Horse Training

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Horse Training


the systematic exercising of horses to develop their work capacity and prepare them for competition, for example, harness racing, thoroughbred horse racing, and draft horse competitions. Horse training is done at various gaits and at levels of difficulty sufficient to develop and strengthen the animal and increase its work capacity. Training methods vary according to the horse’s breed and use.

After the young horses of all breeds are weaned, they are trained in groups of 20–50 on a particular trail. Different gaits and speeds are used, according to the horses’ age and their classification by use. Such training promotes the normal development of the young horses and prepares them for individual training. The individual training of trotting breeds starts with breaking-in at the age of ten to 12 months. At the age of 1½ to two years they are trained at the stud farm, and at two years they are tested on racetracks. Trotters are trained to walk, walk rapidly, jog, and trot rapidly, the ultimate goal being to trot at the highest speed possible. At the end of training at the stud farm, a colt can cover a distance of 1,600 m at a fast trot in three minutes or less.

The individual training of saddle horses starts at IV2 years of age. The colts are trained to gallop at maximum speeds. Two-year-olds that are able to gallop rapidly for 1,000–1,200 m are considered ready to be tested at a racetrack. Racing training prepares two-year-olds to cover 1,000–1,600 m at top speed, while three-year-olds cover 1,600–3,000 m, and four-year-olds and older animals must cover 1,800–4,800 m.

The training of purebred draft horses starts at the age of 1½ years. The colts are trained in harness to walk and trot while pulling a load of a specified weight. They are tested at the ages of 2½ and 3½ years. Older horses, in addition, are tested for the maximum bad they are capable of pulling.

Correct feeding and care are essential in training horses.


Slavin, N. N. Trening i ispytaniia rysistykh loshadei. Moscow, 1952.
Gorelov, K., and A. Iakovlev. Trening i ispytaniia verkhovykh loshadei. Moscow, 1955.
Konnozavodstvo i konnyi sport. Moscow, 1972. Edited by Iu. N. Barmintsev.


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