Anonymous asked in SportsHorse Racing · 1 decade ago

Breaking a horse to saddle bags?

I have a eight year old arabain mare. She has never had saddle bags put on her until today. I layed them on her back. When she ran she would buck and throw them off. I have no round pen to put her in. I've been thinking about putting the saddle on her and letting her run in the pasture with the bags tied onto the saddle but I don't want her to hurt herself. I also have farm equipment in the pasture. What is the best way to break her withour hurt me or her?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I agree putting them on and letting her run around is just adding the stress.

    Instead take her with just a halter and lead rope(no saddle) and rub the saddle bags all over her until she gets use to them. Start at the shoulder on one side and start rubbing her with them. Until she relaxes. Stop and praise her. Then start at the shoulder again but move a little towards her butt. If she starts to get upset keep rubbing and go with her and when she relaxes stop. Keep do that until you can rub them all over her body on both sides, even her legs, belly and head.

    Do that for a few days so it's pretty solid in her mind. Then start to LIGHTLY toss them like you are lightly slapping her with them. Not enought o hurt or scare her. Repeat that like you did for the above until she is use it.

    Repeat all of that with the saddle on. The reason you do it first without the saddle is so she gets use to it even where the saddle is. Once she can handle that put them on the saddle and just lead/longe her around....Also before you do that just toss them up in place and then slide them down off each side and then off her butt so she gets use to that to.

    After she can handle it at a work then longe her at a trot and a canter. Then put weight in them so she gets use to the way it moves with the weight, some will slap harder.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If I was you I wouldn't let her run with them tied to the saddle. I would keep them empty and keep putting them on her back un til she learns they are not a threat. It may take a week but she will learn eventually. Once she accepts them you can start adding a little weight...let her get used to that and gradually more and more. Be patient and repetitive.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Two things:

    1st - Most important - Trust, really get a bond with your horse, make sure that grooming is a emotional exchange where your horse has know doubt that you love it!

    2nd - Desensitization - I would suggest starting with the lunge line and slowly introduce them, make sure you work out fully tacked, and tie up the Stirrup 's securely so they dont become a distraction to your efforts.

    Remember your horse has only one reaction to the unknown, and thats to flee, so you need to establish communication both in the saddle and on the ground that your horse is safe, think it, say it often, you would be surprised how receptive horses are to thought...

    Source(s): Owner of Horses
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