Backing a young horse with Jayne RossApril 15, 2018 9:45 am
Posted in General, Jayne Ross, Sponsored riders, Tips
Top show rider and producer, Jayne Ross, has won the title of Supreme Horse of the Year at Horse of the Year Show five times in the past ten years. We are proud that the Jayne Ross show team is a long standing ambassador for Absorbine. Jayne has broken in around 12 youngsters this winter – she has been ably assisted by Absorbine groom of the year, Scott Dixon, Libby Robertson and Breisha Subachus who all do the backing and riding away. Each of these youngsters is having the best possible start to their ridden careers.
Jayne says: “From the moment a young horse arrives in the yard to be backed and broken they will be learning all the time. Some of the youngsters we have will have already seen a bit of the world and been well-handled through in-hand showing and so on. Others will have rarely been out of their field. Everything that we do with the young horses is a case of repetition and them learning that they can trust us. We want to avoid confrontation and make sure that they are enjoying all these new experiences.
As a first step, each horse will be tied up in his stable – to a ring using bailer twine – for mucking out and will learn to move over when asked to do so. They are groomed and all have their feet picked out before they go out in the field and again on coming in. It is great for them to get used to having their legs touched – they learn to trust you – and this will make life much easier for the farrier. They also have their legs washed off if they are muddy so this is another thing for them to get used to. In addition to teaching the horses to lead in and out in walk we also trot them up in hand.
Once they have got to grips with all this, we then put a cavesson on to begin lunging them in the school. Each horse has boots on all round for both lungeing and turnout. After a day or two a roller will be added for lungeing and then once the horse is ready they will have a bridle with a key bit on to get used to. We do leave them in the stable with the key bit – but never one with cheek pieces on.
When the horse is lungeing well with the roller, we put a saddle on with the stirrups down to make the horse aware of the extra weight and the flapping stirrups. Following this we begin long-reining. They get used to being long-reined in the school and then around the yard. Patience is key to all of this and we never rush any of the horses. Only once they are completely relaxed with one step will we move on to the next.
The next step is to begin backing the horse by leaning over him in the stable. We have an extra-large stable which we use for leaning over. The space needs to be large enough to avoid anything getting bumped and we always have three people – one to lie across, one to hold the horse and the other to give a leg up.
Once the horse is happy with this, we move on out into the school to first lie across and then sit on the horse. Again we have three people for this. Once the jockey is on board, the horse will be led around in walk to begin with and then all going well, trot will be introduced. The person leading will then slowly unclip the lead rope and keep walking at the horse’s head for a few steps. By the second or third day of riding the horse may well be being ridden right round the school in walk trot and canter.