Ponying a youngster
At what age would it be acceptable to start ponying a youngster along on trail rides? It would be at a walk only and not carrying any type of saddle/tack.
I start at 2-2 1/2 depending on the horse. I always make sure to use a well experienced lead horse. The lead horse is key in this situation.
one month on? tradionally working mares had their foals follow them shortly after birth when they went back to work. My mare is currently in foal, and I will be taking her foal along from before its weaned on(my mare is an experienced pony horse). My three year old I bought at 10 months and started ponying her then. no tack, at a walk, on an experienced pony horse. If you are thinking of some more challenging trails, definately wait till 2-3, but for your average terrain, go ahead and start young. I see tons of people in the mountains riding mares with their 4-5 month old foals along side.
I think it depends on the terrain, the weather (heat) and the build / condition of your youngster. I've seen people riding mares with a haltered foal alongside on some quiet, level trails in the early morning hours.
As young as possible. Back when my gelding was born, I started ponying him along with my mare (his dam) when he was only a few weeks old. Now he's seven years old and is an expert at being ponied whenever I need to pony him somewhere. :)
Thank you I really appreciate the replies!
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