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I "rescued" a 3 year old Appaloosa mare at an auction back in March. I've never "broken" a horse before, but have had horses all my life. I just never wanted to fool with training one. But i couldn't leave her there. She was so pitiful. I had no idea what I was gonna do with her, but now she's fat and happy and ready to do something with! We did buy a 1/2 Walker 1/2 Quarter horse one time, and she turned out great! But she was already use to a bit. We just had to teach her "go" "stop" "left" and "right".  This one lets us mount her, and she has impeccable ground manners (somebody must've spent a lot of time with her at some point), and she takes the bit better than my trail horses!! BUt she's constantly mouthing it. So much so that she's not paying attention to anything else. The vet said her teeth are fine...she's just not used to a bit. How do I train her? I was told to put her in a stall for a few hours with a bit (NO REINS) to get her used to the feel of it. But this worries me because I don't know what bit to start with. Should I go with a snaffle to start, or a curb? She is really easy to handle, I want to be as gentle as possible.  I've heard that broken bits are easier, then I read that they "pinch" the mouth. Curbs are said to be harsher when you pull back, but more comfortable otherwise. I am so confused!!! All our horses have different bits, but they were all used to it in the first place.....we just experimented 'til we found what worked. I know this is long....but I wanted to give as much info as I could. Because of the way I acquired her, I have no knowledge of her previous training. CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP? Any advise would be helpful! I don't feel like we need to hire a trainer because she's really easy to deal with...I just need to get over this one hurdle! Thanks in advance for any tips y'all can give!

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you can start with a rope halter, get her started yealding to pressure on it both directions, (probably already doing that) get the stop and go commands started. Snaffle bit is the starter bit, but it can be started after yer already riding in a rope halter. the curb is for more advanced training and designed for indirect rein. That is, get a good start with the rope halter, progress to the snaffle and get some neck reining started, and then start with the curb. Good training is the biggest missing element in horse riders nowdays.

When I started getting interested in horses, I somehow just knew that a good knowledge of training was a necessity, I read everything I could find on it and then started going to clinics, collecting videos, etc.
And it's true, every time I get near a horse, every move I make has an effect on how my horse responds and I need a good handle on training in order to even be a good rider of an already trained horse, so I can ride without spoiling the previous training. And half the fun of having horses is training them.

I'd recommend Marv Walkers training videos for those who want practical training info without spending a great amount, easy to understand and full length training sessions. but he'll be a bit boring compared to Clint Anderson, so if ya got money to put into training info Clint's videos are really good, and watching his weekend training clinic is really good too. Another one coming up this fall. Nov 6-7 at Miller in Murfreesboro.

Most of the time it helps tremendously to do a certain exercise with them based on the herd social system, it helps them decide to let us be boss and do what we want them to. Some horses will respond fine without it but some won't, and some are actually dangerous to work with until they are told in a language they understand that I'm boss and I can prove it. Marv explains that better than any trainer I've listened to. I didn't understand it till I heard him, wasn't getting it from the others in language I could understand. But once I got the idea, I can train a horse and know exacly what I'm doing and how to get there, even though every horse responds to it a bit different.
put a snaffle bit on her to start. Some do the stall thing to get them use to it, the mouthy stuff is normal. Once she gets use to the bit she will stop that. Never put a curb bit on a young horse, they aren't ready for it.
Yeah, I was really reluctant to put a curb on her. But my husband has a TWH that we ride with one, and he does great...and I've had Quater Horses by the dozens that used them...and since I've only "trained" one horse...I didn't know the route to take! (The horse we trained was already used to a Tom Thumb. She was just REALLY green.) Thanks for the input! I'll take all of it to heart...I don't want to confuse her...and I'd NEVER hurt her for anything!!!
Years ago I had a 2 year old that I "trained". What a joy and the best time of my life!! I used an eggbutt&D ring snaffle. Very important to have a round pen or small enclosed area to work in. Young one's have short attention span. 3-4 times a week I would tack him up and just do groundwork. We would walk, trot & canter using lounge whip and verbally cues. Be consistant and repetitive in training. And lots of love and treats!! Keep sessions short 30-45 mins. Remember to have fun!!
I definitely got the love and treats part covered! And she is an angel....makes it all easier..I am looking forward to the "training"...and she seems so eager to learn! I think she gets bored. I've heard that that means they're smart. I hope so! Thanks for the advice...you make it sound like fun instead of work! That's how it should be.
Everyone has given very good and very similar advise, so there is not much to expound on. If you are not using a full cheek snaffle I would put a curb chain on the snaffle bit to avoid pulling the bit through her mouth. You can put the bridle on with out the reigns to help her to get adjusted to it but if you are working with her and she gumming the bit just ignore it and keep asking until she gives you the response you are looking for. If you can enlist professional training then I would do so. Along with the Trainer you can finish your easy goer and yourself in the process making it as enjoyable experience as possible.
That is so great! I always wondered why people put a curb chain on a snaffle since there is no leverage. Now I get it! She is a small horse (maybe even a pony), and the bit DID pull too far to one side. That's when I knew I needed help. I was just thinking about a smaller bit, but I need both. I bought a pony size loose ring snaffle that I plan to start her on this weekend.....now I'll add a curb strap. Thank you! I'm sure this will help a LOT!!!


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