Young Horses
From the offset, building up a strong bond with your horse will create a lifelong connection. Although training a young horse can be seen as an intimidating prospect, it can also be an incredibly rewarding process which will teach both you and your horse a lot about each other. Preparing for your new addition will require more than buying the best stable rugs and establishing a healthy diet, so we’ve pulled together some of our top tips to make the training process as smooth as possible.

Establish your authority

If a horse has not experienced a long-term owner, they will need to adapt to you and your routine. From day one, establishing your dominance by not accepting improper behaviours and rewarding any good behaviours will help set the boundaries and get your horse on the right track. Getting into a set routine and using firm actions will speed up the process and help you gain the respect you deserve.

Professional insights

If you are not particularly knowledgeable in the training of young horses, work with those who can help you through the process. Depending on your horse’s behaviour, it can be a very testing process so having a port of call when you need expert advice is highly recommended. Horse trainers are able to offer advice on the best processes and approaches to take for your horse’s individual needs, and there are endless resources out there which can be read if you want to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons behind different behaviours.

Give it time

The process of training a young horse is a long one, requiring endless patience and perseverance. It is very normal for a horse to not pick up on a new skill or take a backwards step on something you thought you may have cracked the code with, but do not let this be a deterrence. Your horse needs to trust you as their owner, and it can take a while for them to adapt to their new lifestyle, so take small steps instead of overwhelming them. Many owners find it beneficial to keep a written or visual log of any progress so they can refer back to where they started and monitor progress over time.

Desensitise from movement

For many young horses, sudden movements and unusual sensations can make them unpredictable. Getting them used to riding and human interaction during earlier stages of life will make the training process easier, becoming a regular part of their daily life. Start by familiarising them with a saddle, getting it into position and putting pressure on the different areas such as the stirrup and the top, moving weight from side to side so they will not react to unexpected movement when it comes to riding.

The training process will differ from horse to horse, with all personalities creating a different experience. With no one size fits all approach, adapting to your horse and giving them the time to adapt to you will set the foundations of your training plan, building up that all important trust.