Starting to train a slightly older horse


New Member
Jan 1, 2002
North Carolina
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I was wondering.... I have a older horse, he's 9 yrs old and stubborn- he can be haltered and will follow where you want him to go with little resistance. I was wondering if any had any one had any advice about helping me start train him, excrsises, how to introduce him to a saddle/bridle, etc. :)


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
My stallion was 10 before he was trained to ride and drive, It's no different to training a youngster, but in some cases you may have to take things slower, but if he's not wild off the hill and used to people and fairly tame just introduce things slowly and make sure you always use plenty of positive reward, try to ignor bad behaviour, just quietly insist he does what you ask, then the second he yeilds reward him by backing off and releasing any pressure.


New Member
Sep 9, 2000
North Somerset, U.K.
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Prior to having Pageant I 'rescued' a New Forest pony that someone had bought as part of a pair from the sales- it was headed for the slaughter house and so I bought him very cheap.

He was sold as a 4year old and was completely wild out of the forest- so much so that it took nearly a month of hours at a time daily work with him before we even managed to get the sale sticker off his backside!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the people who bought him didn't have the time to put in to socialising him, and so I bought him to save him going to a dealer who, no doubt would have sold him for meat.

As a relative novice, I didn't have any high ideas about being able to train him to ride, but thought if I could get him handle-able, I may be able to find him a good home.

Five months later, although still a bugger to catch, he was happy to be groomed all over, have his feet picked out, be led out in hand in traffic in a headcollar and had accepted a saddle and bridle.

At this point I made the decision to sell him on to someone more experienced as I was terrified of ruining him! When I sold him it was to a very knowlegable lady who took one look in his mouth and showed me all the evidence I needed that he was at least 7 years old! Several other people had commented that they thought he was older than four, but somehow we had never got round to checking his teeth!! The lady that bought him was however happy to take him anyway and was confident that she could train him easily- she said that I had done the hard work for her by getting him to the stage he was at! Praise indeed for me!

Anyway, I guess the point is that it is possible to train an older horse- even for someone as green as I was then- I hadn't owned a horse myself before and didn't have the faintest idea what I was doing! I read a lot of books that summer!
My horse was 8 yrs.old when I bought her, was an old dressage/sport horse.....its taken a YEAR at the most to get her to be a recreation(pleasure) horse..
time/repeating ( repetition,) works well.. mine is stubborn & down right threatening to rear, if "I make her"....
I'd suggest time & lots of reading!!
But it can be done,
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