Young Horse Training
I was just wondering, for a very big (17hh+) warmblood-type horse that is only 3 (and a young 3, just turned in April), what is the best amount of undersaddle training to do with them? I know, especially with bigger warmblood types, they don't stop developing until past 5, and a lot of people have said to me that you shouldn't do too much with them until around 4.
Currently, I am only doing walk and trot with my guy, and in the summer, I did a lot of hacking with him. He was greenbroke when I bought him, and he has cantered, but I haven't felt comfortable asking him for that much yet because he is only now starting to get his balance, drop his head and use his topline more, react to leg pressure consistently, etc. My coach said to ride him 3-4 times a week, but I'm only riding him a couple times, partly because of time constraints (I'm a university student), and partly because with so many holes I found in his ground training, I've been focusing more attention on ground work and improving his basic manners, as well as developing a relationship with him.
Is this okay for a horse his age and breed (draft cross)? I think at this stage, twice a week for about 30 minutes is plenty, but my coach has suggested riding him 3-4 times a week, and other people have told me I should wait until he's 4, so I'm not sure what route is best to follow. I'm trying to take things slow, but still give him some experience undersaddle, and I was planning on intensifying his training in the summer once he has turned 4 and I have lots more time to devote to him. Any advice?
I worked and trained warmbloods for a few years and we used to break them in at around three depending on physical development. Sometimes sooner/later. We continued their training and rode them between 3-4 times a week, nothing too strenous just flat work and rode work (trails). Once they started working well (for their age) then we'd give them mini holidays, usually a week or so off, then we'd start building them up slowly again.
We never had any problems with any of the horses. As long as you do not push them past their limits and just take things gently then all is well.
Hope this helped a bit
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