Schooling Exercises For Green Horses: Getting Started

If you need some basic schooling exercises for green horses, look no further! With these simple steps, your horse will go from green to great in no time. 

Training a green horse requires time and some skill, but if you stay consistent, you and your horse will have everything they’re learning under the halter soon.

In this article, I explain some basic exercises you can do to kick-start your green horse’s training and share my most valued training tips. 

What Is A Green Horse?

The term ‘green’ refers to the amount of formal experience or training a horse has had. If a horse is referred to as a green horse, it means they’re still an amateur or inexperienced. A green horse hasn’t had much or any training. 

Green horses fall into a larger category of green that can vary in the amount of formal training or experience. This category includes ‘halter-broke,’ which means the horse has never or rarely worn a saddle and halter, and ‘green-broke’ horses. 

Green horses aren’t necessarily young horses. Older horses coming from the life of a pasture pet can also have little to no experience or training. A rider with little experience is called a green rider, and if a horse and rider are both inexperienced, they’re called a green + green pairing. 

 Can a beginner ride a green horse?

Schooling Exercises For Green Horses

If your horse is still green, you can do many exercises to help them gain experience. Here are some I recommend:

Trotting Poles

Use trotting poles on the track when training your horse. This makes it more interesting for them, and when they’re interested, they automatically want to participate. You can also add bricks or anything else that will raise the trotting poles a little. 


Have your horse try different paces with different transitions each time. They should immediately respond to your commands and stay attentive. 


Use your voice to make clicking sounds that’ll let your horse know you want them to move forward or faster. If you ask them to do this immediately after you click, they’ll soon know what the sound means.


Give your horse enough breaks to ensure they aren’t getting overworked. The best time would be immediately after they did something right, so it acts as an incentive. They’ll master the skills to get a break.

Tips For Training Green Horses

Assess Your Horse’s Ground Knowledge

Don’t jump onto your horse and expect to start riding them immediately. You’ll have to find out exactly how much knowledge they have and how much you’ll have to train them. Start by seeing which commands they already know and add to their skills by teaching them some more. 

Start Small

All green horses have some experience in common because they have been walking their entire lives. Use this to your advantage and train them to walk under the saddle. They should get used to having you ride them before you can teach them anything else.

Yielding To Your Leg

It’ll take some time for your horse to perfect yielding to your leg. You can start teaching them to yield by applying pressure on one side of their body with your leg until they understand this. Then teach them to yield to other leg movements and commands. 

Time and Patience

Training a green horse is not something you can do over a weekend. It’ll take a lot of time and patience, and you’ll need to account for this in your schedule. You’ll need to spend many hours on specific basic skills, which could add to weeks of training your green horse. 

 What can you teach a green horse?

Ask For Help

Get the help of a pro or expert trainer. This will put you at ease knowing your horse is getting trained correctly. It will also take a lot of weight off your shoulders.

You don’t need a trainer to teach your horse everything, but they can help you master the basics or give a hand in the areas you have trouble understanding. 

Proper Care

Taking proper care of your horse will result in better training. Horses need a healthy diet suited to their needs. If you’re unsure of your horse’s diet, a veterinarian or equine nutritionist could help create a meal plan according to the amount of physical activity they’ll be doing. 

Groundwork Is Important

Don’t shy on the groundwork. Not only will these exercises stimulate your horse, but it’ll also reveal their temperament and personality to you. Groundwork is also a great way to lay the foundation of a strong bond between you and your horse. 

Before Trotting Off

 How hard is it to train a green horse?

Even if your horse is a pasture pet, teaching them to be ridden with a saddle is the most basic exercise you should consider. You never know when the day comes that you need your horse!

It’s true that training a green horse is hard work, but once you have a schedule and stick to it, every day will get better.

I hope these tips and exercise suggestions for your green horse help you. If you have more questions about training a green horse, ask them in the comments!


What can you teach a green horse?

Green horses still need to be taught everything. You can teach your green horse how to carry a rider, have rhythm, balance, and work around the barn.

How do you teach a green horse to collect?

Before you teach your green horse how to collect, you must perfect the half halt. Once your horse can successfully execute this, refine the half halt to turn it into a complete one.

How hard is it to train a green horse?

Training a green horse takes a lot of work and patience. You can't expect them to learn overnight, and you might have to spend weeks or even months teaching them the basics.

Can a beginner ride a green horse?

If you're a beginner, it's possible to ride a green horse. You'll learn a lot while teaching your horse, but having some book knowledge beforehand is recommended.