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.

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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.

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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.
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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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