Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: State College, PA
I think she means 3-4 year old. And I believe that the only way you will be hurting your horse is if you are FORCING the collection and frame. Collection with your seat and legs, extension through your seat and legs and cantering is all very acceptable in the training of a 3 year old. Hanging on it's mouth, forcing it into frame, etc is not. But in my opinion this is not acceptable with a horse of any age. Don't make the mistake of babying your horse because of age. Do short, easy rides to start and then gradually build on their fitness, mental capabilities and skills. Giving yourself a definite time limit you are pretty much setting yourself up for mistakes and holes in your training or at the very least a bored horse. But just continue gradually and gently upping the ante. If they can't free walk without falling onto their face, then try some lunging to supple them with side reins and a gentle pressure to ask them to round and engage. If they are strung out at the trot work some gentle baby transitions. But always remember to warm up and cool down on a long rein, letting them relax and work in whatever their natural frame is at the moment. Get off their back, let them stretch and warm up and then start to ask for a little more. You will be surprised to see how well they respond and how fast your training progresses. Remember the turtle wins over the hare, but the turtle has to keep moving in order to do this.