2 year old filly conformation - what discipline would she suitable for?

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2 year old filly conformation - what discipline would she suitable for?

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    03-29-2011, 11:04 PM
2 year old filly conformation - what discipline would she suitable for?

Hi guys,
I am trying to learn more about different types of conformation in horses (I am really green in this!) and I am trying to figure out which way to take my cutting bred filly. I am looking to do maybe some sort of local competition on the weekends to keep thing fun and challenging for me and her (next year when she's 3 and more broke LOL)
- She turned 2 in the end of January this year, and I have started her under saddle (has had about 15 rides).
- For those familiar with breeding lines and cutting horse lines.. she is grand daughter of Color me Smart who is by Smart Little Lena QH. She is only 13.3HH right now - I figured she will grow another 1"-2", she won't be a tall horse.
- I am posting couple "attempted" conformation shots.. not ideal shots - it is really hard to get this 2 year old to stand still, especially she's been in the stall all day, so she is full of oats.
- the video is from few rides ago, she throws her head quite a bit, she did not like the conventional snaffle, I now got her in a 3 piece snaffle and it's much better. What I cannot show you yet is she can do a really nice almost western pleasure jog.. jogging almost in place all nice and collected... but by nature I think she is meant for some kind of speed event -- she can turn quick.. likes to move..
- I am really not a big fan of WP, but will do what she is suited for and she wants to do I love this little filly, she seems to learn very quickly and WANTS TO WORK.. she is full of oats, she is 2, but when I put saddle on her she is ready to go.
- now I have noticed she has got quite long back.. at least that seems to me, but she has got quite some filling out to do, so the look of long back may be deceiving.. she is still growing..

What do you all think I should try with her, pleas let me know honestly what you think conformation wise she would be suited for, her faults and good things.. I noticed she has got really nice flat knees and very short cannon bones in the front which I heard is good thing, but really don't know why.. again sorry I am trying to learn.. Thank you.

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    03-29-2011, 11:57 PM
She's a very cute filly, with a nice head and a smart eye. I really like her! She looks to be building a solid foundation on her, my only caution is careful how hard you push with cantering circles so young - easy to pop a splint.

Your little filly has so many doors open to her, I could see her doing cutting, games, or WP - although by the sounds of it, she's a fiery one! Look forward to seeing updates on her as you progress with her!
    03-30-2011, 12:07 AM
Hi EveningShadows,
Thank you for your input I just had my farrier out last Sunday and he mentioned the very same thing about the splints, he looked at her legs and said no splint (uuufff thank goodness) - Before I started her I did A LOT of ground work with her, now I ride her 2-3 times a week and for the rest I let her be a horse We have a short trail ride planned for this Saturday (2nd one ever) I figured riding her on a trail in straight line will be better than riding her in circles in the arena.. Also she will practice trailer loading and rides..

- but was there anything you wanted to point out about the conformation thing I would love that - trying to learn Thanks again!
    03-30-2011, 12:17 AM
It is hard to say if she truly has a long back proportionate to her underline with how much hair she has and with the photo being just slightly angled from her shoulder instead of dead center (as well as her markings playing with the shadows too. I will say, though I think she probably is a little long in the back. The bigger problem I see is weakness through the hip and hind end. Otherwise, she is standing a little camped out and in the grass (and again with all the hair) it is hard to judge much of her legs. Shoulder slope may also be a little steep, but not anywhere near horrible.

I will say kudos for having her backing up! The weakness in her hind end is pretty evident in the video. She doesn't push from behind, she pulls from the front. All of her turns are on the forehand. I'm not sure she is ready to be loping much yet, again it shows her weakness with the counter cantering and wonky gait. I would put some more rides in at a trot and work on changing direction frequently to get her turning over her hocks.

If you want to make a cutter out of her, a really good trick, that will be immensely helpful in future training: Do not walk directly forward after stopping/backing. Stop, back, sit and wait if you need to, back some more and then turn any amount/ direction you wish before moving on. This will teach her to rock back on her hocks and stay that way for the maneuvers she will eventually do.

You won't make a pleasure horse out of her, except maybe open level local shows. Any horse can do pretty much anything at a club show and do well. You could easily do gaming or team penning/sorting. If you are interested in cutting or reining, you will need to employ a trainer at some point (probably sooner rather than later) Nothing to do with your training/riding skill, you will just need an expert with the equipment and facilities (and cattle) to finish your mare.

Oh and just out of curiosity - are you a Clinton fan?? I'm just testing my observation skill. Absolutely nothing against him.
    03-30-2011, 12:33 AM
" I would put some more rides in at a trot and work on changing direction frequently to get her turning over her hocks.

<---------I did notice her hind end looks weak, she did gain a lot of weight since I got her day before Xmas day.. she was really skinny, ribby little thing. My worry is being this young - won't it be too hard on her knees, and other joints to do frequent changes of direction?
If you want to make a cutter out of her, a really good trick, that will be immensely helpful in future training: Do not walk directly forward after stopping/backing. Stop, back, sit and wait if you need to, back some more and then turn any amount/ direction you wish before moving on. This will teach her to rock back on her hocks and stay that way for the maneuvers she will eventually do."
<---------I would love to get into reining / or cutting event - I have never done it myself - I am just big admirer of these western disciplines, especially reining. Thank you for the tip!!! The only thing here in Chicago is so hard to find a good cutting / reining trainer.. most people are English grrrrr... or anyone with cattle..
- I absolutely western type of riding. I trained my 6 yo mare to neckrein and turn on her haunches just by touch of my leg and just LOVE the feel of that...

*** and yes I love Clinton that is how I started training my horses, I do borrow advise from other trainers too though - my new discovery Larry Trocha, cutting trainer Like him a lot***
    03-30-2011, 12:45 AM
I'm just learning to critiqe myself and it's so unreliable with 2 year olds...but I agree with most everything CCH mentioned. I think the trails idea is awesome for youngsters - the circles, especially cantering, are tough on their joints - but trails you can work on tempo, rythm, cues, and desensatize! I found it was an amazing training tool...good luck and keep us posted!
    03-30-2011, 12:48 AM
It really isn't hard on her knees or hocks at this point because you are not asking her to gallop into a complete instant hard stop and whip around to the other direction. It might not be best to do over uneven ground or in an open field though, unless you know it is hole/large rock free.

Think of it as like the "ladders" exercise in gym class, only backwards. You will trot some large circles or straight lines and pick points where you will change direction. You can start by posting the trot and when you get within 2-4 strides of your direction change, sit deep, use your voice to guide her into the stop. At first, just stop square and sit for a second, then back up and pivot the other direction. As she progresses in her training, you make the direction changes more frequent. Right now though, I probably wouldn't circle more than 3-5 times depending on the size of it.

This type of work also greatly helps her to begin thinking instead of just going with the flow. I also find horses that are used to me asking them to do changes of direction and speed end up being much less spooky than those who have just mindlessly gone forward over & over.

Trail are excellent! Do as much as you safely can do. I would suggest going with more than one horse if possible and trying to take turns where you walk (side by side, in front of, or behind) to prevent any possible buddy sour issues that may come up.
    03-30-2011, 01:02 AM
She's a cutie. She does have a weak hind end that needs to be taken along slowly - please do not rush her training. She's still young - very young - and she doesn't need to be loping hard or doing hard stops or backs. Her hocks will thank you in the long run. She certainly has a good mind, and is obviously a very willing mount - take it slow so you don't have a gorgeous 5 year old that needs injections.
    03-30-2011, 02:12 AM
This horse looks like it has alot of potential to take you to the top
My advice would be to ride her steady for at least year so she can finish growing and developing. A good way to begin her education would be some natural horsemanship stuff which will help her to have a soft mouth ,be supple and to have a great mind
You Do NOT want a horse that has problems later in life because she was ridden hard when she was young
Don't be in a hurry and in the long run she will be a very good horse as I can see alot of potential
She looks as though she is willing so she could do well as a all rounder depending on what you want to do
Goodluck and happy riding!!!
    03-30-2011, 11:02 PM
Thank you for all the good advice guys.. I am thrilled to see what comes out of her.. I actually posted an ad on Clist today and got response from a ranch that is located about 1 hour from me.. they do team penning, rodeos, cutting etc.. they start the events from May so I will definitely at least take Nova there few times just to get used to the crowd of people, see the cow, commotion, lots of horses, noise etc.. I have a feeling this is going to be a fun summer.
Can he star - I am not sure if you saw my note earlier in this thread, I do follow Clinton Anderson training method, so Nova is getting a lot of "natural horsemanship" groundwork and under saddle
I just is not that apparent in the video, because she literally was outside riding for like the 2nd time, had bit in her mouth 4th time maybe and she did not like that bit.. and was full of oats, so the video is kinda spazzy.. LOL
I took few more pics of Nova today, I think the firts one of them is better to judge conformation from than the pictures I posted at the beginning of the thread. The big chestnut and white tobiano I am riding in the last picture is my 6 year old mare that is 10months in foal now, she responded to natural horsemanship really well
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