Question: I just bought a 4yr old quarter horse mare. She is so sweet she will follow you anywhere. She will let me sit on her but won’t move and I was told she never had a saddle or rider on her. How can I saddle break her and get her to start riding?
Answer from April Reeves: I don’t normally advise someone to break a horse that has no prior experience as it almost always ends up not in the horse’s best interest. Breaking and training is a long and somewhat dangerous procedure, and a green rider getting on and riding a green horse can get you both hurt very seriously.
As a Professional, I cannot in good faith, guide you through such an intricate and important step in your mare’s life by just writing an article. I understand all too well what happens during breaking, and it would be like someone trying to fly a small plane for the first time with an article on flying in their hand.
If you can’t afford to have someone spend a month on her, then I can’t go any further than to say buy some books and read, read, read. Or follow the link below to see some great video on breaking youngsters.
I really do urge you to seek a professional for a month or so. Find a qualified person who does this for a living, and has a track record. Spend as many days as you can watching how they work with your mare. Ask questions and see if you can be taught at the same time. You may benefit immensely from this experience.
Many young horses appear to be gentle and kind, but horses are horses, and when spooked or frightened, they become very large, very dangerous animals.
I hope you and your mare enjoy a great friendship together. If you plan on continuing this alone, please refer to a video section on my website. Jay O’Jay works with a young mare and breaks her to bridle and saddle. It will help you better than any article as you can view the horse’s reaction and study what Jay does to gently guide the horse through the process. Follow this link: http://www.horsemansu.com/videos/great_trainers_and_clinicians