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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2008
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    Northern VA
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    53

    Default Waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for baby to grow up

    For all those who finally decide that the only way you’ll ever get that fancy, expensive horse is to buy it as a foal (or even better, in utero, like I did, thus guaranteeing an even longer wait).

    I’ve compiled the following list of Things to fill the endless, endless time while waiting for Baby Horse to grow up:

    - Read every Chronicle of the Horse cover to cover and lose count of the number of times you say “I wonder if I’ll ever see our names in there ….”
    - Sign up for a multi-year membership with EquestrianCoach.com; watch endless videos to feed the need; rationalize the cost by saying “I’m not paying for lessons or training”; ignore training you paid for so Baby Horse would be prepared for breed shows.
    - Take physical training classes and one-on-one with a physical trainer (depending on how rich you feel at different points during the year); the more the thought of a super-green, just-broke baby terrifies you, the easier it is to strain and sweat and collapse and then get up and do it all again every other day at the gym.
    - Scour chronicleforums.com and horseshowsonline.com results, to gather variables needed to solve the complex algorithm of “Finding the right trainer.” Wonder why they didn’t ask this useful question in trigonometry class; realize it’s because it was too difficult.
    - Watch the 6-hour-1995-BBC-Colin-Firth version of Pride and Prejudice, 143 times.
    - Pore over horse catalogs that arrive in the mail (the only thing useful in the mailbox anymore), putting together all the most expensive outfits for every discipline, so you’re prepared whenever Baby Horse decides what he wants to be when he grows up. (Hope bank account is as well prepared as your imagination is.)
    - From the comfort of your tiny condo living room, look at area horse farms for sale while continually redefining what the phrase “a reasonable commute” means, and invent solutions for complex machinations required to find and pay for live-in horse help and farm maintenance personnel so you can use half the hours of a given day commuting to your job so you can afford to pay Baby Horse’s current board, cost of mortgage on future farm, as well as some horse shows, maybe.
    - Identify the most intelligent of the family pets and sign him up for agility classes. Frighten (or possibly bore) instructors and clinicians by asking about striding between fences, shaping jumping form through grid work, verticals vs oxers, and other complexities none of them cares about.
    - Pore over community center catalogs (the only other useful thing that arrives in the mailbox) and sign up for an endless string of classes to achieve skills you always wanted to learn but were too busy hanging around the barn to find time for, such as violin lessons and sketching classes; reasoning that you will be able to draw that expensive portrait of Baby Horse yourself someday, thus saving you money. After 3 years of lessons, climb on stage along with 12 six-year-olds and play a recognizable version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
    - Cue up the 6-hour-1995-BBC-Colin-Firth version of Pride and Prejudice, for the 144th time.

    Hoping this spawns additional revelations among other baby-waiters, so I can get more ideas on how to kill time as the seemingly unmoving clock continues to tick ....


    5 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2006
    Location
    Colorado
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    2,189

    Default

    oh but you haven't obsessed nearly enough over nutrition.

    pop quiz - and yes, you are expected to know the answers

    What's the optimal Ca:Ph ratio for a weanling, yearling, 2 yr old, 2 1/2 yr old, 3 yr old and 4 yr old?

    What's the conversion rate between 7% fat and grams of fat per pound?

    What role does bromelian play, if any, in your horse's diet?

    There - that should keep you occupied for a bit.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    19,602

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    Get out there and do stuff. Even my race horse foals showed on the line at the local western show where they were hopelessly beaten by paints and even miniature horses. They learned to be prepped and pampered and shipped and stand quietly etc. My yearling has already shown two years at Devon which cost a ton of money. The western shows my other horses showed in cost $10 per class so it can be done for a little or for a lot.

    Now I am working on tacking up and standing on the cross ties and standing in the arena while lessons are going on and horses are coming and going in all directions. Riding is such a small part of a horse's life and the only part you have to wait for them to grow up to do.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2011
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    1,188

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    Laurierace, that is such good advice! At what age to start tacking up? My yearling seemingly just zoomed into two-year old body and mind within a couple of days..(He'll be 2 in April). I'm itching to do all the prep now before he gets too big. We do all the groundwork little lessons, but I don't want to wait till he's three...wah, wah...lol



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 3, 2002
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    836

    Default

    At 2yrs. I started saddling and bridling, wearing a surcingle and long lines and ground driving, walking over baby cavalletti, learning to move over laterally (hind and front), backing up, ground tying, getting feet trimmed while ground tied, etc.
    Her little pea brain could only pay attention for 10-15 min. so then we just practiced trail walking all over the farm.

    It's like young horse kindergarten, it teaches them to enjoy learning.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hunterdon County, NJ
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    Absolutely get out there and do stuff -- Laurierace is spot on.
    I try to get mine to in-hand shows, overnight if possible. It helps them 'get their show brains on.' Or at least it seems to get them used to going places and new scenery. There's lots you can do, actually.

    Oh, and I definitely own the Colin Firth P&P...
    Kendra
    Runningwater Warmbloods & Mare Station

    Home of SPS Diorella (Donnerhall/ Akut), EMC What Fun (Wolkentanz I/ Lauries Crusador), and EMC Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) 'Like' us on Facebook



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2001
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    we've got sand and rocks, and rocks and sand...
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    I tossed a pony surcingle on mine, and I've been long lining her around the block for the past month or so. She's 8 months old now. She really seems to enjoy it, likes getting out and doing/seeing new things, and the neighbors LOVE coming out to see/pet her. We do some in hand stuff, practice trotting, stopping, backing, walking between and over poles... etc. She ponies off of the other horses sometimes if we're hacking out... just stuff like that. Nothing too big or time consuming, but it keeps us both occupied. :-)

    I'm planning on taking her to the local QH show this spring to see if we can qualify for the Novice West show. She's not a halter horse, but the classes are usually *really* small, so who knows? ;-) We'll also hit up some of the local shows as well. This baby was 15 years in the planning, so I am darn well going to ENJOY every moment of her life! (and she *LOVES* all of the attention!)
    The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....


    3 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
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    Fairfax, VA USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by propspony View Post
    I tossed a pony surcingle on mine, and I've been long lining her around the block for the past month or so. She's 8 months old now. She really seems to enjoy it, likes getting out and doing/seeing new things, and the neighbors LOVE coming out to see/pet her. We do some in hand stuff, practice trotting, stopping, backing, walking between and over poles... etc. She ponies off of the other horses sometimes if we're hacking out... just stuff like that. Nothing too big or time consuming, but it keeps us both occupied. :-)

    I'm planning on taking her to the local QH show this spring to see if we can qualify for the Novice West show. She's not a halter horse, but the classes are usually *really* small, so who knows? ;-) We'll also hit up some of the local shows as well. This baby was 15 years in the planning, so I am darn well going to ENJOY every moment of her life! (and she *LOVES* all of the attention!)
    This all sounds great, I am incredibly impressed by your weanling's brain, wow! Of course she *is* a QH ) How early did you start doing all of this with her?

    My filly is almost 6 months old (about to be weaned), but my options are limited with her (my boarding barn is almost an hour away), though I try to go out and handle her at least 3 times a week and have been out regularly since she was born (doing basic handling, grooming, practicing leading, yielding to pressure, picking up of feet, etc.) However, she has gotten a bit bratty of late--she NEEDS to be weaned ASAP, and have an outlet for her energy and a chance to play with other babies--mom is "boring", and is *way* too tolerant, and will not discipline her (which is further empowering the confident, high energy tester that she has become. What fun! )

    Once she's weaned, I won't be allowed to work with her in the field of other weanlings, and will only be able to handle her at night, in her stall (the BM has strict rules, and dictates what her boarders do with their babies, she would prefer if we just left them alone and let her do everything, but she doesn't do a lot of handling, unfortunately; they are led into and out of the field in a "bearhug", not with a leadrope, though she does handle them to deworm and give shots, etc.)

    I would love to hear others' ideas, and how they manage to work with their babies and gradually accustom them to "big horse stuff" after weaning (small baby steps at a time, of course , and specifically what types of things they do.

    I too want to enjoy every minute of my filly's life and establish a relationship with her while she's young (within the constraints mentioned above.)

    The last weanling I had was a VERY quiet and well behaved TB colt (who I gelded, of course), and I did a lot of these types of things with him, though didn't take him off the farm. He was *easy* and pretty mellow, however, and I was part of a co-op situation with one friend and her filly (the two babies had been weaned together and were boarded together), so I had WAY more flexibility and freedom. I really loved every part of raising him to be a solid citizen, and found that it strengthened our bond; when it was time for me to start him U/S, it was a no-brainer.
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2008
    Location
    Northern VA
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    My mistake: I didn't clarify that Baby Horse is growing up 2 hours away from me, in more competent hands than mine.

    He did do a couple 2 year old breed shows, but I really had nothing to do with the process. Just collected ribbons and kissed him on the nose a lot.

    Basically I'm looking for ways to pass the time when he's not even close enough to paint his toes glitter-pink or braid ribbons into his mane ....



  10. #10
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    Jul. 29, 2001
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    we've got sand and rocks, and rocks and sand...
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    Aw Thanks Dr. Doolittle! She's not quite all QH, only about 3/8ths. However, her father is pretty famous for passing on really smart, quiet, ammy and jr friendly babies, (Huntin for Chocolate) and her mama the sort of TB that you can take to a show on Sat, and do well, and then on Sunday ride bareback in a halter through the mountains, and be completely safe on. :-)

    The boarding situation that you're in sounds sounds a bit frustrating, and I don't think it's something that I would be able to do, but I certainly understand that boarding options nowadays for babies are very limited, and one has to make the best out of what is there. It sounds like you're doing all you can now, and are certainly on the right path! (and BTW don't feel too bad. Mine can be a total brat too! Do a search for my post about her face-off with the arena sprinkler for a good laugh! ;-) Love those babies! LOL!)

    Atreides, one thing that I like to do... is read. I went and purchased all three Pony Club manuals a few months ago, and I've been going through them with a fine tooth comb. LOVELOVELOVE them. Lots of videos, going to shows when they are in the area and just sitting in the warm-up arena. Having a "nothing but horse movie night" with popcorn and chocolate... etc.

    I also decided to get into series that I've always wanted to watch, but never had the time. For example OMG Firefly WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL OF MY LIFE!?!?!?

    Good luck!!! and honestly, I expect there will be a LOT of nose kissing at our first shows too!
    The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
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    Fairfax, VA USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by propspony View Post
    Aw Thanks Dr. Doolittle! She's not quite all QH, only about 3/8ths. However, her father is pretty famous for passing on really smart, quiet, ammy and jr friendly babies, (Huntin for Chocolate) and her mama the sort of TB that you can take to a show on Sat, and do well, and then on Sunday ride bareback in a halter through the mountains, and be completely safe on. :-)

    The boarding situation that you're in sounds sounds a bit frustrating, and I don't think it's something that I would be able to do, but I certainly understand that boarding options nowadays for babies are very limited, and one has to make the best out of what is there. It sounds like you're doing all you can now, and are certainly on the right path! (and BTW don't feel too bad. Mine can be a total brat too! Do a search for my post about her face-off with the arena sprinkler for a good laugh! ;-) Love those babies! LOL!)

    Atreides, one thing that I like to do... is read. I went and purchased all three Pony Club manuals a few months ago, and I've been going through them with a fine tooth comb. LOVELOVELOVE them. Lots of videos, going to shows when they are in the area and just sitting in the warm-up arena. Having a "nothing but horse movie night" with popcorn and chocolate... etc.

    I also decided to get into series that I've always wanted to watch, but never had the time. For example OMG Firefly WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL OF MY LIFE!?!?!?

    Good luck!!! and honestly, I expect there will be a LOT of nose kissing at our first shows too!
    It sounds like both parents had great brains, so not *too* surprising that your filly wound up being so sensible

    Yes, "doing all I can do" is pretty much what I'm doing (and you are spot-on about the limited options for boarding babies; one has to prioritize good care and expertise/experience on the part of the BM, and suck it up otherwise if those needs are being met. It's not like I am in a position to move them elsewhere, so changing the situation is not an option--at least for the foreseeable future--I need to think of my horses' well-being, first and foremost . The situation is very frustrating (and I won't go into details here :-(, but I CAN and will suck it up. Still, it's a lot of money out of pocket every month to not be able to see or work with the baby that you bred--this will be my last horse, and I have a tremendous investment in her, both emotional and financial )

    For those of you who are able to see your babies frequently and handle them, enjoy every moment with them; it's like your children--they grow up very quickly, and you can never get that "early time" back. I miss her every day I don't see her!

    HA, the Pony Club manuals/Pony Club Bibles! I grew up reading those, and now my students have to study them to prepare for ratings Since they were written a LOOOONG time ago, a lot of the stuff in there is now obsolete, so I have to remind my students that "there is the right way, the wrong way, and the Pony Club way"...One must be discerning

    There are SO many horse videos out these days that we pretty much have a neverending supply to choose from (I have dozens of DVDs, but the family favorite is still "The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit", which we watch every few months when we need a pick-me-up.) A friend lent me Jenny Loristen-Clarke's video on "training young horses and starting babies", on VHS (it's also very old, but she has some sensible advice, and she is hilarious; like many Brits she has a very dry sense of humor.)

    There are SO many ways to pass the time while waiting for one's youngster to grow up, one of the main ones being earning the money for upkeep of the baby!

    I think we have derailed this thread a bit, but I would still love to hear from other posters with foals and weanlings; I love hearing stories, wisdom, and perspectives from breeders and owners of youngsters, we are all in this together
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2011
    Location
    PA/KY
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    I'm with you guys with the "waiting, and waiting, and waiting for baby to grow up" club... Except mine will be 2 in May!

    Luckily- the time has passed even faster than expected so good news for you guys! Definitely enjoy the time you do have with them. I miss my little baby who I could drape my arm over and hug. He is now 18 months and almost 15.3hh! Still huggable and kissable as ever but just in a horse body now. Do everything and anything you can with them! Every little thing helps and it also teaches you a lot about the baby you have

    Good luck! Looking to read more of what everyone is doing with their babies!



  13. #13
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    Feb. 9, 2005
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    Upper Midwest
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    Oh pish posh. You don't know about waiting until you find the mare and then pick the stallion and then go through the ups and downs of getting her in foal and carrying it to term!

    My horse is going to be 3 in May. I boarded her away from me for most of her life, with brief interludes of training here and there and she is well adjusted and lovely. Your horse will be fine, just make the handling you do GOOD handling.

    Trailered with mom to the vet clinic to get bred taught her to load like a champ.

    Weanling, taught to lead & tie and groomed her. Messed with her ears, picked up her feet, went through "Bringing up Baby" book.

    Yearling year we did USDF shows. I should have done local stock shows and saved a ton of money. We won the filly classes, but there were only ever a couple horses in our classes. Prep taught her to stand tied, bathe, cross tie, clip, etc. The one positive was I could up her insurance after showing her. When you breed your own, particularly if it is your first foal and you aren't an established breeder, you don't have a "sale" price to use to establish value.

    Two year old, So far: moved to a busy boarding barn, learned about wrapping due to injury, left that barn for another one, had 2 lunging sessions, wore a bridle (after her teeth were done) a few times free lunging, wore a surcingle, boots, have done one free jumping session, (trailered by herself in the straight load) trotted around wearing a western saddle once and that's as far as we've gotten. She has never offered to buck or react to either the surcingle or the saddle, so I don't feel like we need to do more right now.

    3 year old plan: long line in the spring and get on after she turns 3.

    I'm completely neglecting her as I fix up our farm. "Poor" girl is turned out at day and sleeps in the heated show barn at night. BO is good. Conveniently, my trainer/friend has a horse in the stall next to hers and is keeping an eye on her for me. It's nice to know trustworthy people. I'm so busy redoing the farm that I am relieved that she isn't ready to ride so I don't feel like I'm "supposed" to be doing something with her.

    So OP, I suggest you buy an acreage and fix it up. LOL! You will be so busy you won't remember why you bought it in the first place.
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2010
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    for now, Ohio
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    Been there, done that! When I had my baby (purchased at 1 week old) I obsessed over the photos/updates the breeder sent monthly. I also spent A LOT of time researching the best (balanced with affordable) young-horse trainers, and sent Baby to her post-weaning. I then obsessed over the regular updates and photos the trainer would send. I mailed regular boxes of halters, blankets (in increasing sizes) and show bridles for said Baby. I researched local (to trainer, who lived thousands of miles from me) shows for Baby, and stared at his in-hand show pictures for hours. I spent lots of staff meetings daydreaming about what Baby would look like grown up. Baby was started at 3 by trainer and would have moved to me to be MY Baby in a few months, but at 3 and a few months, he got really sick, and was eventually diagnosed with a neurological condition and put down. Technically, I never even met him! Based on that experience, I opted to not go that route again. I purchased a lightly-started 3yo and brought him along myself (with professional supervision). That "baby" is now coming 8 and jumping around the 2'6 to 3' easily and moving up next year. I now have another "baby" we bought a few months ago. He's 2 and I lunge him 2-4 times a week, sometimes in tack, sometimes not. He goes over ground poles, stands quietly in Xties, and vacuums and clips. I've sat on him a few times, and though showing isn't in his future (he's a H/J-bred Oldenburg, but is destined to be DH's trail horse, with some dabbling in low level dressage) he'll haul out to some day-shows this summer with my going horse, to stand, learn to be bathed/hauled/etc and at some point, go out on some walking trail rides with a pro.
    It's HARD to do the absentee owner thing while Baby grows up. I've been there and sympathize!
    A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2012
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    Fredericksburg, va
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    I love this post! I have a coming 2 yr old and my 8 month old filly. I am super pushy about what I teach them and I teach them early! They both allow body clippers around their faces(my A5s broke so that's all I've got at the moment). They walk tarps I had a 14" youth saddle that I put on their backs(no girth) but just to prep them. My coming 2 yr old is now learning lunging (I usually start this sooner but I just moved across the country and haven't been able to spend so much time with him), so he's a little behind, but he is going to be a very fun large pony! I can't wait! My yearling filly is going to start learning lunging, but we have worn our bridle an have learned to stand up and trot up as well.
    First and foremost about the horse.
    Rose Bud Ranch Sporthorses
    Like Us On Facebook!



  16. #16
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    Aug. 9, 2002
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    Fairfax, VA USA
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    How does one find ways to introduce these things, over time, when one has my particular "constraints" on handling one's youngster? I am planning to try to go out in the evenings and work with my filly when she's in the stall, but I can only do this a couple of days a week since the barn is such a hike (and it's the least convenient time for me to get to this barn, also rush hour going westbound in my area is a *complete. nightmare*.)

    I would love some wisdom on this in particular (keep it coming , and I'm inspired by and a bit envious of those who get a chance to work with their babies on such a regular basis...I really think it makes a difference to be able to introduce things gradually and systematically, and strengthens that all-important bond
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  17. #17
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    Oct. 22, 2009
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    Here's an idea for something to do while waiting.... post pictures! This thread is extremely disappointing, I was hoping for at least a couple of pictures!
    Quote Originally Posted by pinecone View Post
    I can't decide if I should saddle up the drama llama, dust off the clue bat, or get out my soapbox.



  18. #18
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    Dec. 13, 2012
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    Fredericksburg, va
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    Dr Doolittle...

    I used to have my babies in y backyard in CO .. And it was so amazing, now they are 1/2 hr away, I work off my 3 horses board by feeding and mucking m-f prior to going to work, and I can't afford the gas Togo out on the weekends, so they definitely do not get as much play time as they used to.. I wish I could offer some good advice other than spent good quality time with them when you can, don't just go out and feed and pet them. I have started taking my 8 month old on "trail walks" out in the trails there at the barn but I practice her staying with me, standing up, trotting up, etc. it gives her mind things to think about an she doesn't get bored, it builds a bond and also helps her become less dependent on her herd mates, as well as teaching her to trust and listen even with the distractions, great training for shows, but also great experience.
    First and foremost about the horse.
    Rose Bud Ranch Sporthorses
    Like Us On Facebook!



  19. #19
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    Jul. 19, 2010
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    Gum Tree PA
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    The neat thing about working with horses and the training of is the fact that very few things IMO are absolute. Everyone has their way of doing things. I have only worked with Thoroughbreds. All of our start out with the intention of being raced at some point. But I know when to fish and when to cut bait. And there are ones that just don’t show enough ability to race and are never sent to the track. Some of the ones we breed are sold as yearlings. But for the last 5 years the market has been so selective we’ve kept everything and broke/started them. Most Thoroughbreds are started/broken in the fall as yearlings. Please, for those who feel this is wrong and does harm to a young TB there is plenty of research that states otherwise. Personally we race very few if any 2 year olds. I think it takes a special one to warrant the expense and effort. But we still start with them in the late fall or early January as 2 year olds. All of our horses pretty much live out 24-7 until we start breaking them. When we start the process the first week we get them used to their new routine of being brought in, fed and groomed 3 times a day. Understand that there has been plenty of interaction in the field since being born. They all are routinely trimmed and have pretty good basic “ground manners”. Then we use “stiff” saddle pads held on with a surcingle girth which is nothing more then an 3 inch wide elastic belt with a simple buckle. Never had any that objected or went through changes. They were more interested in their feed bucket. We leave this on for several hours. After a couple of days we put saddles on without stirrups. Shortly after we add the stirrups but leave them tied up. If everything is good we let the stirrups hang down. IME horses go through more changes over what is dangling by their sides, stirrups, a riders legs then what’s on their back. We then introduce the bridle with a rubber snaffle but no reins and let them hang out in the stall. All of this is done under observation while doing other things in the barn.
    If everything is good they are tacked up a halter over the bridle, long leed with the chain over their nose and lead up to the ring. I have what I call “starting boxes” which are 2 feet high, 2’ wide and 5’ long made out of plywood and covered with “Astroturf”. They are lead around the ring and introduced to the starting boxes and are taught to walk through and then walked in and stand. Some do it perfectly the first asking and others take a little more time to get comfortable. All seemed to have problems with the boxes until I covered them with the Astroturf. They also make good jumps. As I said above I have found young horses have more of a problem with what is going on around their sides and above their heads then weight on their backs. While one person is at their head a second will slowly get on the box starting with the left side. Reassuring while slowing going from a sitting, squatting to standing position. And then working their way from front to back. Some are perfectly at ease with the process some may take quite a bit more time. Everyone is a bit different and treated as such. When they are good with one side we work the other. We also “work” the saddle and stirrup noises. It usually doesn’t take more then a few session that don’t last much longer then 30 minutes. Again each horse is treated accordingly. When they are comfortable with this process we start laying over their back. And then walking out of the boxes while laying over their back. Some do nothing and are perfect, some throw a buck or 2 and the odd one, there’s always a difficult child in the group will buck a lot. I don’t like to lay across their back for too long it is too easy for them to get you off. And they figure this out pretty quickly. I prefer to get into the saddle as soon as possible. We always use a yoke ease into the saddle and stand, get off and repeat several times before we walk out. When we do walk out it is very important to keep some fingers in the yoke so when they act up you will not hit them in the mouth by trying to balance yourself with the reins. I also find it easier to dismount comfortably if things go wrong then when I am laying across their back. But more importantly it is far easier to ride out their little snits. Just about all are trotting around the ring in a week and cantering figure 8s soon after. I also like to use a full cheek until they get the hang of turning. Any way one does it, it is very important for the rider to be comfortable, confident with their skills, brave but not stupid so as to get hurt. It is also very important for the ground person to understand the drill and know never to pull back on their head when they are getting stupid with a rider up. I have never found it necessary to long line, lung, and a number of others things people use in the process. Not saying they are wrong it just take up a lot of time to get to the same point. I don’t take too many outside horses in anymore. They have all been a PIA. By April, May all of our 2 year olds are galloping quite nicely around our big field and trail walks through the woods. We jump all of our 2 years olds at some point. I don’t use ground poles, cavallettis anymore. I prefer logs of different sizes. They get “introduced” and then we trot them up and “boot” them over. Some are much better then others but all pretty much do on first asking. Some with amazing style. We rarely trailer school. Most walk right on first asking. Some may take a little coaxing, the power of food works wonders. All of our 2 year olds can be groomed and tacked by one person by just dropping the shank. They all are used to being vacuumed and cross tied.
    I am sure everyone knows developing trust is paramount. But I have not found it necessary to try and develop their trusting nature at a very early age. I don’t think they care nor have the mental capacity to pick up on what is being asked. We don’t do much with them until the spring of their yearling year. I have not found “bonding” “imprinting” when they are born makes any difference on what they will be like 6 months or a year latter. I am not saying to just throw them out in a field and forget about them for year. IMO it’s just not necessary to inter act with them on a constant and regular bases. I think they get more annoyed by it then learn from it. But everyone is different and should be treated that way. I have worked with a lot of babies over the years and these are just my personal observations of working with Thoroughbreds. As I stated at the beginning everybody has their way and to each their own. Sorry for being so long winded. It’s my nature when it comes to horses. My wife would say with everything.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosebudranch View Post
    Dr Doolittle...

    I used to have my babies in y backyard in CO .. And it was so amazing, now they are 1/2 hr away, I work off my 3 horses board by feeding and mucking m-f prior to going to work, and I can't afford the gas Togo out on the weekends, so they definitely do not get as much play time as they used to.. I wish I could offer some good advice other than spent good quality time with them when you can, don't just go out and feed and pet them. I have started taking my 8 month old on "trail walks" out in the trails there at the barn but I practice her staying with me, standing up, trotting up, etc. it gives her mind things to think about an she doesn't get bored, it builds a bond and also helps her become less dependent on her herd mates, as well as teaching her to trust and listen even with the distractions, great training for shows, but also great experience.
    These are great ideas and I would *love* to be able to do this (and have done this type of thing in the past with my youngsters , but I'm not sure whether the BM will allow me to do this at her farm, unfortunately...:/ She is extremely strict about handling the babies, and feels that only she (or her staff) is really qualified to lead them around the property or handle them outside the stall. (There is also the risk of the baby breaking away, the place is not fenced in, so they could get out onto the gravel road and run for miles!)

    I am not in the position to move her for awhile (obviously for her own good, she needs to be weaned and settle into her new herd), but maybe, maybe I can find another place (that has what I need, and more flexibility) to move her to next year, when she's a yearling It's difficult in our area, lots of boarding barns--but very few that cater to babies!
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



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