Originally Posted by AKPaintLover
With the futurities, I can see the mental readiness (or lack of) as being a much bigger problem for 2 year olds than the physical aspect of being ridden at two. How do you get a 2 year old ready to compete?? That is a lot of training to get done by that age! It seems very high stress for them!?!
Also, Lane, of those 2 year olds that you started, what age have see been able to observe them to? (if that makes sense)
I have been feeling really bad starting my stallion when he was 2 (not that I have seen any adverse affects, but he is only 6 now). From what I am reading about development, it makes sense that starting later would be safer, but starting at 2 is such a big thing also...I am so confused! :)
With the mental readiness there is not really much you can do to change their mind set, it is really like small children going to school for the first time - some are ready and others cry for a week.
As far as training them- it really depends on the horse, most that are going to be shown heavily as a 2yo will have shown as a yearling and will be familiar with being away from home in a show environment. Teaching a horse usually only takes 6-8 weeks but the final result can take much longer. I find that by the time they are under saddle solidly for 4 months they are pretty ready for any challenge that comes their way show wise. Surly they will have the occassional brain explosion, but so can a more experienced and much older horse.
I find the younger they are started, the less traumatic it is for them as they haven't had years to get used to the idea that they don't get ridden.
As for the 2yos that I have started still being around - some are youth horses, some are amatuer horses some still show only in open. I obviously have lost contact with a good number of them but the ones that I am aware of are all doing great.