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How far is too far?

This is a discussion on How far is too far? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        07-19-2012, 02:29 AM
      #11
    Super Moderator
    I'd still wait until he's older. You're not going to miss the opportunity to teach him those movements when he's matured more, so why not wait... His body is not ready for any dressage work yet. Those movements are not just movements, they need muscle and joint development, too. I, personally, would wait for it until a horse is about 4 years old. But, if he will be let to mature, then he is more likely to live a long, healthy life with many years of training ahead.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bash anything here, just my opinion. :)
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        07-19-2012, 02:41 AM
      #12
    Foal
    Oh of course each is to their own. Some owners don't break until 5, some break before 2. Some horses 'break down', some horses are untrainable because they were left to break too late. Or is that not the reason? There is nothing worse than to make assumptions. But instead of opening a can of worms, I believe teaching him movements un-strenuous is beneficial. He loves learning. I just want to know what some of these movements may be!
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        07-19-2012, 02:52 AM
      #13
    Super Moderator
    Well, does he walk, trot, stop, back up on a loose lead? You could also teach him to square up, it will be beneficial when he has to start squaring up under a rider in dressage shows. :) How about working/playing at liberty? That would help you both to bond, which will also help if he trusts you completely, when you start to ride him. Walking, trotting and backing up along groundpoles also could help him to learn moving straight.
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        07-19-2012, 02:58 AM
      #14
    Foal
    Squaring is one I had forgotten about! Good idea
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        07-19-2012, 03:02 AM
      #15
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MissKatie    
    Oh of course each is to their own. Some owners don't break until 5, some break before 2. Some horses 'break down', some horses are untrainable because they were left to break too late. Or is that not the reason? There is nothing worse than to make assumptions. But instead of opening a can of worms, I believe teaching him movements un-strenuous is beneficial. He loves learning. I just want to know what some of these movements may be!
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    I get what you're saying but the reason why many don't really start a horse until 4 or 5 is that a horse isn't physically mature before the age of around 5.5 yrs (some later than this). Some light ground-driving should be fine but really, start with the basics like building respect and trust, teaching to yield to pressure, teaching to stand tied, and maybe introduction of a saddle and bitted bridle (without riding, obviously) to let them get used to the idea. You don't want your horse getting arthritis at 10 - apart from the risk that they will no longer be sound, arthritis is an expensive problem to manage!

    I will also add, many horses are not mentally ready to be trained (however quickly they seem to learn) and can get sour very rapidly with a regular training schedule.
         
        07-19-2012, 03:40 AM
      #16
    Foal
    Maybe read my original post. I want to know things that you do on board that I can do with my youngster on the ground.
         
        07-19-2012, 03:52 AM
      #17
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MissKatie    
    Maybe read my original post. I want to know things that you do on board that I can do with my youngster on the ground.
    I read your original post. You don't want to be teaching dressage movements on the ground or in the saddle at this point. At this age you don't even want to be lungeing her.
         
        07-19-2012, 03:58 AM
      #18
    Foal
    I am not doing any of above mentioned. So you are suggesting teaching him yielding is also bad?
         
        07-19-2012, 04:09 AM
      #19
    Foal
    I think some people are misjudging what I meant by dressage movements. By no means am I going to go expecting him to piaffe around the place etc, just simple things like yielding, halting square, bending (suppleness) etc
         
        07-19-2012, 04:16 AM
      #20
    Started
    No, yielding is fine! I guess I wouldn't term any of that sort of basic work "dressage". Or "movement" either. More fundamental building blocks. Keep sessions short and sweet, though. Liberty work in a small arena (not a roundyard) is a good idea too - get him following you obediently off a lead even to the "scary" spots and doing walk, trot and whoa through voice commands. Also get him used to ground poles, cones and other common arena objects - try getting him to lead between two poles, over a pole, around a cone etc.
         

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