Breaking (Training/Educating) A Yearling
Unfortunately, there are many “cowboys” in the harness racing industry. Most of them work in
the barns and are the first to begin to educate young horses.
It is difficult, for a trainer of 50 plus horses, to know what is going on in every stall of every
horse, so they hope for the best. Unfortunately, each and every horse may not encounter someone
well-trained in the art of horsemanship, which is extremely important in phase one of the
learning process for a horse.
Each horse has a different personality, which is cool. What is not cool is that many caretakers are
in a hurry and inefficient – at best. Caretakers want to impress the trainer in hopes of working
his, or her, way up the ladder to second trainer. Either that, or they just do not care. So, they rush
the educational process to either get on with the show or to demonstrate to the trainer that they
This is not true of all caretakers. There are those, who show terrific understanding and care of the
horses in their charge and are exceptional horse people and they are to be respected for their
knowledge and the day-to-day care they give to their horses.
However, sadly, many young, capable horses may be shorted, which is a term used in
horsemanship. Good horsemanship requires a thorough understanding of a horse’s behavior and
language to achieve successful and caring outcomes. Understanding the horse’s behavior and
language will help one relate to their horse in a much more meaningful way and will deepen the
bond between the caretaker and their horse. Shorting a horse means: Overlooking what needs to
be done to make the horse’s experience enjoyable, educational, and successful.
Instructive video coming soon!