12-19-2011, 11:02 AM
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I just read an article about riding long YEARLINGS in a magazine and for the most part agree that there shouldn't be any hard work for a while, but I don't have a problem with getting all the groundwork and saddling accomplished during the end of the 1st and throughout 2nd year. In the first half of the second year we don't do any arena work as the turns and footing can be hard on the joints, but we do some outside work, mostly learning to walk/trot a straight line, and lessons like riding away from buddies/ the barn... there are plenty of things that a horse can do under saddle that 2nd year that are low key and low stress. I do like having the horse desensitized to the saddle/blanket and all the tack the winter of their yearling year.... but I ride western and ride stock type horses and this is the norm in my area, I actually start mine later than many of the more serious competitors in my area who are fully competing the 2yo year and have almost fully trained horses by then.... we don't start training for anything stressful such as roping or barrels until the 4yo year, but I still feel that the 2yo year is fine for light riding/training as long as the horse is healthy and in good physical condition.