What is a good age to start training? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 07-09-2011, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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What is a good age to start training?

I have a two year old Saddlebred filly.
I havent hah her very long, but she is extremely smart and willing. She has come a very long way. She loads, clips, ties, bathes, saddles, bridles, etc. I have been ground driving her every day or so..
I have already sat on her back and did very little walking with a halter and lead, just bareback.
I am getting impatient on actually starting her in riding..I am worried about her legs and back. She is at least 16hh, still has the narrow build like a younger saddlebred. I want to start her saddleseat..light riding for now, of course. I would just like to get other peoples oppinion on weather I should wait another year or if I could start her lightly, THANKS!
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-10-2011, 05:46 PM
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Opinions vary on here, you will get answers from "start now" to "wait till she's four". I wouldn't do anything hard or long no matter what. It seems like you have done a lot of great training with her already. Could you pony her for a while? That might be the next step. You don't want to rush her because you are ready and she isn't yet. Personally I would wait till she's at least 2.5 yo. But that's just me.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-10-2011, 06:07 PM
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I prefer to focus on ground work while they are 2 and not actually start putting weight on their back until they are 3.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #4 of 12 Old 07-10-2011, 06:26 PM
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You could get your vet out and have the knees checked before you really start putting weight on her.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-10-2011, 09:56 PM
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I have started my 2 yr old, but I don't do alot of riding. She gets maybe one ride every two weeks. Not more than half an hour or so and we only do a bit of walking or trotting.

I think if you keep it light, a little riding won't hurt. But like stated above, have some ex-rays done if you want to be on the safe side.

"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-10-2011, 10:10 PM
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No use jumping the gun and ruining a good horse. Wait another year before riding. There is plenty to be accomplished from the ground. Maybe pick up a good book about training in hand. You can pretty much do everything you would from the saddle. Once you do finally get on, she'll pretty much already be trained.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-10-2011, 10:16 PM
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I usually prefer to wait until they are close to or older than 3 before I do much real riding on them. However, I am not opposed to people starting them at 2 so long as they do it right and don't push too hard.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-10-2011, 11:14 PM
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Put up some pictures of her!
Can she hold your weight?, I don't think getting on and doing some light walking to start her training once a week or so is going to do any harm!
My boy's off to the breakers when he turns two!
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-10-2011, 11:20 PM
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I, as many others here, prefer waiting till 3 to back a horse. My reasoning is pretty simple: why not? You're not going to hurt the horse by waiting till ~3, but you do stand a chance of hurting the horse by starting it too young.
Till then, work on everything you can in-hand. Ground-driving is great - can you ground-drive over a tarp? Have you ground-driven through an obstacle course? Using objects such as ab balls, pool noodles, tarps, and other such objects are great to desnsitize a horse, and that is transferrable to the saddle.



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post #10 of 12 Old 07-10-2011, 11:24 PM
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I vote for waiting I don't think that most horses are mature enough mentally or physically to start at two. I much prefer to keep on with their in hand training and then back them when they are 3, if they are ready then, my last guy I had to leave until he was 4, he was such a big baby
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