Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it normally take to break in a horse?

A: Usually around 4-5 weeks.

Q: In your opinion, what's the best age for my horse to be broken in and ridden?

A: In an ideal world, I would say that four years old is a good age for most horses. Leaving flexibility room in terms of workload afterwards for later maturing breeds.

Q: What is the minimal age that you would break-in a horse to be ridden?

A: I will not break in a horse under saddle who is under two years from the actual day of birth. I do understand that this limits me with regards to the thoroughbred industry. I have nothing against thoroughbred racing, and have a great deal of respect for the industry. I do understand that thoroughbreds mature earlier, and it is common practice for some to be broken in much earlier and raced at two. It is simply a personal opinion that I don't want to compromise on. I will happily work with horses on the ground up until, and under saddle after the age of two.

Q: Someone broke in my horse, but he/she won't listen to my signals. What is your definition of "broken in"?

A: I consider a horse to be broken in when they can comfortably walk, trot, canter carrying a rider, on a soft reign, and softly yield to the rider's leg and hand cues. They should also be comfortable to be led, tacked up, groomed, handled with no 'sensitive' areas, and stand reasonable still for being tacked up and mounted.

That said, I cater to what the owner / rider wants and expects from the horse. This might mean that I spend a few extra sessions working with the owner to show them what the horse best responds to, and how to cope with any issues they may get in the future. Or work a horse more around traffic and hills if their job is going to be riding out. Or work with and alongside the owner, if they are an experienced rider who want to do most of the work themselves, but just want a hand and guidance. Just like each horse is a different individual, so is each combination of horse and rider.

Q: So you do more than just breaking-in?

A: Yes. I do training, re-training, bringing horses back into work, working with problem horses, lessons, consultations, and more. And if it's something beyond my abilities, I would likely be able to recommend someone.

-----If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at pavel@equinestart.co.nz