2 year old - Riding?
To get straight to the point...
How much walking ponying can a 2 year old do? Like if he's in shape is 2 - 3 hours too much without a saddle or rider?
And wanted to know how long of (easy - little to no hills) trail rides he could do.
Not to into circling, and arena work for the first year, but talk to me a little about trail riding and ponying please.
I need more education on this one.
(I'm 130lbs if that helps)
I would not ride a 2yo. I would wait until they're closer to 4yo before doing much even sitting on their back(I start them about then), but wait until 5-6yo before doing anything like real riding, when they're physically mature & their 'growth plates' in the spine have 'closed'. Look up Dr Deb Bennett for more info on growth & maturity rates. Also evidence is that horses don't tend to *begin* developing their palmer hoof until around 4yo, so as good as your youngster's feet may be, I don't know that they're ready to cope(well, without repercussions) on hard/rough ground with a rider on board until their hooves can develop adequately.
Re ponying & walking him tho, the more the merrier, IMO. Wild horses do many miles daily, from birth & are all the healthier & stronger for it!
i've actually read something you posted while searching for answers. I'm looking to wards a sooner start than 4 or 5. Light trail riding as a two year old (30 day throughout the 2 year old year), a little more trail riding and some arena work as a 3 year old (maybe 60 - 90 rides total through that year, and as a 4 or 5 year old, regular riding and some showing is what I'm going for. Just want to know how light light riding has to be.
And trail riding... Aren't wild horses traveling miles and miles a day from the time they're born? So even with trail riding why wait so late?
just trying to understand not argue or disagree.
If you are ponying slow on the flat 2-3 hours for a 2yo is fine. Mustangs move more than that in the wild. As far as riding, Xrays are the best way to tell if the knees have closed and the horse is ready to ride. The spine doesn't close till 5-6. Of course people do start riding horses at 2 so it's your call as the owner.
OK, so I will do more thinking on what I'll do with the riding part...
As for getting in shape for a 2/3 hr trail ride, how would you go about it? Go out for an hour every other day for a week, then then next week add an extra 1/2 hr, then the 3rd week make it 3 hrs? How does that sounds?
...Reminded of my last mare's first ever ride out... she was 6yo & I'd taken her out & about a lot without riding, ridden for short periods on the property, but her first ride out... was a 42 degree C day(hot!) on a rough tracks and we somehow missed the turn off! What we'd planned to be a couple of hour jaunt in the morning before the heat turned into about 10 hours of trudging!!:oops: We got back at 9pm, just on dusk, all of us(was with friends) stumbling along besides our horses!
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