Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
wow, she looks like a yearling. I make sure my two year olds are great to handle on the ground, good with their feet, stand tied, load well in the trailer, preferably pony well from another horse, just all around fantastic to handle from the ground.
Towards the end of their two year old year I get them used to being bridled, saddled, sacked out with the saddle pad, lunging, used to ropes all over their bodies, including legs, comfortable with things moving around on the saddle(hook a coat over the saddle horn so they get used to flapping, etc), and being tacked up on the lunge line w/t/canter.
At this point I kick them out for the winter. Then at 3(or four, depending on how mature they are mentally and physically), I do a refresh of the skills they learned at 2, then start ground driving them. Once they understand the basics and are comfortable with all the steps up to this point, I hop on them bare back, then mount from both sides of the horse from the ground, as well as teaching them to stand next to a mounting block. Once the horse is very comfortable with me getting on and off, and touching all over the place from their back, I start asking for forward motion. At this point I know the horse is comfortable with all the tack, steering and having weight on its back, plus it respects me, so we can proceed with actuall riding.