Sorry in advance for the length of this post. My husband and I are 60 years old, and both of us were extremely knowledgeable about horses 40 years ago, but I feel as if everything has changed and I feel like a complete newbie. When I was young, I trained off-the-track thoroughbreds in a large hunter/jumper stable, and succesfully showed jumpers on the open circuit. My husband raised/trained some racing quarter horses. I never thought that I would get another horse, but the opportunity presented itself, and we jumped at the chance. We just purchased a two year old, very mature looking quarter horse filly who stands about 15 hands. Her knees are not quite closed. She has excellent ground manners, lunges, ties, loads, etc. The man we purchased her from started her under saddle and trail ridden her, and she also has excellent manners when ridden. I have only walked her, and she is very calm and listens very well. There are some trails around our property with an occasional moderate hill and some scattered occasional rocks. I have taken her out a couple of times and she has done very well, and she LOVES the trail (actually triesto turn around when we're done to bo back on it) I would like to take her out on short 30 -45 minutes trail rides 2 -3 times a week(at the walk only) and work her on ground work the rest of the time, but my husband feels I should not be riding her on the trail at this age. I am a very experienced rider and know how to balance, and I never go above a walk. The problem is, we unfortunately do not have an arena - only a pasture to ride in except the trails, and that is too hilly to work on lunging or basic flexing, etc. Should I stop riding her completely until she is older, or should I only ride her in the pasture (that also has hills and some rocks) The problem is, we are keeping her at my daughter's, and until an arena or round pen is built (possibly later this summer) I really have no where else to lunge or work her, as the pasture and surrounding land is not flat. A vet friend of mine said that walking her on the trail is actually good for her. It would build up her muscles so she is LESS likely to ghurt herself, but I've heard SO many people say a two year old should not be ridden at ALL. Any advice would be welcome! Thanks
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