The Five Stages of Training

The Five Stages of Training

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Every minute that you spend with your horse results in him learning something.  Every moment will influence the horse’s future behavior in one or another.  Because of this, you always want to be certain that you are on your toes and fostering your training in a way that will ensure he doesn’t learn any bad habits.  To be certain your are training your horse in a manner that is conducive to your training goals, it’s important to understand the five stages of training:

Stage 1: Early Training

This stage of training is from birth until the horse is strong enough to carry a rider, which is typically between 2 and 3 years old.

Stage 2: Introducing the Rider

This stage is usually referred to as “breaking.”  This is when you teach the horse to accept a rider and to respond to the basic aids.

Stage 3: Schooling in the Saddle

This stage is when you teach a horse collection, correct head carriage and bitting.  This is also when you will work on physical development and response to aids and developing his natural gaits.

Stage 4: Specialized Training

This stage involves developing the horse’s ability to perform tasks and specific techniques such as schooling for hunting, jumping, dressage, cutting, roping, reining, western events, etc.

Stage 5: Re-Education
This stage is when you typically fix any problems from bad schooling or simply advancing and perfecting the training of a horse that has been well-schooled.