with a two-year old is to keep calm. From this point on through the breaking experience, the young horse is exposed to new sights, sounds, feelings and expectations. This time is crucial because it decides whether a horse will be an excellent or poor mount.
The average horse takes about a week to break to the saddle, although some horses take less time and some take more. Trainer Trent Normandin works with the young horses for an hour each day. It is important not to tire or frustrate a young horse by working him too long. This is not profitable for either the horse or the trainer.
The roundpen is used to contain the young horse in a small area. Since the following activities are new to the horse, a small, penned-in area is very useful in calming the horse down. Distractions such as loud noises and excessive numbers of people are avoided during the breaking; the horse is nervous enough without more commotion.
The breaking process occurs in distinct steps. Continue to read about the steps of the breaking process, beginning with sacking out.