Training a two year old quarter horse - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Question Training a two year old quarter horse

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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post #2 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 06:58 PM
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How about a little more information? Is she just barely two? Or closer to three? How much weight is she being asked to carry?
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post #3 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 07:04 PM
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More information and maybe some pictures would help.

While it is generally frowned upon, it is your horse so...shrug. Some people start them young and have no problems at all and have sound, healthy animals for a lifetime, some people start them young and have nothing but problems. There are just too many variables at work.

That said, many QH's mature fairly quickly and are perfectly ready to start earlier than others. If she is maturing nicely and your vet gives the go ahead, she may very well be able to take short riding sessions. Heck, some of those ranch bred horses are ready to get to serious work at 2.

If you are on the smaller, lighter side, that would also make it an easier question to answer.

I guess what I'm trying to say is simply, "It Depends". Ask your vet, honestly weigh the pro's and con's with yourself and go with your gut.

/Don's flame ******ant suit...
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post #4 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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I weigh about 135 lbs, and she is 26 months
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post #5 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 07:24 PM
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As far as lunging a two year old goes... I've never had a round corral, and when I find it necessary for any one of multiple possible reasons to lunge a young horse, I use two lunge lines tied end to end. You just send them out farther. Start small, of course, if needed. And encourage them further out.

That reduces the risk of excessive strain on their immature joints.

Probably at two, you are not risking injury for light trail riding, either.
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post #6 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Customcanines View Post
I weigh about 135 lbs, and she is 26 months
That's a start, even with a saddle, that's not to bad.

Now we need a picture of her. She's a little on the "early" side of her 2 year old year. What we really need to see is how she is built* and how "mature" she is physically.

And you need to ask your vet's advice, they can actually put their hands on her and make sure all is well.


Last edited by FaydesMom; 06-17-2012 at 07:41 PM. Reason: * typo, had build instead of built.
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post #7 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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I have been trying to upload an image, but the only place I can see to do that is on my profiler, and it keeps saying the download failed. I'll keep trying
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post #8 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 07:47 PM
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We have had all of our horses started under saddle and ridden at 2 years old. Mine were physically and mentally able to handle it. I've only have one horse that I waited until she was 2yrs8mths to start riding.

I've never had any soundness issues with any of my horses that were broke out at 2. But it completely depends on the horse.

I see nothing wrong with walking a horse on the trail at 2 years old. I personally feel that it's better to walk out of the trail then lunging or round penning. Straight line at a walk, or lots of trotting/cantering in small circles...? Hmmm...
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post #9 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 07:52 PM
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To upload pictures, scroll down to the "post" box and look undernieth for the "go advanced" button. Click that button, then scroll down just a bit and click the "Manage Attachments" button.
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post #10 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for telling me how to do it! I hope this works
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