What can your 3-4yr old do? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 24 Old 06-06-2011, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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What can your 3-4yr old do?

Im just curious as to what your 3-4year olds are trained to do. I know some people don't really start working them until they are that age, and then there are others who are already showing at that age. I personally don't get on a horse until theyre this age, and some of them don't even get ridden really until theyre older, just sort of depends on the horse, but most are starting undersaddle work between the ages of 3-4. What sort of lessons do you want taught, and what do you expect from them at this age?

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post #2 of 24 Old 06-06-2011, 01:10 PM
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My horse, as a four-year-old, was already showing 2'9-3'0 jumpers. Definitely don't advise starting them this early, though, because by the time I bought her she had some serious mental issues. Usually, I would expect a 3 year old to be able to lunge consistently wearing tack, and have good ground manners. I start doing light flatwork at about 3 1/2 and expect good manners undersaddle at walk and trot by four. They should be fairly consistent undersaddle W/T/C by 4 1/2 and I start introducing jumping at 5.
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post #3 of 24 Old 06-06-2011, 01:18 PM
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the 3-4 year olds I work with have good ground manners will lunge w/t/c with tack, not yet backed but I will most probably start that at around 4 always depending on the progress I see in the horse..... if I see they are uncomfortable in one of my steps I will go back and try again.
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post #4 of 24 Old 06-06-2011, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dezzistar View Post
My horse, as a four-year-old, was already showing 2'9-3'0 jumpers. Definitely don't advise starting them this early, though, because by the time I bought her she had some serious mental issues. Usually, I would expect a 3 year old to be able to lunge consistently wearing tack, and have good ground manners. I start doing light flatwork at about 3 1/2 and expect good manners undersaddle at walk and trot by four. They should be fairly consistent undersaddle W/T/C by 4 1/2 and I start introducing jumping at 5.

Sounds like your expectations are pretty much in line with mine. I start jumping sooner, however I do not expect them to be able to canter a whole course, just jumping single fences or an occasional line. Usually at the trot but sometimes if the horse wants to canter ill let them. I keep the jumps small and easy but if they can wtc undersaddle well ill start them at trotting small xrails. I do round pen with jumps from time to time but they stay under 1'6 in height and they don't do it undersaddle for some time.
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post #5 of 24 Old 06-06-2011, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Ok another question, do you guys start longing/round penning before the age of 3? Or what are your expectations for the babies under the age of 3?
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post #6 of 24 Old 06-06-2011, 01:24 PM
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I ride a 3 year old, and he was trained to race, so he was broke to ride at an early age. When I first started riding him about 4 months ago we were working on, getting him used to my leg, and picking up the correct lead at the canter. That was the two main things he needed to work on.

Now he picks up the canter on the correct lead from the walk and trot, he bends around my leg at all three gaits, and is leg yielding very nicely. He also has picked up on voice commands, he knows, walk, whoa, stand, and two clucks means to canter. (I actually taught him voice commands by accident).

Now we are working on keeping an even pace at the canter, mainly, but also the trot. And we started doing ground polls and jumping small cross rails.

He is progressing very quick, he is a fast learner. But it does all depend on the horse...I know 3 and 4 year olds that aren't even saddle broke yet.
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post #7 of 24 Old 06-06-2011, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by FSHjumper View Post
What are your expectations for the babies under the age of 3?
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I have a 4yr Paint. By the time she turned three I could pick up all four feet from one side, she circled me without anything on her (in a large 16 acre pasture), trotted in the arena. Maintained w/t/c online and at liberty, jumps small jumps in the round pen. She can jump logs and different obstacles. She was completely desensitized to plastic bags, tarps, and loud noises.

This was before she turned three.
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post #8 of 24 Old 06-06-2011, 02:06 PM
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I have a 3.5 yrs old TB when I got him he already knew about being riden, he walked troted and cantered steady on voice comand, and also walk backward.
I worked with him trought flying changes, a steady extended trot, and we just started on poles, he is very smart, but I do think he was broken way to soon, I had to work in him ground manner cos 6 months ago he was a jerk.
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post #9 of 24 Old 06-06-2011, 02:54 PM
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Mine started on a longe line when he was 1 and a couple of months. The work started light and built up from there. Now at 3, he does everything except bring fully backed. He longe lines w/t/c with or with tack or bitted up, he long lines/ground drives confidently, we've laid across his back and done all but sit on him. We're hoping to back him this month before we move an hour away from my best friend/trainer.
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post #10 of 24 Old 06-07-2011, 02:48 AM
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My 4 year old (She turned 4 in nov) can walk trot and canter, trot a 20 meter circle easily, canter a 20 metre circle - not so easily but is getting better every ride... be ridden on her own and in company.... has been on a float and a truck but I wouldnt call her float trained yet - will work on that in spring

She's just starting on poles and small baby jumps....

She's been clipped this year and had her mane pulled twice... is pretty good to handle - still has a few baby moments but is improving all the time..

Was broken in Jan this year :) pre that she was well handled on the ground and that was about it
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