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Is there no such thing as a slow maturing breed? Find out!

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  • Horses maturing by breed

 
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    07-05-2009, 12:36 AM
  #21
Green Broke
I have to agree with Solon. Although I like to work with my horses at a young age, I think it's far more determinatal to overdo it then it is to leave them be until 2-3 years old. Young horses have attention spans like children - you simply can't expect a 6 month old foal to pay attention for 30 minutes during a leading session and then punish them for acting out.

I've seen no deterimental effects whatsoever in horses turned out until 2-3 years old and then brought in for training. They may be bigger, but they also have more trainable minds then a weanling foal. I personally handle my foals from a young age, but I make the sessions as long as the horse I'm working with wants. The second they do what I'm asking, even a tiny bit, I stop, reward and end the session. You simply can't aim for perfection in a young horse, you have to be happy to compromise or you'll end up with a fight. An older horse is easier to push, easier to ask more out of because they're able to focus much easier.

For example, I tacked up my 2 year old Paint filly today just in an English saddle and a bridle. I had her in the roundpen and I asked her to move out at a walk. She's prone to cantering circles around me in excitement. Today, she walked a few laps one way, stopped when I asked, turned properly, and did several laps in the other direction. So I ended the session. I really don't care if it was only 10 minutes long, she did as I asked, and I ended it and rewarded her before she could think of spooking at a butterfly or acting silly.

Jynx was virtually untouched until this year as a 2 year old. She had human interaction but no training. And I'm having very few problems working with her, she's super intelligent, very affectionate and wants to please. So I don't see any harm being done with leaving her to be a young horse.
     
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    10-14-2009, 03:29 PM
  #22
Zab
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solon    
Not working with a youngster until later is not bad for them at all. There are still plenty of people out there that let the youngsters be youngsters until they are around three and then bring them in for training. That's how my Grandpa operated. And just about all the cowboys I knew growing up. I've heard a few people on this forum mention they still do it.

That's how my draft was dealt with. When I got him at two he wasn't handled at all.

He's turned into an almost perfect horse. Personally I think it's better to let them be young then start working with them when the are 2-3 then ride when they are four.
If you read through my post, you see that I concider running around in rouhg terrain with friends as ''work'', as it strengthens and build the muscle the horse need. :)

I prefer to handle the horses with the daily stuff (wearing halters and leading to the pasture and such, getting feet trimmed when they start getting too long etc) at day one, but that has nothing to do with the physical. I just think it's easier that way, but as long as they have friends that teach them horse sens, and space and motivation to move around a lot, that's of course good as well, it teaches them manners and builds their strength. I'd still want the horse lead-able but that's me.

I also think that at 1,5-2 is a good time to start working them from the ground, with no weights or side reins or anything, and not more than a few minutes at a time to start with, to let their bodies adapt to our unnatural weight. With lots of space, good terrain and playful buddies, that's not really important tho, but I don't see anything wrong with doing it either.

The problem is that a lot of young horses today don't live with other horses that teach them right and wrong, and at the same time the rider/trainer won't teach them anything as thay're ''too young'', the pastures are small or muddy or by some reason doesn't motivate any play (perhaps no young horses to play with).. and with those conditions I think it's very important to replace the lack of natural training with the right amount of ''human'' training - in a good way that strengthens instead or wears down on the horse. And of course it has to be made in a way that the horse finds fun and interesting, by no means working them untill they're bored of everything before you even put a saddle on.. and very short sessions so their attention span can stay with you:P
     
    10-14-2009, 03:42 PM
  #23
Zab
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacabreMikolaj    
I have to agree with Solon. Although I like to work with my horses at a young age, I think it's far more determinatal to overdo it then it is to leave them be until 2-3 years old. Young horses have attention spans like children - you simply can't expect a 6 month old foal to pay attention for 30 minutes during a leading session and then punish them for acting out.

I've seen no deterimental effects whatsoever in horses turned out until 2-3 years old and then brought in for training. They may be bigger, but they also have more trainable minds then a weanling foal. I personally handle my foals from a young age, but I make the sessions as long as the horse I'm working with wants. The second they do what I'm asking, even a tiny bit, I stop, reward and end the session. You simply can't aim for perfection in a young horse, you have to be happy to compromise or you'll end up with a fight. An older horse is easier to push, easier to ask more out of because they're able to focus much easier.

For example, I tacked up my 2 year old Paint filly today just in an English saddle and a bridle. I had her in the roundpen and I asked her to move out at a walk. She's prone to cantering circles around me in excitement. Today, she walked a few laps one way, stopped when I asked, turned properly, and did several laps in the other direction. So I ended the session. I really don't care if it was only 10 minutes long, she did as I asked, and I ended it and rewarded her before she could think of spooking at a butterfly or acting silly.

Jynx was virtually untouched until this year as a 2 year old. She had human interaction but no training. And I'm having very few problems working with her, she's super intelligent, very affectionate and wants to please. So I don't see any harm being done with leaving her to be a young horse.
Training in short sessions is exactly what I'm for. When Crow got started under saddle, at age 5-6 and alredy used to most normal stuff like leading, washing, shoeing etc, we still worked only 10-20 minutes, but we did it 3 times a day (this was when he was on an ''intensive'' training schedual, sent off to my trainer..at home I rarely did anything more than once a day), with a few resting days. Now I ride on long trails, but as soon as I ask for his full attention and engagement in the training, I'm back to 10-20 minutes, and I can very well stop nd take break as soon as I get what I want right. Let's say I'm out on a trail, riding relaxed and not asking anything of him as he's already walking calmly forward in a relaxed and for his body good way. I find a field that invites for some dressage work and turns in on a circle. My plan is to move him in and out on the circle (something hard to practice on the trail) and perhaps a shoulder in in each way. After a few steps he starts listen, collects a bit and do as I ask. I release, let him do a turn and do the same thing in the other way around, asking for nothing but his regular walk in between, and the same things happen. I continue the tril ad a while later I ask for a shoulder in on the road. The extra work took perhaps two minutes but that's enough. On a day hen I'm not already out riding but just do dressage work, I work for maybe 30 minutes with a pause where he can stretch out fully and walk a little each 5 minutes, or when he has done something really well.
Whe he was even more green and just barely was used tothe time it took to take our shortest trail, I simply jumped off in the middle of the trail and lead him a bit to let him relax (as he was very comfortable and used to that). I still do that but mosly because it's nice to stretch my legs :P

Anyway, what I mean is that no matter the age of the horse, you need to keep the work sessions, where you actively ask for something, especially if it's new, very short. Or lse their attention will wander off and you get frustrated on why they won't learn or why they seem so bored and lazy :P
Of course ths is even more important when they're young and everything is new.
     
    10-19-2009, 06:32 PM
  #24
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiritJordanRivers    
Thanks for sharing (not done yet, it's LONG) Now all we have to do is tell all those horse racing owners and trainers, but they really don't care about the horse, just about how much money the horse will bring them. And then we tell . . . Everyone else in the world.
thanks a lot... I wish some people would leave nasty ignorant comments to themselves. But I guess its ok to just assume a generalization about certain people. That would be like me running around saying EVERYONE who shows horses are ignorant, snobby, jerks who think they know everything. I take great offence to this comment left.....
     

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