2 year old? backing?

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2 year old? backing?

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    02-18-2013, 08:53 PM
2 year old? backing?

Hi, My horse will be two in may and I was wondering if it is ok for me to just sit on his back without really riding(well maybe a little walking) him for a few minutes, every few days in June or july? He's really stockily built and I'm 160lb. I know some people ride their horses at two already and they're sound.
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    02-18-2013, 09:03 PM
I would say so.
We will have a yearling in March, do next spring we'll start riding. My trainer says he puts a few good, easy rides on his two year olds in the spring and summer, gives them the winter off to grow some more, then puts them in harder training their three year old year. He's raised some nice ones :)
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    02-18-2013, 09:44 PM
This is my plan:
-Let him grow until late june - july.
-in june or july, Just get on him for a few minutes a few times a week, until late august or early september.
-Start teaching him leg cues and trotting for a few minutes in september to october.
-Let him rest and finish growing during the winter-just sitting on his back sometimes so he dosnt forget.
-in spring, when he's three, do lots of trotting and canters. Go trail riding and that sort of stuff.

How does that sound? Is that easy enough?

PS it satisfies me very much to just SIT on my very own horse!
My trainer also starts riding horses when they are around 2 - 2 1/2. ALL of those horses are sound.
    02-19-2013, 12:14 AM
I'm no expert, that's why I've enlisted the help of my trainer with this colt, but that sounds good to me.
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    02-19-2013, 12:24 AM
I am planning on backing my 2 year old filly this summer. I would say it is okay IF your horses knees are closed, if not, you should not put to much weight on it.
    02-19-2013, 12:39 AM
If you feel that it's safe, that he's comfortable with it and so are you, I don't see why not. Be careful, though, test things out and make sure not to rush it. Go through the proper steps. And... share pictures with us
    02-19-2013, 01:22 AM
Something a lot of people don't know is that it isn't just the knee joint you need to worry about. The joints involving weight baring in the front legs are not finished maturing until 3-3.5, 3.5-4 for the shoulder, and the hock is not fused until 4 (which is why you shouldn't even start thinking about jumping until after 4). The last thing to finish maturing is the horses spine, which doesn't finish until 5.5, and is later in larger horses with longer necks. It also takes roughly 6 months longer for male horses' to mature.

Keeping this in mind, I personally won't get on a horse under 3 at the earliest. When I start a young horse, their 3 year old season consists of light, short rides and lunging sessions in a soft footed arena, or short slow trail rides. I don't find any sense in risking a young horse's health and soundness just so I can ride it sooner.

When after all, there is a LOT of things you can do with a 2 year old to prepare it for being ridden, and doing whatever disciplined you intent it for. Tying (even ground typing), standing to be groomed, feet cleaned and trimmed, clipping (even if you don't actually cut any hair you can get them used to clippers), bathing, trailering, in hand manners and showmanship (backing, trotting, stopping, walking turning, etc.), if you have a quiet broke horse you can pony him on trail rides, saddling, bridling, lunging, ground driving, teaching them to yield to the bit and the correct way to respond to pressure on their sides, in hand trail, in hand shows... the list goes on and on. If you do all this with a 2 year old, by the time the horse is 3 it is basically broke and just has to translate to actual rider cues. Which, if the ground work has been done properly, is almost instant.

Does this mean riding a two year old will make it predisposed to lameness in the future? Not necessarily. But that's not a situation I knowingly would put my horse in. I hope this doesn't come across as condescending, I was surprised when I first learned this. Just something to think about.
Remali, roxxy, dbarabians and 4 others like this.
    02-19-2013, 01:26 AM
What will this horse be used for? If it isn't futurities, let him grow till he's 3, then back him and start breaking him. Sitting on him a couple times between 2-3 won't hurt, but what's the point?
    02-19-2013, 01:34 AM
People always say they're "just sitting on him/her" or "I"m just asking him to walk" . . . But one thing inevitably leads to another . . . Just stay off his back, and as someone already mentioned, there are plenty of things to do on the ground at two :)
    02-19-2013, 05:49 PM
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
What will this horse be used for? If it isn't futurities, let him grow till he's 3, then back him and start breaking him. Sitting on him a couple times between 2-3 won't hurt, but what's the point?
Because I'm dying to do it.
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