How old should my horse be to start training? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-07-2011, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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How old should my horse be to start training?

Ive always worked with older horses, but I just got a 16 month old Quarter Horse colt. Ive been working with him on the ground a lot, but Im not sure how old he should be when I start lightly riding him. Its almost winter, and we have really harsh winters, so I wouldnt be able to get on him untill he is 2. I only weigh 110 lbs. What would be a good age for me to get on him without harming him at all?
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-07-2011, 10:06 PM
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I wouldn't start riding a horse until they are 3.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-08-2011, 12:14 AM
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Groundwork is key at this age. I have an 18mo appendix QH filly that we have started basic groundwork in the roundpen, and will be saddling this week. (weather pending) We also have a 2yr old filly that has been saddled, ground drives, all groundwork has been well underway since she was about 15mo. My husband has worked with getting on and off, both sides, and sits her for just a few minutes at a time. Next step is LIGHT walking, maybe trotting maybe not, but not much at this age. Next spring when she is 3, she will go to a trainer to put miles on her at the ranch. We did this with our now 6yr old gelding, rode him at 2.5yrs just a few times, (end of summer) then put him up for the winter. When we started him again in the spring at 3, never went to the trainer as we did it all ourselves. He was awesome, and remembered all the basics we taught him. Never has offered to buck or be naughty. (of course, all horses are different) This worked so well for us, we will do if for our 3 fillies. Good luck with your baby...and's baby steps, and enjoy the adventure. :)
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-08-2011, 08:40 AM
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There is alot you can do in the stall this winter.
Saddle and let them stand tied.
Saddle and let things hang off of the saddle allowing the colt to walk around under supervision.
You can lay over him.
You can sit on him.
You can bit him up.
I have seen people ride them before two but I like to wait.
Before I get on my young horses they can do showmanship.
They can side pass and turn on the forehand. I ground drive them and work them over poles.
I like to take them to a few shows and show them in halter.
I want to get their minds working with me on the ground.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-08-2011, 08:57 AM
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It won't hurt him to start saddleing and doing your ground work. He can also start packing a snaffle bit, while you do your groundwork on the halter. He will mouth it lots but that's just him getting used to it. If you can work him over, under and around whatever obstacles you can set up to keep his mind fresh. He's still pretty young so 20 min or so is likely plenty. If you're like us you have maybe 2 months of not too bad winter weather and then the temps. plunge and he then gets some growing time until the weather warms. As with your previous horse, he won't forget the foundation you are putting on him. I'd wait until he's 18mos before putting your full weight on his back.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-09-2011, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much guys! This is helping out lots. Unfortunatly durring the winter we get up to at least 3 feet of snow every year and the ground is very slipery, so lounging is out of the picture. But Ill be going down in the barn to tie him up and brush him and work with him in there:)
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-09-2011, 10:37 AM
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Well the snow is a great resistance tool. Even hand-walking through snow is beneficial to a horse at any age. I'd seize any opportunity to teach something new or refresh a horse's mind.

Good luck though :) Working with youngsters is so fun!
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