Getting a two year old started on riding? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-26-2013, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Getting a two year old started on riding?

I know what you are thinking, Dont get on a two year old, you will kill them, ruin them, hurt them, and so on. Just hold on until I fully explain everything.
I have a two year old that has already been use to carrying a saddle while lunging and ground work. Ive spent a ton of time researching and asking people on their opinion on getting a two year old broke to ride. Please do not attempt to go after me on this subject; Ive had my fair share of both sides. Ive read and heard that it can go either way, to do or not to do. According to what I found it is fine to start them under certain conditions, like breed, build, height, weight of rider, mental ability, their bone structure, body structure and others factors. I also read that Quarter Horses have no issues being broke at two and do fine.
Now, dont worry Im not planning on going out tomorrow and jumping on him and saying Yee-haw and take him out trail riding.
Im curious as to how others would start out, slow and steady. He already is use to a saddle on him and I just started working on taking a bit. Yes, I have got on him once, but it was for about 30 seconds and he was being held. Im hoping to do that once a week or less, extending the time. Then after several training sessions of both being mounted and taking a bit, adding the two together and start having the person that holds him, lead him around.
Beside the fact that most would not agree on starting him at two, is this a good method to go about, if not what would you change? (Besides his age)
He is two years old according to the odd rule of all horses celebrate their birthday January 1st, but his real date of birth is not even a month from now. He is a Quarter Horse and stands about 15 hands tall. I myself am only a measly 120 pounds.

Again, please no comments on his age, he is a big boned horse and definitely ready for this next step in his training.
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-26-2013, 05:33 PM
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slow and steady wins the race! When I started farting around with my guy last year( he was 2) I would start the lesson doing the ground work, lunging, yeilding and stuff like that then when i was done I would climb on him sit there, brush him flap my legs around and stuff then get off. Eventually we moved to walk in a circle and stop. Then walk in a circle both ways and stop. And moved up from there. I didnt work him everyday, and somedays I would get on my broke mare and just pony him on rides.
Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-27-2013, 01:06 AM
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Slow and easy is the best way to go with a youngster I think. I have a soon to be 4yr. gelding that we started under saddle just last fall and then it turned cold/icey here so he hasn't been worked with since.
With a 2yr. old I think I would make his lessons short and always end on a good note.....

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post #4 of 24 Old 01-27-2013, 06:15 AM
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I have a different opinion on you regarding appropriate age for starting, but I will offer my opinion on the other part of your question.

Keep the riding slow and simple. Teach him to walk, trot, stop and turn politely and then put him back in the field to grow up some more. I think for youngsters of any age, having a break is really necessary to ensure they aren't being overloaded physically or mentally.
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post #5 of 24 Old 01-27-2013, 07:25 AM
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Your youngster must come to recognise you as its master.
It must know and respond to your presence your voice and your touch.
It must accept a training halter - the precursor to a bridle and bit.

So I'd spend a few months working from the ground on a daily basis the horse in hand. The animal needs to understand the commands of: whoah stand walk on.

It can all be done with a thin rope training halter and a long lead rope.

The daily exercises should become part of the animal's routine.

The British reticence to back a horse before it is four is associated with not wanting to put a strain on the horse's undeveloped skeletal and muscular structure but that does not mean the horse cannot be worked - gently.

Once the horse starts to accept your presence and authority- you can progress to obstacle training.

Go get a Monty Roberts book - basic training is all in there.

Wash it groom it pick its feet up lead it about talk to it play with it.
Feed it Even give it a treat at the end of the training lesson.

But I personally wouldn't get on its back - yet - even if it is physically fit then it is still a juvenile. Let it grow into being an adolescent before you ask for too much. First it has to lose its fears of this modern noisy fast lifestyle which we all live in.
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post #6 of 24 Old 01-27-2013, 08:20 AM
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Have you ground driven him yet?
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-27-2013, 11:30 AM
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Agreed with slidestop have you ground driven? That's a great tool for teaching that forward movement and you can work on turning left and right. I'd sit on him a little bit may lead him around some if he's doing good hop off. Just keep your sessions easy and short. If he's doing good on a lead start asking for him to take a step left or right. Even if he steps one step give him lots of praise. Once you start getting him to take a few steps they often try to walk on thier own. Give him lots of praise when he does. And like stated above always end on a good note.
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post #8 of 24 Old 01-27-2013, 03:31 PM
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If you don't want to be told the truth, then don't post about riding a 2 year. The 2 year old does NOT, and has NEVER, existed, in any breed, that is developed enough to be ridden. PERIOD. Including the race horses. That' s the major reason so many of them are permanently injured. It is cruelty to the horse to be riding them as 2 year olds.

If he is big boned and 15 hds as a 2 year old, he will develop slower than the more refined smaller boned horse. The bigger they are, the more prone they are to injury. He may need to be a 4 or 5 year old before regular weight is put on his back. If you don't know how to check, then find someone that does and stay off of his back until he matures.

Fortunately, we are having more and more Human Societies recognize this and stopping the ones they catch. Some of them are even confiscating the horse.

If you don't want to be turned in, keep it to yourself, OR better yet, respect the animal, and let it grow up.


Last edited by bbsmfg3; 01-27-2013 at 03:36 PM.
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-27-2013, 04:13 PM
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My barrel horse Pepper was lightly started at two with me sitting on him and riding him bareback around my yard a few minutes. He is not ruined or has joint issues.
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post #10 of 24 Old 01-27-2013, 04:32 PM
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I'm just curious why someone would start a thread for getting tips on how to start training a 2 year old a forum that they know the majority of the people on it are against it? If it was me I would be looking for a forum more open to the idea to get feedback I want - unless I was out to start a controversy.

According to what I found it is fine to start them under certain conditions, like breed, build, height, weight of rider, mental ability, their bone structure, body structure and others factors. I also read that Quarter Horses have no issues being broke at two and do fine.
Funny thing - you can always find someone to say what you want. Just because you have read it does not mean its true. You really have to look at the source of the information - but some people believe what they want to no matter what.

There is so much out can do before getting on - ground driving, obstacle courses, ponying off another horse, desensitizing, etc. I'd start with these and if you do insist on starting him so young at least verify with a vet that the knees are closed before climbing on.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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