Yearling safe to do ground work?

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Yearling safe to do ground work?

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    12-26-2012, 02:05 PM
Yearling safe to do ground work?

Is it safe to do ground work with a yearling? I mean LUngeing, leading, introducing the bit from the ground,etc.
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    12-26-2012, 02:07 PM
Leading, yes. Lunging and bitting up, I'd personally wait until they're at least two. Lunging puts a lot of stress on their joints.
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    12-26-2012, 02:11 PM
Not only is it safe, but necessary! I'd hold off on the lunging, though, and make sure you take baby steps that your horse is ready for.

Could someone explain why lunging is bad for young horses? I know it's been mentioned several times, but not why.

I'd start with leading, trailering, desnsitizing, etc. I wouldn't put the bit in for a while, though. The last thing you want is a bad experience! However, if you go slow and you do everything you can go get your horse used to you and working with you, getting him used to the bit will be fine. I got long-reins and taught my horse to give to aids long before I ever got on him. However, I found it worked better to teach giving to pressure on a sidepull, then introducing the bit after he got the idea of what was supposed to happen. Then, I never had to give very much pressure on the bit at all, because he already knew what a tap on the rein and a press with a foot meant, as well as all voice aids.
    12-26-2012, 02:14 PM
Jillybean, lunging puts a lot of stress on a young horse's joints, even at a walk and trot. Plus, young horses have the attention span of a gnat on crack, so it would end up an exercise in frustration for the handler.
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    12-26-2012, 02:17 PM
Green Broke
Groundwork is great for a yearling. Keep lunging to a minimum to not stress joints. I tend to teach the concept of lunging after they turn a year but keep it to very short sessions and don't do it very often. You can lead through obstacles, introduce to new scary things like tarps, take them for walks down the road to get used to traffic or in the woods, trailer them to different areas, teach to back, yield hindquarters and fores, sending, etc.

Just remember babies don't have long attention spans so keep sessions shorter and fun. As for bits - typically a yearling's mouth is smaller so most bits aren't going to fit properly so wait some as you don't want them to be uncomfortable.
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    12-26-2012, 02:21 PM
Attention span of a Gnat yes...but that is why you do it for a short period of time. When I work with our yearlings I can get a lot taught in the 20 minutes I work with them.

As for hard on joints.....they are doing a whole heck of a lot more torque on their own burning around the pasture, stopping and turning hard, bucking and kicking, and doing that on a daily basis then what I ask of them to do in the 20 minutes a few days a week.

I do some lunging to teach them to lunge, I do desensitizing, working with legs, throwing bike tires at and over them, hanging things off them, yielding, ect.
Thunderspark likes this.
    12-26-2012, 02:25 PM
Originally Posted by BarrelRacingLvr    
throwing bike tires at and over them
I just thought of what *some* people would say about your abused baby horses that get bike tires thrown at them lol

I think I need some bike tires myself now!
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    12-26-2012, 02:29 PM
Green Broke
Henny knows the concept of lunging. At 8 months old, I lunge him for no longer than 3 minutes. How else should I correct him when he's being studly and kicks out at me? I could back him, yield his hindquarters, but nothing gets the message across like a lunging session does. He knows when I get after him with the whip, he did a big no-no and runs for his little life. His breathing is barely labored by the end and never threatens to break a sweat. A 3 minute lunging session twice a week will not deteriorate his joints.

As for groundwork, my boy knows all the basics. Leading, back, yielding hindquarters, flexing his neck, and flexing with pressure from a butt rope. He stands tied well, and I desensitize him with anything I can. He didn't blink whenever I threw the tarp over his entire body, but the hoola hoop pressing into his flanks was another story LOL. Right now is a great time to get them used to everything. Right now they're curious, not scared. Trailer them wherever you can, get them used to new sights and smells. Teaching a baby is a great joy and I love teaching Heenie Weenie new things.
Thunderspark likes this.
    12-26-2012, 02:57 PM
Originally Posted by jillybean19    
I just thought of what *some* people would say about your abused baby horses that get bike tires thrown at them lol

I think I need some bike tires myself now!
Oh yes they are SCARY monsters lol as they go flopping through the air lol. So great for desensitizing, and many other things lol.

Ah yes my poor wittle babies getting attacked by the horrible bike tires! Lol I really should get some pictures this spring of the abuse the babies endure...and the big horses when they are feeling fresh and get a floppy object thrown at their sides, head, legs lol!
    12-26-2012, 04:18 PM
My yearling, almost 2 now, has pretty much all her ground work done, including lunging. With lunging, if you keep it at a walk and trot, not any lunging, and only for short sessions, it will be fine.

I have not bitted her yet, but am planning on it in a couple weeks. She is learning more and more and is perfect for leading, picking up her feet, etc.

It will be safe to do all of those things, if your yearling has a good temperment and attitude.

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