What should a 2 year old know? & When to start? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 19 Old 03-06-2013, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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What should a 2 year old know? & When to start?

I recently got a 2yr old Arab filly named Warrior she's my first youngin and I was just wanting know what things should a 2yr old know she wasn't handled much by previous owners. I've taught her basic things such as leading properly, how to stand tied, picking up feet, she knows "back" we're working on "whoa", to load in a trailer and we're currently working on lunging. Haven't worked with her on bathing yet its been way to cold.

I know some people start their horses under saddle at 2 yrs but Warrior is very small for her age she's the size of my barn owners 8 month old QH colt and she's Arab on top of that and I know they develop slower than other breeds so when would be a good age to start her I was thinking either 4 or 5 but wasn't sure if that was to late to start. What do you think?

So ANY advice, suggestions or opinions you may have about training or starting would help a bunch. Oh and I ride Western don't know if that helps.

Thanks!

To show you her size here's Warrior
20130209_132334.jpg

Warrior3.jpg
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-06-2013, 04:17 PM
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You''r right-she doesn't look like a 2 yr. Old. The ground work you'r doing w/her is good. I'm sure there will be more suggestions coming your way soon.
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-06-2013, 04:23 PM
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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.
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-06-2013, 04:27 PM
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oh, and 4 or 5 is fine. I started a 7 year old arab gelding once and he did fine. I would say for this one, I would see how she looks at 4, but waiting till 5 may be a good idea.
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-06-2013, 04:44 PM
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I agree she needs some more time to grow before she gets started under saddle.
Other than that I expect my youngsters to be able to cope with everything a ridden horse does while at the same time allowing them enough time to relax and not get sour and bored by too much pressure
I wouldnt over do the lunge work at this stage - its enough that they just know what the verbal commands are all about so keep it short and sweet.
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-07-2013, 11:23 AM
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Do groundwork such as- teaching her to move hindqaurters/shoulders, teach her to sidepass on ground, flexing, etc.. You could also teach her how to ground drive. That helps a LOT! Start desensitizing- tarps, flags, etc..

I would say put a surcingle on her and teach her to ground drive. I would wait till she was 4 also to break.

Other than that I think you are doing really good! :)
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-07-2013, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrill Ride View Post
Do groundwork such as- teaching her to move hindqaurters/shoulders, teach her to sidepass on ground, flexing, etc.. You could also teach her how to ground drive. That helps a LOT! Start desensitizing- tarps, flags, etc..

I would say put a surcingle on her and teach her to ground drive. I would wait till she was 4 also to break.

Other than that I think you are doing really good! :)

I didn't even think of ground driving that's a good idea though, Thanks!
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-07-2013, 03:31 PM
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I agree with ground driving! Parelli 7 games would be good to play with her, when lunging though I would just walk for the most part. It's the concept at this point that counts! Also, has she been vet-checked and had her age confirmed? They do tend to mature later, but she looks very tiny. Here's my Arabian as well, he's 13 and still this small, haha so it could be the Arabian in her..
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-07-2013, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Her age is vet confirmed. When her previous owners told me she was 2 I didn't believe it at all. The people I got her from didn't give her the proper nutrition or care she needed for proper growth. Her registration papers say she was foaled February 10, 2011.


Annanoel you have one handsome fellow!
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-07-2013, 04:45 PM
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When you can start under saddle - and to what extent depends a good deal on how ready they are mentally and physically - and physically she isn't even close.
A lot of posters have given good ground training suggestions. But, no matter how "mature" a horse is or is not at 2 - when they are two, they are two. I always keep that in mind for any given activity w a baby and make sure I don't get greedy, keep it "clear", planned, timed, and short. That may seem obvious, but it is soooo easy to "wow, she/he is going perfect, lets step it up!!!".
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There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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