What Should A 2 Year Old Know? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-11-2011, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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What Should A 2 Year Old Know?

I have a filly that will be 2 in May..personally, I think she is AWESOME, but of course I am biased. She is incredibly smart and picks up on things in a matter of minutes.

What is expected of a 2 year old (generally speaking)? I do not plan on riding her until she is 3 at the youngest. She has worn a bareback pad and surcingle. She leads well, is great for the farrier, ties, and I have lunged her for VERY short increments just so she can get the idea of moving away from me...just at the walk and trot, but she learned "walk", "trot", and "ho" in any combination in those few minutes. I have taken her over poles on the ground and very small cross rails and verticles. She bathes well, also.

I have not yet attempted to clip her (my fault-I do not own cordless clippers) and we are working on the trailering. Other than that, what should she know? Generally speaking, what is safe for a 2 year old to do? I am very paranoid about over working and causing unneeded strain to her joints, but she is getting bored!

She is an Andalusian/Thoroughbred, if it helps. Thanks~

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post #2 of 11 Old 03-11-2011, 11:24 PM
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When ours were 2, they knew how to flex, yield their front and rear end, back up, and I started putting the saddle on. You can lunge them, but just make the circles bigger. Small circles are hard on their joints. The sooner you can get these things started, the easier they will be when under saddle. When they can yield their front and rear, you can start teaching them how to sidepass on the ground too. I also make sure I can touch them ANYWHERE. That includes their ears, and privates.

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post #3 of 11 Old 03-11-2011, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! She is really good with being touched..she LOVES any kind of attention.

I have started teaching her how to disengage her hind quarters, but I am not sure how to teach her to yield her shoulders? She is my first baby and a lot of stuff I have just used common sense or applied from training my TB. She also backs up no problem. Thanks!
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-12-2011, 12:32 AM
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With horses I mess with, the only things that I really like for them to know is good ground manners, yielding away from pressure, and how to stand for the farrier. Having them accustomed to wearing a pad/surcingle is not a common thing for me.

Unfortunately, the majority of 2 year olds I mess with are at the far ends of the spectrum. They have either never been handled, or they are incredibly spoiled .

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post #5 of 11 Old 03-12-2011, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Then I have her covered! I just want her to be as prepared as possible when the time comes...I plan to be the first one on her and teach her the basics then have my trainer take over and refine her. I refuse to send her away and have someone else do it!
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-12-2011, 02:36 PM
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I like what useandpets had to say and I work on the same things with my babies. I have also put a bit in her mouth a couple times just till she stops chewing on it.

I ground drove her the other day for a few mins and I'd like to be able to drive her up and down our drive (it's quite long) by the summer. Just for something else to do with her.

I like to get them out to see as much as possible so I pony on trails and trailer to new places when I can.

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post #7 of 11 Old 03-12-2011, 02:49 PM
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Is she well sacked out with tarps and scary objects? Sounds like your headed in the right direction. Anything you can think of that she would encounter out in the "Big" world is going to benefit her. Good luck and have fun!
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-12-2011, 02:57 PM
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My little one is 2.5 and she ties to anything [single or cross-ties], she ground ties, lunges, long-lines, let's me handle her feet and legs [like stretching them], accepts a bit and surcingle, yields from pressure [side-steps, turns on haunches-forehand]. She stands for the farrier and vet, accepts shots, de-wormer, loads and hauls, and I've introduced her to every possible "scary" thing I could get my hands on. She walks nicely along the road with traffic, goes to espresso stands, handles tarps, balloons, tires, etc. It may seem like a lot for one so young, but she is too smart and gets too destructive if I just let her "be a horse" in the pasture. =]

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post #9 of 11 Old 03-12-2011, 04:31 PM
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I like what's been said so far.

If they understand yielding to pressure, and yielding shoulders and hindquarters separately, your job when they're first undersaddle is tons easier.

I think you have the basics covered.

Nice to have, rather than have to have?

Pony from a reliable horse and take brief, slow rides to introduce her to unfamiliar things.

Haul her around in the trailer, and haul her to a show ground or event with a lot going on, get her used to the idea of standing quietly on the trailer and watching all the excitement. When she's a little older, hand walk her around or lunge her in the schooling areas to get her accustomed to all the hoopla at showgrounds long before you're going to expect her to show.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-12-2011, 05:37 PM
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I agree with all of these things except maybe the lunging even in large circles. At two they're still rather gaunty and their joints are still soft, even that can possibly mess them up! I didn't start lunging my filly until she was approaching three years. Thats really just a matter of opinion though. Otherwise, here are the basics that I thing they should know by 2.

leading, catching, haltering manners
being familiar with trailers- coming up and down, and going for short rides.
desensatised to saddles, bridles, pads, gates, cones, barrels, jumps etc.
yield to pressure. ie; if you press lightly on the shoulder, they'll step away.
backing up when asked (cues can range from a tap on the chest to pulling back the lead line. It really just depends)
walk/trot on line (not lunging!)
sacked out (accustomed to having tack on)
being familiar with being tied for atleast fifteen minutes at a time
willing to drop their head/flex neck when asked.
not head shy
and most importantly, know how to act around other horses! She should be ok with walking around, behind, or in front of another horse without spooking/getting excited or distracted.

Ofcourse, many of those things are optional, but ALL of them will help when you go to saddle train her =]

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