Any good books for working with 2y/o's? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-01-2010, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Any good books for working with 2y/o's?

As a gift I've recieved the 2y/o ottb I've started leasing.. I've never ridden a horse so young and am looking for more information as far as whats appropriate as she ages. I was told smb are a MUST. Will be getting those soon. All I've been doing is walk trot, I know weight of rider can be an issue as well or so I've heard.. she's 15.3 and still growing I'm 135..that's not too much right? If it is I can just do groundwork and longing. I just really don't want to mess her up. Thanks
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-01-2010, 11:09 PM
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I like the book, "Right From the Start, creating a soft, sane balanced horse". Can't remember the author. I'll see if I can find it and post a link. It's none of that endless bending longing stuff, more focused on bending and suppling.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 18 Old 12-02-2010, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck View Post
I like the book, "Right From the Start, creating a soft, sane balanced horse". Can't remember the author. I'll see if I can find it and post a link. It's none of that endless bending longing stuff, more focused on bending and suppling.
I actually just saw that book on amazon after posting this. I'll go ahead and order it then! Thanks!
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post #4 of 18 Old 12-16-2010, 11:39 PM
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Okay, so I have a few things to say, and I don't want to come out rude, I want to help.

1)Breaking a horse is an art: of body language and grounded energy of the trainer, this means they need experience and the fact that you are looking for books sounds to be like you don't really have experience. That is not a bad thing, it just means you won't be able to properly train this horse to a medium standard. For your safety and the potential physical and/or mental safety of the horse I advise you not to continue with this or hire a trainer to help you. If you do hire a trainer and make sure you learn as much as possible for your money!

If you haven't ridden a horse this young, with the guidance of the instructor, this makes me even more worried.

2) I highly disagree with starting horses at 2. At 2 their bones have not fused and their back is most definitely not strong enough to hold a rider, although this is a fair sized horse and you are a lightweight rider, you may be able to do very light riding but to do that you must be a very balanced rider.
At 2 you may start with light work and start getting the horse to gain muscle before you start work. Only large lunge circles should be done at the trot and canter, but any size at the walk.
Also, at 2 a horse is not mentally ready and without doing anything on purpose the horse may cause harm to you.

3) Being an OTTB, this will probably be even worse, because you will have to undo all the race training this young horse has had.

4)You are leasing this horse, so you are paying for the costs of the board and the lease. If you train this horse, on your tab the horse's value will increase and the owner can sell the horse for more. I disagree with this and believe you may be being taken advantage of but I don't know the details so I may be wrong.

Finally, through personal experience I advise you not to do this! I did the same thing.... It's fun, exiting and challenging training a young horse and I really wanted to do it. I bought a young horse and had fun, I thought I was training it really well and then 2 years later I moved to a proper stable and they said "your horse isn't even broke to ride properly". The horse accepted me on its back but it wasn't really trained because I didn't know how to train a horse, but I thought I could. I ended up paying $10,000 to get this horse trained and now its an amazing horse.

Training a horse requires many many things but the most important thing is many years of experience. You need to have had lessons with many different instructors, have had experience with all sorts of easy and difficult horses of all ages and sizes before you think of going at a horse by yourself. You will get to a point where you don't know what you did wrong, and what you did wrong was not knowing.

To solidly train a horse you must be a grounded person who is able to show dominance to any horse without abusing it mentally or physically. You must know your limits in praising the horse and punishing the horse. You must have control over all you body actions and balance because you have no idea how in tune horses are with body actions. You must be able to stay confident through any difficulties. And most of all, you must recognize that anything the horse does wrong is not the horse's fault, but your fault in somehow being ambiguous or ignorant. You may never anthropomorphisize the horse, and you must know that horses are always innocent.

If you are ever second guessing yourself then you just aren't ready. I know this wasn't what your thread was asking, and this post will probably be deleted, this is what I think for your sake and your horse's sake.

As a warning, do not get sucked into a bunch of Natural Horsemanship BS because most of that is a scam and never gets anywhere. To do real Natural Horsemanship you have to learn from a real horseman. Natural Horsemanship also often leads to a person being submissive with a horse, and being too nice to a horse. So, only do it if you really know what you are doing. Using bits, whips and spurs isn't bad but misusing them is. A whip should only ever touch the horse as tapping or in an extremely dangerous situation(which shouldn't occur in the first place if you are experienced enough). Without enough experience(and you will know when you are ready), only a snaffle should be used.

I really hope I've helped and I hope you think about everything that I've saide.

Last edited by SPhorsemanship; 12-16-2010 at 11:43 PM. Reason: additional information
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-16-2010, 11:47 PM
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Books I suggest: any by the author Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, and classical training books, and books by Cherry Hill.

Books I suggest not using: Pat Parelli books.
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-17-2010, 01:40 AM
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I personally like Richard Maxwells approach, has helped me understand and work even better with my Arabian. I do agree with SP though that you really need to think this through, and get all the knowledgeable help you can from someone who can actually see the horse. I've been riding for over 17 years, and spent 3 of those working exclusively with a dressage trainer breaking in the babies, outside of my own younger horses with lessons, and I am still finding a whole ton I don't know in training my Arabian from the ground up. Reading books is good, but you also need an eye on the ground to see whats going on. And I agree too that 2 is too young to be doing a bunch of under saddle work. I wait until they are at least 3, before doing anything "serious", before then its all just a whole bunch of lunge work, building up muscle ect. Good luck with her, and post pictures :) we love seeing people's horses.
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-17-2010, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the delayed response. I'll look into all of these books.
She's 2 but she acts so much older. She acts like a 10 year old well broke when riding.
Her background is she came to the stables around June. I fell in love and took to grooming her and working with ground manners because I didnt have my own horse. Then in August the man who does feeding and bar chores started riding her and learned to ride on her. I stopped playing with her as I didnt want to step on any toes. But he rode her western...and he's not little. The weight of the saddle and him couldnt have been good. He walk trot and cantered her and I bought a different horse. (a 9 y/o)
As of about a month ago when the weather went downhill he decided it wasn't cool to have a horse anymore and just left her. the only attention she got was being turned out each day. Her stall was cleaned every 4-5 days and she was just so desperate for a person. The stables owner wanted her gone because to him she was just taking up space. Her asking price was 300 and I thought heavily about it but already have one horse. I took up leasing her as a financial trial to see if I culd afford it. About 2 weeks ago when I paid my lease on her the stables manager said he was happy to see her being played with and gave her to me. I assume because my board is always paid 2-3 weeks early and I clean up after myself I dont know. So now she's mine. It's a small private facility and the only trainers are other riders who have been telling me to ride her. After talking on here I know it's not best. So I've been just grooming and working on ground manners.
I haven't ever worked with a horse this young but again she's already broke and incredibly mellow. The only work she does is longing once, max twice a week for which she has smb boots on in a soft footed arena. Otherwise I just spend time with her and take her for walks around the property.
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post #8 of 18 Old 12-17-2010, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPh
orsemanship;854948
Books I suggest: any by the author Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, and classical training books, and books by Cherry Hill.

Books I suggest not using: Pat Parelli books.
I forgot to add.. she's an ottb for sure. Lip tattoo and looked her up. She was never raced however and I question how far in training she made it. She just doesnt have the typical hyped up ottb attitude. She's as mellow as my 9y/o paint and she doesnt scare at anything thus far. I'm not riding her now. With it being so cold I'm hardly lunging her. She has an easy life of play outside during the day, come in and stuff your face at night. She was thin when I got her so I'm paying for extra hay. Also I'm having the vet out tuesday to evaluate her and pull her coggins. I want to see how her bones are doing. We have a boarder who does equine massages(has her own business not just read a book) I've thought about getting her a massage. I will post pictures as soon as I can! Please not she's a workin progress. She wasn't played with for a solid month at least and didnt have a winter blanket so she's fuzzy as can be. I'm absolutely in love with her. Even if (fingers crossed not) damage was done prior to my owning her and she's only a walk trot horse I dont care. She's my baby now and I'm keeping her for life.
I know I don't know some things about bringing up a baby but I truely believe she has the best chance at a good quality of life with me. The stable owner wanted to have her jumping now so he could sell her as a potential hunter/jumper for a kids first horse. I took to caring for her out of pity and now I'm taking it as slow as I can to ensure she has the best chance possible.
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-17-2010, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SPhorsemanship View Post
Books I suggest: any by the author Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, and classical training books, and books by Cherry Hill.

Books I suggest not using: Pat Parelli books.
Also.. I know all about Parelli.. I pegged it a cult the day I heard about it. If I'm paying 200 for training supplies it better come with a trainer.
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-18-2010, 01:00 AM
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Wow I'm really happy, you sound like a responsible owner!

As for her being and OTTB, not all OTTBs are hyper, it's just a stereotype. So it's good that she's a mellow one. To me she sounds sweet and like she doesn't have any dominance problems. Is she more of a submissive horse? If she is, that will help if it's the first time you are working with a young horse. To have put up with a heavy western saddle and big riders, she sounds like she has a good mind. But keep in mind that she will still spook and when she does, do not second guess yourself, stay grounded, control her, do not get nervous and control the whole situation. No matter how sweet and frightened she is, horses are big animals and when their instinct kicks in, they may need some stronger reminders especially if they haven't been handled for a while.

I think the vet check is a good idea. Training wise, I wouldn't get on her back yet. I personally don't believe in backing a horse until they are three. Before then, I think it is a good idea to get her comfortable with a rider on her back but at no more than the walk for short periods. I consider backing a horse as the start of the ridden training.

Right now, you should just work on getting her to have a good top line and stronger muscles. I suggest buying something that will teach her to have a long and low headset to start with, but you have to start out slow with a contraption.

Depending on your financial situation, I think you should look into hiring a trainer to give her 30 to 60 days of training. But I also don't know your experience in riding and doing groundwork with horses. If you are really experienced training won't be needed but if you aren't, then I strongly suggest it. But if you do hire a trainer, it is SUPER important that that is a good trainer. I've heard too many horror stories of people sending their horses off to training and the trainers abusing their horses.

I will look into more books for you.
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