Breaking Minis??


Country Girl[IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.
9 Years
Sep 25, 2010
So there is this cute little shetland, and I would LIKE to try breaking him. I know that you have to lunge, put pressure on the sides, THIS IS JUST AN "EXPERIMENT" , HE DOESN"T HAVE TO BE BROKE, anyways, could I put a 15in. saddle on his back (not going to sit on him), I just want to try some LITTE breaking steps

Should I NOT try this?


ETA: No little kids will be riding him
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Groundwork, groundwork, groundwork!

If you're training, and especially if you're learning to train - never EVER be in a rush to get weight on the horse's back. Having a horse not buck when there's weight on his back is very easy ... and it is a LOOOOONG way from trained.

This book has some excellent groundwork exercises with lots of pictures to help
This is Betsy, my 32" mini mule. (I don't know why the flash going off made this picture look so odd) The saddle Betsy's wearing is a 13" youth saddle by Abetta. She was 9 years old when I got her, unbroken but mishandled, so we had a lot of issues to work through before we got to this point. With a mini, you need to be constantly mindful of the fact that you are bigger than they are. Without intending to be, you can be much scarier to them than you could ever be to a big horse, so you need to go slow, and be sure it's a positive experience for both of you. The most important thing you can teach is one of the very first lessons: a good, solid WHOA! Good luck and have fun!

A 15" saddle is probably going to be too long and will cause flank injuries and discomfort making breaking more difficult. I've had some full size quarter horses get raw areas over the flank and hip from 15" square skirted saddles. In particular I would avoid heavy stock saddles. I would use a round light barrel racing type saddle or english saddle if you can't get a pony saddle. Then if the saddle is light and doesn't extend too far on to the rump throw 30lbs or so (sacks of flour or pine pellet bedding comes in 30-40lb bags) over the saddle and tie it on or have someone hold it while you do lots and lots of ground driving. I do ground driving even for the big horses when they are 1-2 year olds since I don't get on mine until they are 3-4years old. Of course everything in stages so lunge and ground drive first until you've got walk, trot, and stop, adjust to empty saddle, ground drive with saddle, adjust to added weight, and finally ground drive with weight.
An english would work then a western would be too big. I would take the stirrups off, just to be safe.

Do a lot of ground work, work on lunging with a lead rope at first, its shorter, keep the sessions short, and always end on a good note.
It can be hard to teach a horse to lunge, so if you need some tips, let me know.

IF you can get a set of metal rings that you can tie to the saddle to you can start to ground drive, once the shetland is doing well at lunging at walk/trot, and perhaps canter both ways.
Knows his cues for those, whoas on command, backs up and also will step to the side if you push on the hip.
You can use smooth nylon lead ropes, have some one lead the shetland so he understands what you are asking of him, the first couple of times.
AND keep the shetland in a fenced area, they can be stubborn, and get very herd bound.
Don't rush it, it will take time.

Good luck!!

Oh wanted to add....
You don't want to Break the mini... they are fragile!!! LOL

You want to train the mini!!!

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