2 year old - Riding?
 
 

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2 year old - Riding?

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  • Riding two year old horse
  • Is it okay for light rider to ride two year old horse

 
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    07-18-2011, 11:08 PM
  #1
Foal
2 year old - Riding?

To get straight to the point...

How much walking ponying can a 2 year old do? Like if he's in shape is 2 - 3 hours too much without a saddle or rider?

And wanted to know how long of (easy - little to no hills) trail rides he could do.

Not to into circling, and arena work for the first year, but talk to me a little about trail riding and ponying please.

I need more education on this one.

(I'm 130lbs if that helps)

Thanks.
     
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    07-18-2011, 11:42 PM
  #2
Trained
Hi,

I would not ride a 2yo. I would wait until they're closer to 4yo before doing much even sitting on their back(I start them about then), but wait until 5-6yo before doing anything like real riding, when they're physically mature & their 'growth plates' in the spine have 'closed'. Look up Dr Deb Bennett for more info on growth & maturity rates. Also evidence is that horses don't tend to *begin* developing their palmer hoof until around 4yo, so as good as your youngster's feet may be, I don't know that they're ready to cope(well, without repercussions) on hard/rough ground with a rider on board until their hooves can develop adequately.

Re ponying & walking him tho, the more the merrier, IMO. Wild horses do many miles daily, from birth & are all the healthier & stronger for it!
     
    07-18-2011, 11:52 PM
  #3
Foal
I've actually read something you posted while searching for answers. I'm looking to wards a sooner start than 4 or 5. Light trail riding as a two year old (30 day throughout the 2 year old year), a little more trail riding and some arena work as a 3 year old (maybe 60 - 90 rides total through that year, and as a 4 or 5 year old, regular riding and some showing is what I'm going for. Just want to know how light light riding has to be.

And trail riding... Aren't wild horses traveling miles and miles a day from the time they're born? So even with trail riding why wait so late?

Just trying to understand not argue or disagree.
     
    07-19-2011, 12:12 AM
  #4
Foal
If you are ponying slow on the flat 2-3 hours for a 2yo is fine. Mustangs move more than that in the wild. As far as riding, Xrays are the best way to tell if the knees have closed and the horse is ready to ride. The spine doesn't close till 5-6. Of course people do start riding horses at 2 so it's your call as the owner.
     
    07-19-2011, 12:37 AM
  #5
Foal
OK, so I will do more thinking on what I'll do with the riding part...

As for getting in shape for a 2/3 hr trail ride, how would you go about it? Go out for an hour every other day for a week, then then next week add an extra 1/2 hr, then the 3rd week make it 3 hrs? How does that sounds?
     
    07-19-2011, 01:25 AM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paint Mom    
arena work as a 3 year old (maybe 60 - 90 rides total through that year, and as a 4 or 5 year old, regular riding and some showing is what I'm going for. Just want to know how light light riding has to be.
Depends what 'arena work' means. I'd keep it low-impact until maturity. Likewise, it depends what you do & for how long on those 30-60-90 rides. If for eg, your 'rides' on him at 2-3yo were sliding on & then off his back, or even sitting there or walking around for a minute or few, esp if he's big & you're not, I don't think that would be really detrimental. If 'regular riding' at 4 yo was short, low impact trail riding or arena work, likewise.

Quote:
And trail riding... Aren't wild horses traveling miles and miles a day from the time they're born? So even with trail riding why wait so late?
Wild horses don't tend to do their miles with extra weight & imbalance on immature backs. Tho it's not just the being ridden too young it seems - I've heard it said that a well respected researcher I know of, who's examined & dissected thousands of horses, has found 100% of racehorses - trotters included - to have sacroilliac and other back issues. I'd take it that QH futurities would be the same. ....Like I said tho, I've only heard this, not seen any data to prove/disprove it.
     
    07-19-2011, 01:27 AM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paint Mom    
OK, so I will do more thinking on what I'll do with the riding part...

As for getting in shape for a 2/3 hr trail ride, how would you go about it? Go out for an hour every other day for a week, then then next week add an extra 1/2 hr, then the 3rd week make it 3 hrs? How does that sounds?
I don't go by hours but miles. Using hours may not be as accurate because of stopping, talking...etc. I start out with a mile which is approximately 20 minutes. The average non-gaited horse walks appx 3 mph. I would work the horse 3 days per week then every 3rd working day I would add 5 minutes until you get to your goal. If you figure you are out for 2 hours of walking with no stops, you are going appx 6 miles. I marked different courses showing each mile so I knew how far I had gone. It sounds like you are doing a good job with your young one. Ponying will give him conficence in you as the leader.
     
    07-19-2011, 01:37 AM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paint Mom    
As for getting in shape for a 2/3 hr trail ride, how would you go about it? Go out for an hour every other day for a week, then then next week add an extra 1/2 hr, then the 3rd week make it 3 hrs? How does that sounds?
I presume you mean ponying him? Depends how he's managed now. If he's kept stalled & is particularly unfit, starting with half an hour & building gradually may be enough for him. If he's out 24/7 in a large pasture with company, you will probably be fine starting with a.... 2-3 hour trail walk!

...Reminded of my last mare's first ever ride out... she was 6yo & I'd taken her out & about a lot without riding, ridden for short periods on the property, but her first ride out... was a 42 degree C day(hot!) on a rough tracks and we somehow missed the turn off! What we'd planned to be a couple of hour jaunt in the morning before the heat turned into about 10 hours of trudging!! We got back at 9pm, just on dusk, all of us(was with friends) stumbling along besides our horses!
     

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