So... I'm a little bored tonight.. .not much going on at the ER clinic on this Easter night. (So far anyways!).
So.... I've got a lovely little gelding who will turn 2 in late May. He's a pleasure to work with and is really turning out to be quite nice!! He is my first baby...so I realize that I'm not really sure what I should/shouldn't be doing but I do have help. So far.. he's been amazing! He has been trailered extensively, ponied extensively, has gone to two FEH shows (in hand shows), leads, ties, clips (mostly.. still working on his face), gets a bath, fly spray tolerant, wears a bridle, wears a saddle, lunges (just for training purposes... not often and not long and big circles) and is now learning to long line. He's a great little guy. Friendly, not nippy, good with dogs, cats, chickens, etc.
So... I feel like I'm doing a fairly decent job with his education. So.. here's the question. Do I have to send him away??? I'm very much a protective mother and tend to baby my horses. But... he is NOT a naughty kid. He has manners. He lives at home with me. I met him when he was 10 days old and have had him at my place since he was 4 months old. He's MINE!!!!
I don't really want to send him off. I'm also very stubborn (not unlike my breed of choice... appies!) and very... possessive. I realize it's a flaw. I don't want to send him away because I'll miss him... I'd like to do it all myself. I really really am enjoying babyhood. Obviously I would get help with everything and if things go sour... away he goes.
But... am I doing him a disservice by not sending him away? Will he not learn things... like how to deal with others? Living away from home? Am I short changing him?
He's been to an away show without his herd mates and did fantastic. He hauls by himself. Heck, he's not really herd bound at all... My big horse on the other hand... freaks when I take Dan places without him. He's pretty chill and doesn't seem to mind things too much. I've been the one to work with him but my husband messes with him some, my trainer has worked with him, and he's good for the farrier.
So... do i NEED to send him off somewhere? I plan to keep him forever as I'm head over heels in love and really honestly think he's going to be exactly what I want. He's a fancy mover and seems awfully brave and bold and plays "big eventer horse" over the creeks and ditches and logs at my house... for fun... on his own.
But yet again... am I short changing his education if I keep him all to myself? Or are there ways around it? Like... sending him to stay with a friend for a few days... so he can get used to other horses/new places/etc??
No!! If you have the skills and a helper there is no reason you can't do it yourself. I have started all my horses myself (along with a friend) and they all turned out just fine! I started my current mare myself in that I did all the ground work and early under saddle stuff but then sent her to a trainer b/c my job did not allow me time to ride her consistently..but we are now starting third level work. My pony was started completely by myself and a friend (she is and has been his only rider) and they are now starting third level work too. We do take weekly lessons with a trainer.
I write this while knocking on wood...but I like having the control of starting all my guys ground work and early under saddle work. I did it slow, methodically, patiently and they have all been (thus far) well behaved...not buckers, rearers, difficult, etc.
As long as you have the help to do it why send them away? I knew how to do it myself and did all the ground training I like them to have and broke my guy by my Ammie self. I bought him at 5 weeks, brought him home from the breeders at a year and he turned 20 last Friday!
I have never sent a horse away for anything!! I'm a bit like you and since I am able to break my own horses, I am VERY opinionated about having it done MY WAY!! As I've aged, I do get riders on for the first few rides, but they are always under my supervision. Young horses (or old) can get screwed up very quickly under the wrong training techniques. Good luck.
I'll join the rest and say keep him home and do it yourself. Sounds like you have already done a great job with him so why not finish it? There is nothing more satisfying than experiencing all the firsts with a horse you love.
I'm just worried that I'll be short changing him. Obviously he would do better with a pro riding him, but... I want to do it. And as I'll be the one riding him, he needs to learn with me anyways. I guess I was just worried that he would have holes in his education that could only be obtained by sending him off. Like.. I don't know..... not being able to handle a stranger or something.
But good to hear!! I really am having a blast with him!! I think he's perfect!! He's got a good heart and a good work ethic but has just enough sneaky little twerp in him to be fun. Like Dennis the Menace almost. ha ha.. I do realize that I'm going to have to be tougher on him than my big horse. My big horse is way too generous and kind. Danny's going to be a horse that will require a much firmer line in the sand so to speak. But he respects it, so... he's a good kid.
Start him yourself with the guidance of a professional or someone who has started young horses. I would recommend having them hop on him once in a while. For a couple reasons. 1) I think it is good for a horse to be ridden by several types of rider, just like it is good for us to ride many types of horses. 2) I love getting the opportunity to see them go. It can be very rewarding to watch your boy perform well for others too. 3) It can help when hit a speed bump or a certain thing is not falling into place in the training scale. You might be doing something you are unaware of and getting an opinion form a different rider can make all the difference. Good luck with your boy. I can say there is not to many things much more rewarding then bringing along your own foal and being the first to sit on them. It sounds like you are laying all the right foundations to build on!
Knowing you, and how seriously you've taken your young boy's education, there is absolutely no reason why you need to send him off. He has seen, done, experienced way more than the average two year old! I also know you are well advised by your trainer, and that she can provide you with any needed input. Whether you have her sit on him for the first time, or do it yourself, I think Dan is well prepared!
Thanks!!! And oh yes... *I* will be the first to sit on him Although... technically I already have...twice!! But that was with him just standing next to the trailer and me easing my but on him and legs over.... for a few seconds. hee hee... I am so excited about the first for real time!!!!!!