How much can I do with my 16 month old filly. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-11-2019, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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How much can I do with my 16 month old filly.

Hello, I have been riding horses for many years and have a dead broke reining mare. I decided it was time for a new challenge so I bought a yearling filly. My question is how much can I work with her and what is to much for her? She is very halter broke, good with feet, ties, stalls, trailers and knows how to lunge. I bought my reining horse dead broke at 3 and I am hoping for the same with this horse. (I know I will be judged for this) Any information would be helpful as this is my first time breaking a horse.

Thank you
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-11-2019, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Leatta View Post
Hello, I have been riding horses for many years and have a dead broke reining mare. I decided it was time for a new challenge so I bought a yearling filly. My question is how much can I work with her and what is to much for her? She is very halter broke, good with feet, ties, stalls, trailers and knows how to lunge. I bought my reining horse dead broke at 3 and I am hoping for the same with this horse. (I know I will be judged for this) Any information would be helpful as this is my first time breaking a horse.

Thank you
Yearlings have very short attention spans - I did not do much more than groom, tie, lead, and make sure my yearling was good with farrier/vet/dentist. Generally, while teaching anything new, I kept it to 20 minutes or less - make positive progress before the yearling gets bored/distracted/impatient and call it a day. Let her grow up and strengthen her body by playing with other horses in the field.

Don't begin destroying her growing joints by lunging her often.

I am not judging you about having a dead broke 3 year old, but I would personally not follow the same path. My young horse was not mentally mature enough to have any big expectations under saddle until he was at least 4 years old. I saddle broke him at 3, did basic trail rides until 4, and then began teaching him 'real' stuff. The trend of having a finished 3 year old for reining futurities needs to die out, imo. It is a good way to create a lame teenage horse, and a dead brained one. There is plenty of science supporting that most horses should be started later on than most people do, because of their legs and spines maturing later than 3 years old. I'm not going to continue harping on this, as you can do the research yourself and decide what is the best for you horse.

Once she gets a bit older, you can start doing more groundwork and introducing tack and the bridle, but I wouldn't be so urgent to introduce a rider because of my points above. Give her time to mature still and be comfortable with everything that you are doing. If your raise her right and don't sour her from the beginning, you can raise a horse that will do anything for you with pleasure and try, rather than just having a dead-minded, push button 3 year old.

Heck, really my only point with this post is don't rush your young horse's life. There is no real reason to, and I'm sure others will chime in. Be patient and you will have a lot more horse for a lot longer of a time, with a lot more try for you.

Toofine - 1998 Half Arabian
Minnie - 2013 Morgan
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-12-2019, 01:16 AM
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Hi Leatta,

I thought you meant you will be judged on how good your horse is by 3yo. Yeah, you always get judged in life, there will always be knockers - who cares?? If you educate yourself about all the reasons to or not to do stuff (such as not tying babies solid, not lunging much, not jumping or riding youngsters before their body is mature enough, etc) and make the best decisions you can for the sake of your horse, then, well, you're doing the best possible, regardless of what people say.

Anyway... I pretty much agree with Cleardonkey, but I reckon any horse has a short attention span. Just that older ones may have *learned* to pay attention for longer. So Yeah, keep any 'sessions' short & sweet.

Sweet being the operative word IMO. You want to set this young girl up for a lifetime of *enjoying people's company & games, *enjoying being 'worked'. That is the biggest, most important 'lesson' for any young horse IMHO. So make stuff easy & fun. Reward her often, set stuff up so it's harder for her to get answers 'wrong' so she has less chance of being punished/corrected & more chance of 'practicing' Right and getting rewarded for it.

Exercise & socialisation with other horses is SO important. Taking her out & about, ponying from your mare, just going for walks, ground driving places... the more the merrier IMO.

What I wouldn't do with a youngster - you say she already ties well, but I'd still be cautious at that age of her fragile joints & would be very careful where/how I tied her solid. I would be keeping lunging to a minimum & only walk & trot. I wouldn't be doing any jumping, aside from very small ones here & there. And of course, I wouldn't be making her carry any weight until she's at least 3yo, and keep that minimal & no heavy weights or long or hard rides for a fair while longer.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-12-2019, 01:28 PM
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I have a 14 month old filly.

We're spending time working on things like ground manners and desensitizing. What's really nice is at this age and with short training sessions, we still have plenty of time for her to learn while having fun. We take a lot of walks together on trails and sometimes we just hang out - I'll give her lots of scritches or a good grooming session, or just hang out at her paddock with her for a while. If I see the neighbor's dogs outside, I sometimes walk her past their yard to let them bark at her, because she still spooks at sudden noises. It's a safe way to help her desensitize to that and to learn that she is safe with me. That kind of trust building helps when it comes to me asking her to learn things.

Lately we've been working on getting her used to the washing station. I started spraying off her hooves after our walks, a little at a time, and after 4 sessions of that we're up to me spraying the length of her legs and underbelly.

Just don't rush your baby. Let her get completely comfortable and calm with everything you teach her before adding to it or moving on. She will be so much better to train when she is older and you are ready for more advanced things.

You might consider finding a training program that you want to follow. I personally like Warwick Schiller. He gives LOTS of material for owners to work on with their horses. It will keep us busy for a good while, which is great for her mind and our relationship. Have fun with your girl!
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-12-2019, 01:31 PM
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What they said! Babies are pretty fun.

A bad day of roping beats a good day raking. ~Buck Brannaman
RIP Ben 04/01/1998 - 02/28/2017
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