Originally Posted by Small_Town_Girl
All I really want to do is just pleasure ride with him
And maybe learn to barrel race later on.
Alright, we all agree that he should be gelded, and in her defence, Small_Town has already made the extremely responsable decision to geld him as soon as she can, so let's congratulate her and move on to bigger and better things :)
Small_Town, if he is 2 years old right now, and getting saddle broke (each to their own, I am not starting a fight) the most you could do right now is EXTREMELY light work, nothing that will strain his joints - no quick turns, lots of walking, little bits of trotting, and even smaller bits of cantering (walk/jog/lope, if you will... I'm going to speak my English tongue here :P).
No small circles. No rough terrain if you're trail riding. At 2 years old, you want to set them up to be sound for the rest of their lives, not be crippled by 5.
I know it is very tempting to just say "heck with it, let's just go for it" and do whatever you want on him, because he "feels" like he can do it, but in reality you might be stressing his joints and creating irreparable damage that won't show for a few years. He's young and will probably show extreme athleticism - it's up to you to be responsable and not push the limits.
Having said all that, if you are looking to do all of the "fun stuff" (barrels etc) right away, he's not the horse for you. If you have the time and dedication to be able to hold off of everything until his body is ready, and want to be a part of the learning process, then by all means keep him and work it through.