Starting a Dressage Horse
 
 

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Starting a Dressage Horse

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  • Dressage starting a 2 year old
  • Starting your horses out in dressage

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  • 2 Post By Golden Horse
  • 1 Post By sarahver
  • 2 Post By core

 
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    11-04-2011, 12:21 PM
  #1
Yearling
Starting a Dressage Horse

Ive got a two year old ex racehorse (whom is a deadhead) and I want to train her in dressage. I've got her going at all gaits (besides a full out gallop) and want to know what the first thing I need to work on her is. All the gaits are slow and fluid and she stops on whoa very nicely. I DO plan on taking lessons but right now they're out of the question. Not due to not being able to afford it, the closest lessons are an hour away and my parents work and cannot take me. They also don't think I've driven the trailer enough to go through a city with two horses (my friend wants to take them with me) and I agree with them. I want to train her myself because she is MY horse and I want to be the one who retrained her but id also like to do it correctly.
Thank you
     
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    11-04-2011, 12:36 PM
  #2
Trained
If she is a 2 year old ex race horse, the next thing you need to work on is getting off of her back for a while and letting her chill out. Seriously she is just a baby, if you try and push her any further now she may have issues further down the line.
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    11-04-2011, 01:53 PM
  #3
Green Broke
I'd kick her little butt out into the back pasture for a while. I'm guessing she's rising 3 so I'd wait 6-12 months before I really did much with her under saddle.

If you really want to start with some productive work, best thing you can do right now is start taking her to shows and letting her just stand around and get used to the atmosphere. That is often one of the more difficult aspects in retraining a racehorse.
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    11-04-2011, 01:59 PM
  #4
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
If she is a 2 year old ex race horse, the next thing you need to work on is getting off of her back for a while and letting her chill out. Seriously she is just a baby, if you try and push her any further now she may have issues further down the line.
This! I've heard from many trainers that sometimes the best thing to do is get them started as two year olds, then just leave them alone untill age four. She really is just a baby, and doesn't need to be ridden and worked real hard before her bones and joints are fully developed. This way you will have a reliable riding partner, rather than a crippled up horse.

Alot of racehorses are started way too young. Just because they always do this, doesn't mean it is the right thing. Now I'm not an expert in racing in any way; but I'm pretty sure that once one of those horses are retired from racing, they usually are used as breeding stock. That means that they wouldn't really care if they were crippled or not, as long as they can hold a baby.

It might not be what you want to hear, but I think leaving her to grow and live for a while will be beneficial for her lifetime health.
     
    11-04-2011, 05:10 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Give her a break, turn her away to mature and grow.
Dressage is hard on the joints so you need her to be fully mature before you start asking a lot of her.

My boy has turned 4, I am currently only working in walk and trot. We have established walk in self carriage and he is getting the idea of trotting in a correct outline however we will likely not start any canter work untill january. We certainly won't be asking for any more collection untill he is a couple of years down the line, he needs time and correct schooling to muscle up and build strength in his back and topline. We are currently doing all our schooling out on hacks to strengthen tendons and keep him from going sour.

Finaly you need to get yourself a trainer, you cannot school a young horse unless you know what you are aiming for and advice over the internet normaly assumes a basic level of dressage knowlege which it doesnt sound like you have.
     
    11-04-2011, 05:20 PM
  #6
Yearling
Your right. I do have a basic level knowledge. Ill admit to it. I wish I could make it to the trainer but as of right now its just not possible sadly. Im just wanting to know what I need to work with her on to get her a bit ahead until we CAN make it to the trainer.

And with the two year old riding, we don't go over a trot when riding in the arena. I understand she's young but she isnt happy unless she's worked once or twice a week (which is all I work her) because she gets ornery if she isnt taken out due to she gets bored and distructive. And yes, she is a long two. I know a lot of people who start slow work on long two year olds so that's what I've been aiming for. Bascially I've been working on getting her guilding better at a walk and ill trot her for about a lap or two at a time and make her go around obstacles.

I appreciate yalls concern for my girl. Im working her the least amount I can without her getting disctructive. She doesnt stay in a stall at all except for feeding time because I feed her more than my QH's because she still needs some weight and our pasture is nearly dry (texas drought)
     
    11-05-2011, 11:27 AM
  #7
Foal
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    11-05-2011, 11:47 AM
  #8
Foal
I've started a few horses and trained them through solid first both. I

At this stage of training, you need to focus on ensuring the horse is responsive to the aids, yet calm. Don't even think about collection, engagement, etc. From now until she/he is 4-5, just work on teaching her to move away from pressure, to follow your seat, to listen to light commands and respond promptly without hysterics.

Keep the lessons short. No more than 15 minutes, and the horse shouldn't be working hard during that period. Give her frequent breaks.

I found the best way to train was to trail ride with a calm lead horse. All we did was walk. But it helped get them solid on turning and moving away from leg pressure, etc.

The earliest I ever started a horse was as a very late 3 year old, and all I did was sit on his back at the walk for less than 5 minutes at that age. I realize thoroughbreds are raced at 2, but frankly, I don't feel they have the maturity level to handle dressage training until they're at least 4. For a 4 year old, all I work on is doing a lot of changes in direction on big loopy circles, gait changes (walk to trot to walk) to teach them to go forward when asked and to come back when asked. And I still keep the lessons short and give lots of breaks during the ride. With lots of positive reinforcement when the horse shows he/she is trying to do what I'm asking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBlaze    
Your right. I do have a basic level knowledge. Ill admit to it. I wish I could make it to the trainer but as of right now its just not possible sadly. Im just wanting to know what I need to work with her on to get her a bit ahead until we CAN make it to the trainer.

And with the two year old riding, we don't go over a trot when riding in the arena. I understand she's young but she isnt happy unless she's worked once or twice a week (which is all I work her) because she gets ornery if she isnt taken out due to she gets bored and distructive. And yes, she is a long two. I know a lot of people who start slow work on long two year olds so that's what I've been aiming for. Bascially I've been working on getting her guilding better at a walk and ill trot her for about a lap or two at a time and make her go around obstacles.

I appreciate yalls concern for my girl. Im working her the least amount I can without her getting disctructive. She doesnt stay in a stall at all except for feeding time because I feed her more than my QH's because she still needs some weight and our pasture is nearly dry (texas drought)
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