As for riding 2 year olds, I personally see nothing wrong with asking them to accept a rider and walk around the yard after long reining is done and they understand whoa, turns, and voice commands for walk and trot. I think worry comes when you just jump on a 2 year old that has never been worked with. No ground training or long rein work - getting on a 2 year old that doesn't understand these things, it's way more likely for them to pitch a bucking fit out of frustration and not understanding and THAT'S what's going to damage their joints. Bucking with a rider with open joints will cause ALOT more stress on their bodies than a calm couple laps around the yard with an extra 140 pounds on them. It depends what you've done with her so far to help her understand what's expected once the rider's on her. If she's only worn a saddle once or twice and never seen the bridle or long reins, I'd say hold off and do the leg work first...that being said, most of my youngsters were introduced to ALL the tack and equipment as yearlings, long reined since and into their 2 year old year, so when I stepped up on them as 2-2 1/2 year olds, it was naturally the next step and they accepted me gracefully and calmly. It's really a judgment call.
I've been putting a saddle on her since she was a yearling in those earlier pictures. She gracefully accepts the bit (actually, she loves it!!) I deffinatly wouldn't be getting on her without her knowing the basic commands (all of which you have mentioned). I'll be working on that stuff all this summer/fall and more!!! This summer I'm taking her up to my friend's house whom use to be a profesional English trainer! I wouldn't be jumping her really at all however. Maybe later down the road (like in a few years? She would definatly be fully matured before I started.) She'd be used mostly for trail riding, although she probably will ride english aswell!
I was able to get pics off my phone (finally!!) They were just real quick shots because I wasn't sure I could even do it! I'll get you guys more pictures of better quality tomorrow! Note: She is standing on a bit of a hill! Also, her head is kinda cranked around because I had treats in my had haha. I was going to post 3, but I have to load them online then resize them and I need to go to bed. I'll post more tomorrow!!!! Just to give you an idea! I took these day before yesterday! Also, do you think she'll dapple?
This is pretty much how I raise my youngsters. Here is a picture of Lillie as a yearling with a saddle. She was driven pretty much all around the farm last fall. So just like ES said..come this spring/summer, getting on her should be the next natural step. I plain to do some light riding with her this summer/fall.
Oh, she's a cutie! Looks like she's going to be a stout little thing, judging by her winter pic! What breed is she? I'll be doing a ton of driving this summer with her too! By the way, not sure I mentioned this, but her name is Sasha!