Is it time?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 76 Old 02-04-2012, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Is it time?!

So as many of you know, I rescued a filly a month ago today. She is 2 years old, 3 in March. In her previous environment she had very little handling and came to me rather thin.

She has gained a good bit of weight, some muscle and is filling in nicely. (As much as she can within a month anyway!) Her training now consist of great ground manners, good leading skills (INCLUDING sidepass, pivots), ground tying, trailers like a champ, and recently - I can pick up all her feet while she is ground tied! And THAT was a tough one to overcome! She lunges like she gets paid overtime for it, she is a quick learner. Both on a line and free lunging, w/t/c stop and turn all very quickly and on command. SO! My question is, is it time to start saddling her?

I want to saddle and bit her (loose ring french link snaffle) and start ground driving her so she learns her directional cues before I hop in the saddle. She currently stands at 14.1 hands and about 800 pounds. The first picture is from the first day I brought her home, the middle is today and the last picture is from yesterday :) let me know what you think!
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Dahlia <3 1/4/2012
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post #2 of 76 Old 02-04-2012, 11:50 PM
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I would not ride her until she is 3 years old, especially because she does not seem especially bulky/muscled.. So, unless you want to be ground driving her for a year, I would wait.

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #3 of 76 Old 02-04-2012, 11:57 PM
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I would say it is okay to introduce her to the saddle/pad and bit andplay with ground driving her but not to stress over pushing her into it just yet. I would work on maybe some more extensive ground work and getting her listening and responding with as much ease as possible before moving on to the next step. Maybe introduce her to some new obstacles ground poles/flags/tarps/plastic bags etc. work on decensitizing her as much as possible. She is looking great!

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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post #4 of 76 Old 02-04-2012, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Here are a few more pictures that I love, just for fun <3 taken within the past couple days! The last one is her with my 6 foot tall, un horsey father :P bahahaha!
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post #5 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseymyhorserocks View Post
I would not ride her until she is 3 years old, especially because she does not seem especially bulky/muscled.. So, unless you want to be ground driving her for a year, I would wait.
She is turning 3 in a month and a half. Did I not mention that? I apologize! But all I am talking about is introducing tack. A lot of people are telling me I should have already done it. It will probably take me about a month to buy her good tack that will fit her, I have a feeling she is going to be a hard one to fit.

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post #6 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarrelracingArabian View Post
I would say it is okay to introduce her to the saddle/pad and bit andplay with ground driving her but not to stress over pushing her into it just yet. I would work on maybe some more extensive ground work and getting her listening and responding with as much ease as possible before moving on to the next step. Maybe introduce her to some new obstacles ground poles/flags/tarps/plastic bags etc. work on decensitizing her as much as possible. She is looking great!
That's what I have been thinking. She is pretty desensitized to everything I have laying around at the farm so far, cones, tarps, whips, bright colors! Her ground work is always improving, don't get me wrong, she can always learn more on the ground - but my hope is to do it with a saddle on.

Dahlia <3 1/4/2012
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post #7 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 12:07 AM
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Of course! You can definitely introduce her to the saddle and bit and what not and start getting her used to that and then once she has everything down with the saddle on work on mounting. I think you did great by not rushing her into the saddle right away a few extra months and training can determine whether you have a monster to break or an 'angel' haha

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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post #8 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 12:08 AM
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I wouldn't buy her any tack for at least a year, to give her time to finish filling out and muscling up some. Anything you buy today probably won't fit in 6 months, at least not a saddle. I would buy a good training surcingle and start with that on her back and a saddle pad, and I'd start bitting her up for 15 mins or so at a time, just letting her carry the bit in her mouth. I also start them bitted kind of low rather than where the bit should sit, so they learn to pick it up and carry it themselves. Once she's had a couple weeks of carrying the bit around, I'd start using a 'side rein' on one side and then the other so she teaches herself about how to get release from the bit by dropping her head, rather than flinging it up. Then I'd start doing all the ground work to get her started under saddle, until late this coming fall. If she's gained a bunch of muscle and bulked up by then, I'd try saddling her and if she's okay with that, backing her just for short periods of time until next spring when I'd start putting miles on her. You can have her ready to accept a rider from right after you get her to accept a saddle (hint, buy an old beater saddle and pad it up so that if it doesn't fit real well it won't hurt, but if she rolls with it she won't kill a new saddle) by using a mounting block and gradually putting weight in the stirrup.
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post #9 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
I wouldn't buy her any tack for at least a year, to give her time to finish filling out and muscling up some. Anything you buy today probably won't fit in 6 months, at least not a saddle. I would buy a good training surcingle and start with that on her back and a saddle pad, and I'd start bitting her up for 15 mins or so at a time, just letting her carry the bit in her mouth. I also start them bitted kind of low rather than where the bit should sit, so they learn to pick it up and carry it themselves. Once she's had a couple weeks of carrying the bit around, I'd start using a 'side rein' on one side and then the other so she teaches herself about how to get release from the bit by dropping her head, rather than flinging it up. Then I'd start doing all the ground work to get her started under saddle, until late this coming fall. If she's gained a bunch of muscle and bulked up by then, I'd try saddling her and if she's okay with that, backing her just for short periods of time until next spring when I'd start putting miles on her. You can have her ready to accept a rider from right after you get her to accept a saddle (hint, buy an old beater saddle and pad it up so that if it doesn't fit real well it won't hurt, but if she rolls with it she won't kill a new saddle) by using a mounting block and gradually putting weight in the stirrup.
I agree with everything you said. I am definetly looking for something a little bit more beat up to tack her up with for now. I think I am just going to tack her up and continue the ground work for a while, see how she does without side reins and all. I just want her to get used to doing whatever I want her to do with tack on. I want her totally comfortable with tack for months before I get on her.

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post #10 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarrelracingArabian View Post
Of course! You can definitely introduce her to the saddle and bit and what not and start getting her used to that and then once she has everything down with the saddle on work on mounting. I think you did great by not rushing her into the saddle right away a few extra months and training can determine whether you have a monster to break or an 'angel' haha
She is a smart-angel-monster, so far :) bahaha.
Like, it has been 31 days, and she can do most ground work effortlessly, the first time and correctly. She is outrageously smart. But when she wants to act up, she will :P silly babies.

Dahlia <3 1/4/2012
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