I was just wondering what kind of things anyone does with young horses. I am in the process of getting ready to start my horse under saddle this spring and I will take any advice. He is relatively quiet but can be a bit pushy. That's why my first thing is to work on him staying out of my space.
Thanks for any suggestions.
GROUNDWORK GROUNDWORK GROUNDWORK. I highly suggest NOT starting under saddle until they are bombproof (for the most part) and know voice commands, keep space, have respect, ect. otherwise, you will just end up having a horse with very bad manners. I worked on walking and "whoa" from the ground with my 2 yr old for about a month straight! Other things to do to get ready for saddle once the ground manners are established are things like ground driving, working with introducing the bit, sacking out, ect. You want to get them used to the bit and putting the connection between side pressure and the bit so they know how to turn ect. I highly recommend getting help from a trainer, especially if you dont know what to do.
The most important thing to teach a horse to do is stop. If you can lunge your horse and simply say "woah" and they stop right away you are heading in the right direction. Another good thing to teach them is to "walk on" as some horses will buck if you try to squeeze the first few times you are on them, so if you can say "walk on" while just letting your legs rest on them you can teach them to be very light without ever having to kick.
You should ground drive to teach your horse to accept the bit.
Breaking your first horse can be very fun and scary, I just broke my first horse from the ground up, halter training to saddle work to neck reining and leg yields. :) It was fun but definately not easy. I can't tell you how may times I called up my trainer almost in tears because I had no idea what I'd gotten myself into.
It hardly depends on what do you want to do with your foal in the later times. Do you want him to a reining, barrel-racin ghorse or would you like to do some classical dressage?
Usually we do this way
First 4 months: the horse learns to carry your weight. Many walk, many trot, only a few canter. In the first months the speed of the gaits depends only on him, I usually don't try to make him faster or slower. The hardest thing I ask from him is to keep one tempo chosen by himself for a longer time. Many countryside riding.
Second 4 months: more time in the school. Begin arcs and circles. Begin to get him used to your weight and leg directions. By giving him a very stable and calm hand, he will get the bit and work on the bit correctly. It's an important thing because if you miss it, your horse will not go on the bit, you will have many trouble with him. Shy horses like go beyond the bit, harder ones go against the bit.
Third 4 months: Getting his balance upper by making him working with his backward legs better. When you start to work with a foal, the highest point of his backside is the top of the bottom. After 12 months the highest point must be the wither. You can reach it only when he is on the bit. You must help him with your legs to warn him about using correctly his back legs. Use it when you have a feeling that you are sitting only on his wither and his back legs are somewhere far-far away from you...
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