Getting a two year old started on riding? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 24 Old 02-04-2013, 03:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6,772
• Horses: 2
All my horses have been started as 2 year olds. Light walking/trotting. All were started slow and easy.

Once all the ground work was done. They were comfortable with a saddle, bridle, voice commands and so on...I started getting on them. I was 100 pounds when all my horses were younger. I wore a helmet, my mom was there holding the horse at the time. I never had any issues with them freaking out. All my horses were great.

Id start by putting weight in the saddle...lean, then get off. Go to the other side, put weight in the saddle, lean, and get off. Then when they were comfortable with that, id lay across the saddle while my mom led them a few steps. If all was well, id slowly swing my leg over and sit there. Feet out of stirrups for quick dismount if needed, and my mom would lead us around.

After a few sessions id add either a halter and reins, or a bit into the mix. I would give the signals while my mom held the leadrope for extra control. I would turn left or right, stop when i wanted.

After a few more sessions, my mom would unclip and walk besides up and then slowly move further away.

Thats the very basic version of how i start my horses.
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post #22 of 24 Old 02-04-2013, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,425
• Horses: 6
I appreciate the extra information from those of you who do agree with starting a horse at to. I also really enjoyed seeing one person who didn't agree but went ahead and answered my question. For those of you who don't agree, I am sorry we don't see eye to eye. I do not believe horsemen before would have made it on waiting a horse out until they are 5.

For the person who thinks the Humane Society is going to come after me, I laughed at your post. I do not know where you have that information but I highly doubt they could take my gelding away because I'm starting him at two, if they could most people would no longer have any horses.

As for the thought that a bigger boned horse that as a two year old is already 15 hands is developing slower.... I can't figure out that one. Are you saying it is okay for me to get on a 14 hand not as thick boned two year old? I don't have one but that wouldn't make sense. That is like saying I'd be better off breaking my yearling stud colt.

Anywho, I also had some issues with the saddle not fitting him. I did some research on how to tell what size bars a horse needs, found templates that I printed off, cut out and then put on a cardboard. He measures at a full quarter horse instead of a semi, which makes sense because has a broader back and he unfortunately is mutton withered. I've been working on him with taking a bit until I get a new saddle then I'm hoping to resume progress.
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post #23 of 24 Old 02-04-2013, 05:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Western Kentucky
Posts: 509
• Horses: 1
As for the thought that a bigger boned horse that as a two year old is already 15 hands is developing slower.... I can't figure out that one. Are you saying it is okay for me to get on a 14 hand not as thick boned two year old? I don't have one but that wouldn't make sense. That is like saying I'd be better off breaking my yearling stud colt.
Actually, it's true. The larger sized/boned an animal is, the longer it takes to mature. It's like in dogs, small breeds tend to mature much quicker than say, a mastiff. This is due to the fact that it takes longer to grow's the same for animals, people, plants...everything. The bigger size takes longer just to "grow" into, and then that body has to get strong and mature. It's just nature.

Edit to add: And as with everything, keep in mind that this is just as a general rule. There are ALWAYS exceptions, and your horse may just be one. The only ones who can make the decision are you and your VET.

Good luck and have fun!

Live well, laugh often, love deeply...An' it harm none.

Last edited by FaydesMom; 02-04-2013 at 05:04 PM.
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post #24 of 24 Old 02-04-2013, 08:21 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Middle of Nowhere, Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,656
• Horses: 5
If my young 'uns are mentally ready and physically big enough to be started lightly at 2, I will go ahead and do it. Just walking in the roundpen doing a lot of stopping, backing up, big circles, little circles, direction changes, and then just work on being comfortable at a trot. And then they get turned out until late Spring of the next year.

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