The resistant young horse


The young horse resists during his first lesson

A young horse is broken-in as an adolescent.  In humans, we say to our children "You must pass your exams first!"  In other words, education comes before everything else.  

For an animal, reproduction is synonymous with survival.  The reproductive urges in adolescence are strong and an animal will always try to satisfy them.    

However, the horse is a domestic animal and the definition of domestication is that their reproduction is managed by man, whatever the species of domestic animal, from a dog to a cow.
It also provides protection against predators and is a form of contract between an animal species and a human being.  

The education of a young horse could also be described as "You must be ridden first!" 

It takes determination to offer a young horse a different kind of relationship that also compensates for the one he would otherwise have had with his fellow-horses.  
He also needs to participate in activities where he can discover a different kind of social life, one with man, that he could enjoy. 

As with humans, work has its frustrations, but it is also an opening to fulfilling activities.  
It's man's responsibility to ensure that work becomes an enjoyable moment for the animal!  

Sophie Nicod - 01/12/2016

About the Author

Sophie Barreau, mission manager, ethologist, BFEE2 and BEES1 instructor, joined our team in October 2016.  Her tasks were to work on the research programme CHEVALEDUC with Jocelyne Porcher INRA and to teach student equine ethology as well as the scientific advances made in the relationship of man and horse at work. 

In the articles « Through Sophie’s eyes », she shares her passion with us.


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