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horse training

This is a discussion on horse training within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        05-27-2010, 09:20 PM
      #1
    Foal
    horse training

    I am a first horse owner I have been working with my 13 mo. Old filly she has been doing great but I was wandering if im going to fast she already takes a saddle well and is halter broke im thinking of starting her on a bit or a hackamore soon I was also wandering how old she needs to be before riding.
         
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        05-27-2010, 09:31 PM
      #2
    Banned
    DEFINITELY moving too fast. Way too fast. Breaking a horse to a saddle, bit, etc IMO should occur somewhere between two and three years old. Actual riding should occur after that, between three and four.

    Work on her picking up her feet, her backing, side passing, disengaging the hind end and front end (pivoting on the front and hind feet, respectively).

    I would also suggest you recruit a qualified professional to help you with the breaking and training process.
         
        05-27-2010, 09:53 PM
      #3
    Trained
    There are a million and one opinions and ways to train horses, so be prepared for a lot of conflicting opinion!

    There is nothing health-wise or mental-wise that would suggest putting a saddle and bridle on a young horse shouldn't be done. Many yearlings are showin in hand in bridles so are mouthed much younger than your girl. No damage will come from putting a saddle on now if it's something you want to do.

    Many people like to put basic handling on a young horse (leading, tying, picking up feet, worming, loading) and then turn them out for a year or two to grow and just be a horse with only minimal handling before they are brought back in at two, three or four to be started proper. If I had my own young horse and wasn't showing it, I would probably go this way.

    Other people handle their foals up the wazoo - Teaching them everything they can, taking them for hand walks, long lining at a walk, moving off pressure, tricks, etc.

    It's all up to the individual. So long as you are reading your horse and can tell if you need to back off, you will be fine.

    One thing to be aware of when handling a young horse is you don't want to desensitize them too much - A bit of fear is a good thing and almost essential when it comes time to start a horse. A horse who has zero fear of humans is generally pushy, direspectful, and sometimes downright dangerous - And it often takes some rough handling by the trainer to get them back to respecting boundaries.

    When are you planning on starting her?
         
        05-27-2010, 10:01 PM
      #4
    Trained
    Ah, I missed your question abut when to start her.

    Again, conflicting opinions abound!

    I'm guessing you don't have any futurities in mind, so there is no rush to get her under saddle. Honestly, the later the better (within reason) in regards to physical maturity. The earlier she is started, the more the chances of degenerative issues when she is older increase (I.e. Arthritis, etc).

    Personally, if I had a baby who wasn't going to be shown, I would probably put 90 odd days on them as a 3yo, with some good expsoure riding out on the trails etc. I would want it to be solid at w/t/c, good stop, back up, and side pass. I would then put it out for 6 months or so to grow a bit more. I would then bring it back in at around 4yo and start bringing them up in fitness and getting into some real work and education.

    The method of starting them then putting them out for a few months or longer is a tried and tested method and seems to work. Others start them and continue working them from then on.

    Many horses are started at 2yo in preparation for futurities. It is widely accepted though that this isn't ideal as they are nowhere near physically mature and it is a lot of strain on growing bones. Some say to start at three, some say to wait until four or five.
         
        05-27-2010, 10:47 PM
      #5
    Trained
    A horse could be introduced to bridle, saddle, etc, at that age...but riding should be saved for 3 years of age, and that's going to depend on the horse, you may have to wait longer. A horse can be started earlier, but I think it comes down to matter of preference.

    I had the two young horses I've been training, introduced to bridle and saddle before they turned two, and they were fine with it...I haven't been on them yet, though, and they are over 2 now.
         
        05-28-2010, 11:47 PM
      #6
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wild_spot    
    There are a million and one opinions and ways to train horses, so be prepared for a lot of conflicting opinion!

    There is nothing health-wise or mental-wise that would suggest putting a saddle and bridle on a young horse shouldn't be done. Many yearlings are showin in hand in bridles so are mouthed much younger than your girl. No damage will come from putting a saddle on now if it's something you want to do.

    Many people like to put basic handling on a young horse (leading, tying, picking up feet, worming, loading) and then turn them out for a year or two to grow and just be a horse with only minimal handling before they are brought back in at two, three or four to be started proper. If I had my own young horse and wasn't showing it, I would probably go this way.

    Other people handle their foals up the wazoo - Teaching them everything they can, taking them for hand walks, long lining at a walk, moving off pressure, tricks, etc.

    It's all up to the individual. So long as you are reading your horse and can tell if you need to back off, you will be fine.

    One thing to be aware of when handling a young horse is you don't want to desensitize them too much - A bit of fear is a good thing and almost essential when it comes time to start a horse. A horse who has zero fear of humans is generally pushy, direspectful, and sometimes downright dangerous - And it often takes some rough handling by the trainer to get them back to respecting boundaries.

    When are you planning on starting her?
    im not planning on riding her until she's at least 2 I just want to have her familar with everything so she will be more acceptable in the future.and not as spooked.iwas thinking of starting her on asweet iron copper inlay bit [snaffle] sometime in the next 4 to 6 months.she does so great and is acceptable to anything I want to do with her I just don't want to do to much to quick and mess up my horse.
         
        06-01-2010, 09:49 PM
      #7
    Weanling
    Personally I did everything with my 3 year old in his first year (other then back him). When he was about 5mths old he got a pony saddle on, he started doing some light lunge work at 7mths (walk trot). He took all of it and kept it locked in his head. It made it much easier when I transitioned from ground work to in saddle work. Now when I say I started him lunging I don't mean every day by any means. More like once every few weeks if not a month. I put a bit in his mouth when I had a headstall that would fit him just so he could learn to carry the bit.

    When it did come time to back him I switched my ground training from once a week to 3-4 times a week for about 2 weeks, then hoped on and he just walked out and has been doing great ever since. I don't start riding my horses on bits, I start on the halter, then side pulls, then a bit. I started riding him in his 2yr old year (we show) and he did everything great. When we did start him he was being ridden once a week if he was lucky, more like every 2 weeks. By the end of his two year old year we were working up to 4-5 times a week. I always give my horses 2 days off in a row no matter how much I work them. I have found that they take this time to think about what they are learning and come back better.
         
        06-02-2010, 03:50 PM
      #8
    Foal
    Sounds to me like you are on the right path. I've started lots of young horses but I am a true believer in ground work. Be ready for some other opinions but I won't put a rider on any horse until about 90 days into the process.

    Teaching them to yield to pressure, establishing the methods relating to what specific pressure--or cues--mean, gaining control of each footfall and establishing respect all can be accomplished on a yearling for sure, and in my humble opinion should be done.

    When to add the weight of a rider depends on the conformation of the horse, the physical fitness of the horse, the type and magnitude of the work and the WEIGHT OF THE RIDER AND GEAR.

    You can influence the fitness, the magnitude and the weight of the rider. The conformation is what it is.

    I get them fit, start the work slowly and choose riders who weigh less that 130 pounds for the youngins.

    By the time I put a rider on the horse already knows multiple cues and all I have to do is transfer the cues from the ground to the rider and off we go.

    Works for me.
         
        06-02-2010, 05:13 PM
      #9
    Started
    I was just reading how, in the vaquero tradition, they didn't put a bit in its mouth till the horse was at least 5, due to tooth eruption/growth. This makes sense to me.
         

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