Training a 3 year old Fjord
I will be training a 3 year old Fjord when I move Mayder to the new barn (Fjord will be 4 technically next spring summer) That I know of he has had a rider on his back that was being lead.
I asked his owner(the bo) where i should start from and she asked me to start him from Ground Zero- Hawk, seems like a very sweet guy and I'm very excited to start training him. What I have heard about horses who have not been started started until three is sthat they can be hellions and hard to work with because they'll have a few bad habits now. (Mayder's owner said he was absolutly horrible as a 3 year old but now as a 5 year old she must have done somethin' right to make him a saint)
Does anybody have some tips that you would like to share in begining of ground training and (maybe) riding-I don't know how well his ground manners are if they're good I may get to them before it snows but if not it will hold off until next spring and I'll work with ground work for now and until the winter time.
Thank you =]
My list to work on with him:
-Leading at a walk/trot (quietly)
-Space (mayder barely has that with me.. with little kids he'll fallow a mile behind them to not step on me- nope not mom be in her lap)
-Standing for Grooming, Farrier (and opposite, also including and picking up legs, then standing nice for his Fjord Cuts)
-Streatching his neck and warming up (a good friend of mine could do all awesome stuff with streatching with her little man before he was a yearling)
-Learning to stand square for judges (I would love to show him for her and it would be good to learn to stand nice now, I have a hard time with Mayder now cause of it.)
-Stuff swining around him and his leg (suggestions on what "stuff" could be por favor? :D)
-Baths have to be next spring cause its flat out too cold now.
-Some free lunging (maybe)
-Anything YOU lovely people of HF that want to add?
Oh Fjords are such wonderful horses to work with! My friend's dad didn't break his until he was 5 (he was used for breeding before that) and all he did really was threw a saddle on him one day and took him out lol. He's been a kids horse ever since.
The main thing to keep in mind with Fjords is that they are notoriously easy at developing hard-mouths. They can also be a bit stubborn but are generally very gentle and calm. Work on keeping him supple. This can be done by teaching him to bend on the ground in a halter (stand at his shoulder, and get him to bring his head around to you and hold it there). Then do it from the saddle at a stand still with a bit. Also work on getting him to yield away from pressure on the ground (such as moving his hindquarters and forequarters away). This will transfer to the saddle later on when you give him leg signals.
My own Fjord is an absolute doll to work with and she's 11!
Also, Fjords tend to not be as "sensitive" as other horses so keep that in mind when applying any sort of pressure. You might need more than you would on another breed lol This can pose a bit of a challenge when longeing but if you start from the ground up and dont give him a reason to resisit he should do good.
Everything that you said above sounds like a good starting point. My mare still fusses if she has to stand for too long while i cut her hair but thats because she's always too busy looking for food lol Which is another thing to keep in mind - Fjords will do almost ANYTHING for food! They're gluttonous little beggers lol and can practically live off dirt :)
I noticed that with some ponies- if you dont work on suppleness they can't very pully and hard mouthed very easy. Im hoping to start offically working with him sometime next week. I have to get new batteries for my Camera and I really would love to document how it goes. I've wanted to start training horses forever and it feels awesome finally having that opportunity to do so. The BO also has another horse who's I think he's around a 2 year old so if Hawk goes well Maybe the BO will also have me train the 2 year old.
Three is not old, at all, remotely, to break. That's really the preferred starting age for people who realize the damage that early breaking does to long yearlings and two-year-olds. Many won't even back a horse until four or five. He's still a baby. Treat him as such. A horse is a horse, and should be trained as a horse.
Aye- As said with winter being very close I will most likely not start riding until next summer (Making him four), do grow and develop a tad bit more And with Mayder I started a little jumping last summer and I got him as a 3 and half year old and waited until he was a 5 year old just to start with some small x's- now i moved him down to a o ring snaffle so we have to work on our responding with it first before we even think of that again lol.
With that- I'm thinking of going to the hobby store and getting poles and such so that way it would be another activity to do with both boys- since moving barns we don't have as much stuff to work with since its a smaller farm and not a showing facility.
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