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Young Horse Support Group - Dressage Prospects Unite

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Dutchmare433 View Post
    I have a 6 y/o (2013)
    ...

    He goes out hacking as much as possible—I try to do the shorter loop on our property (about 30 mins) after every ride—hard when it’s always raining and currently hunting season. I try to do a longer trail ride once a week or more if I can find a buddy!
    ...
    So important to get the youngsters out of the arena when you can. In Europe we got them out all the time in all kinds of weather. Fortunately in the SW it is good weather most of the year and little mud so it's safe to do. It makes them level headed and lets them see lots of things to prepare them for showing. Of course, one must have a good velcro seat cuz spooks happen

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    • #42
      Originally posted by belgianWBLuver View Post

      So important to get the youngsters out of the arena when you can. In Europe we got them out all the time in all kinds of weather. Fortunately in the SW it is good weather most of the year and little mud so it's safe to do. It makes them level headed and lets them see lots of things to prepare them for showing. Of course, one must have a good velcro seat cuz spooks happen
      It is!! My guy had his first mini hack after maybe 10 rides? He spent much of his 3 and 4 year old year working lightly in the ring and then hacking, or just doing a dressage school in the field.

      Our current barn has trails that drain super well, so are never muddy, and in winter they manage to maintain snow really well, so they are usable the majority of the year.

      My older horse gets to go trail riding in the rain if that’s what she says she needs—it’s not my favorite, lol, but you can feel when you get on if she needs it. Something about the open space settles her brain!

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      • #43
        Samantha37


        Rory looks like such a cool guy. What horse has a trailer accident and then gets right into another trailer? Wow.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by Jenerationx View Post
          Samantha37


          Rory looks like such a cool guy. What horse has a trailer accident and then gets right into another trailer? Wow.
          He is AMAZING. Truly one of a kind. I could not believe he literally walked right onto their other trailer after getting his jaw broken an hour before in a horrific trailer crash. My friend said there was zero hesitation. He really bonds with his people and I'm really honored and excited to be one of them now.

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          • #45
            Originally posted by Samantha37 View Post

            He is AMAZING. Truly one of a kind. I could not believe he literally walked right onto their other trailer after getting his jaw broken an hour before in a horrific trailer crash. My friend said there was zero hesitation. He really bonds with his people and I'm really honored and excited to be one of them now.
            That is amazing. My KWPN filly was in a trailering accident on the way to my farm as a weanling, and she wasn't injured, but went into shock and got bounced around a lot. I seriously think it's the reason she's been so difficult, having an experience like that early on causes her to panic and react blindly when she gets uncomfortable. She is bred to have a very ammy-friendly temperament but she was extremely rattled by the whole thing. The cowboy I have her with has done a great job helping her learn to process her fear more productively, but the fact your guy got through that without any side effects is incredible.

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            • #46
              Originally posted by Pony Fixer View Post


              You can do it on that shoestring. I bought the Clyde cross for $5k. Sold him at 2nd level for $12k, the exact amount I needed to get the Morgan. The Morgan I traded for the Hungarian. The new youngster is the first horse I've had to actually spend money on--the rest was just rolling around that original $5k. I only showed one horse this year because showing 2 is just too damn expensive. My breeches are tattered rags. The only things I don't skimp on are 1) lessons and 2) saddles. Everything else is repurposed, reused, bought used, trades, etc. I got all the sheets/blankets for the new horse from a friend whose horse had died, I traded her some other stuff. So I totally get it.
              Wee Elmo was a low-three-figures purchase. I'm all about the sweat equity. I've sold off pretty much all my full sized tack, and when I do need something I shop used or clearance. I'm naturally a bit of a penny pincher anyway.

              I have yet *another* saddle on its way to me now to try out. I swear my DH is going to divorce me if I don't hurry up and find a saddle that fits

              Everyone has such lovely looking youngsters, what a fun thread this is!

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              • #47
                I have a 5 1/2 yo 16.1 SWB, mom is SWB and dad is Han. I planned on never buying a horse again and found him at 3 1/2 and went and looked at him at 4 and bought him 3 months later. He's got a great brain and moves like a 17h horse. Sweet and loves people but also has a spark to him. We hack out at least 2x a week (weather permitting), play with baby XC jumps-he loves to jump and his dad got a 9 for jumping at his stallion testing. And I do mean baby, and once a week for that. We do poles and then dressage 2-3 times a week. His hardest workout is our dressage lesson. We've done a few hunter paces and need to get to a schooling show, if just to play in the warmup ring.He's so much fun! Meet Mikey.

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by chantal View Post
                  I have a 5 1/2 yo 16.1 SWB, mom is SWB and dad is Han. I planned on never buying a horse again and found him at 3 1/2 and went and looked at him at 4 and bought him 3 months later. He's got a great brain and moves like a 17h horse. Sweet and loves people but also has a spark to him. We hack out at least 2x a week (weather permitting), play with baby XC jumps-he loves to jump and his dad got a 9 for jumping at his stallion testing. And I do mean baby, and once a week for that. We do poles and then dressage 2-3 times a week. His hardest workout is our dressage lesson. We've done a few hunter paces and need to get to a schooling show, if just to play in the warmup ring.He's so much fun! Meet Mikey.
                  He is so cute!!! And he looks so fancy!

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Dark horse17 View Post
                    Love this thread! Have thought a few times about starting one to commiserate / share about our journeys with youngsters!

                    My guy:
                    Senegal ... Sennie, Snuggles... etc.
                    Age: 5yrs (June 2019)
                    Breeding: GOV/Oldenburg -- Sangol (Sandro Hit) X Liana (Goldfuerst/Grimsel)
                    Size: 16.2 and I hope that's IT!
                    Origin: Huntington Farm, VT - USA
                    Purchased: April 2019

                    My first youngster.... and I couldn't be luckier. I bought him this Spring when he was just 6 months under saddle. He was much younger than I was searching for (...7+, changes started, talent for FEI!!) .... HIs steering was iffy, but his gaits were lovely, and his temperament was even better. A trainer that gave clinics at my barn once a month (and had grown to know me and my former gelding), gently suggested coming up to take a look, and it was love at first sight. I also fell off on my second ride ...

                    Me, being a very practical and non-emotional buyer, looked at 2-3 other horses, went back and rode him a few more times, and made the call to purchase him. His steering was basic, there was no semblance of contact, and he was *incredibly* bonded to the woman who had started him.

                    After I purchased him, I continued to board him at the barn (2 hrs away) and went up each week to take at least one lesson, hand-graze, bond, groom, lunge... really working on making the transition for him to me. We brought him "home" a month later, and we've been moving onwards and upwards since!

                    This Spring and Summer have been:

                    Trailer training- teaching self loading, riding with a buddy and alone
                    Short trips to new locations and clinics, settling in quickly and happily
                    Trail Riding - Alone and in groups
                    Gaining contact in each gait- learning what the aids mean
                    Figuring out how to motivate and challenge him without worrying him
                    Building muscle, especially in the hind end
                    Working on leg yields, haunches in, shoulder in, and recently introducing baby renvers
                    Working on our canter LEADS- left is his tougher lead, so strengthening him overall

                    It has been SUCH A JOY to work with a youngster, especially one with this brain. He is honest, sensitive, inquisitive, a bit of a push ride, but tries his heart out and WANTS to know his job. Safe and sane on the trails, a super boy all around, and just getting better.
                    Lovely!

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                    • #50
                      Je T'Aime MGE aka JJ
                      Age: 5 yrs (2014)
                      Breeding: KWPN (UB40 x Contango)
                      Size: 16.2-ish, and since she is comfortable to ride I refuse to measure and find she's taller
                      Origin: My trainer and his wife bred for her, using my gelding to tease their mare so I have always joked he's her dad, and he has been absolutely enamored of her since she was born, and doesn't care much about other foals
                      Purchased: 2018 right after her first foal was weaned

                      JJ was the third of three full siblings, and from her birth we knew she would be amateur friendly. However, we thought she would be well over 17 hands because she was born so huge, and therefore I didn't try to work out anything then. I was going to do a breeding lease on her dam for something hopefully smaller (her full siblings were both smaller), and the week we decided I would lease her the next year, she died.

                      JJ had one foal for my trainer and his wife, and in the meantime my TB looked like he would be retiring last year. I offhandedly told my trainer if I could predict the future and had unlimited money I would buy her. We ended up working something out, and found the secret to keeping my TB sound (reduced work, diet change). In the meantime, around this time last year she was starting to regain post-trial fitness to actually work under saddle and do things. So she's had about a year truly working under saddle.

                      I'm aiming for a show in early February, though my trainer showed her this summer and she was fabulous with him. Her canter is so massive I want better balance and control before I try to ride the added power she gets away from home.

                      Right now we're working on focus and control of her rib cage. She's so big and powerful, and I'm such a shrimp, her response needs to default to listening - and she is getting better at that all the time.
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                      If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
                      -meupatdoes

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                      • #51
                        Originally posted by RainWeasley View Post

                        He is so cute!!! And he looks so fancy!
                        Thank you! I can't believe he's actually mine, he's so much fun. I'm trying to do right by him, expose him to everything I can, not overwork him, and let him physically finish developing, open throatlatch etc. He will easily come btv so it can be tricky but he's pretty honest if I'm riding correctly. No pressure though... And man does he have a personality.

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                        • #52
                          We had our last show of the year yesterday! It was our Halloween schooling show that was rescheduled from the previous weekend due to awful weather. We just did Training 3 to kind of see where we have ended the year at. I was pretty proud of Rain, he handled the kids and ponies in costumes pretty well (though the M&M pony costume was a bit suspect). I was pretty tired and stressed from crap that happened earlier that week, so I was pretty much just wanting to make it through the test and hopefully get both of our leads and not run out of the ring. So I didn't have him going as forward as I should (as the judge noted several times ) but we got a 60%. Not amazing, but considering he was judging the adults very much like at a recognized show (the scores I was seeing others get were what they have been getting at recognized shows all year), I'm pretty pleased. We got both leads, he wanted to break but didn't, and he kept his focus on me the whole time, so I call that quite successful. I was so "whatever" about the test by the time it came around that I didn't get anyone to video it because I knew it would be ugly, but if they photographer got any pics of us I'll share later.

                          He is going to mostly get a break over the winter, with us working on our two biggest things: getting him forward (because every time I think we are forward, apparently we still aren't forward), and getting my position better. If I think about it, I ride okay, but as soon as I start focusing on the horse instead of my riding I go back to my default Potato position. The strength is there for the most part, I think it's just going to be muscle memory and really focusing on it. Possibly looking at getting a few lessons at different barns on different horses that will let me focus on myself, once I get Other Horse's vet bills squared away.

                          At any rate, not a fancy pony, but he tries hard. And our highest score (a 7 lol) was on his stretchy trot, which we couldn't even get a couple of months ago so I call that a win!

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                          • #53
                            Originally posted by chantal View Post

                            Thank you! I can't believe he's actually mine, he's so much fun. I'm trying to do right by him, expose him to everything I can, not overwork him, and let him physically finish developing, open throatlatch etc. He will easily come btv so it can be tricky but he's pretty honest if I'm riding correctly. No pressure though... And man does he have a personality.
                            THAT FACE! he has that cheeky look in his eye!

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                            • #54
                              I'm so happy Gucci Cowgirl made this thread! While I'm loving my baby horse, I'm definitely in need of support as we navigate the very much not-straight trajectory in training and progress!

                              Age: 4 yrs (2015)
                              Breeding: SBS (Gatsby)
                              Size: 15.2 (on her tip-toes)
                              Origin: Ontario
                              Purchased: early 2019

                              I purchased my girl at the end of January, she arrived beginning of February, and I found out I was pregnant at the start of March. So needless to say - 2019 was not the year of leaps and bounds in our training that I had envisioned!

                              She came to me having been backed and exposed to a hack out on the trails, going off property once, and riding in a ring alone and with company. She knew the very very basics of walk, trot, canter, brakes, and steering.

                              Physically she was immature and mentally she was a little bit worried about all the life changes of moving barns, going from living out 24/7 with other babies to being stalled and 'working', etc. So we started over with long-lining, relaxation at all gaits (lots of just on-the-buckle riding until she was tension free), confidence building, and slowly started to introduce reaching into contact and balance off the rail at walk and trot when pregnancy really slowed me down.

                              She's basically just been growing up in a field with the occasional walk/light trot hack for the past 4 months. She'll go into training for December and January (I'm due Dec 1st) so hopefully once I'm ready to ride again she's a bit fitter and has progressed a bit on contact, balance, and forward.

                              Attitude wise she's been priceless and really taken care of me these past 4 months when I manage to beach-whale myself onto her back for a walk around the property. I've been so incredibly blown away by her brain and no-nonsense approach to life - which apparently Gatsby babies are known for...I REALLY lucked out with her.

                              I tend to like forward horses and she's more on the lazy side so we'll need to see how we mesh once I'm back in riding shape and not looking for a babysitter anymore - but hopefully with some fitness she'll "heat up". This 4 months vacation on grass and good hay (and a small handful of ration balancer as her "grain") has her looking about as pregnant as I am at the moment Hopefully with work and muscle she'll be happier to move out and forward for more then 2 minutes at a time!

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                              • #55
                                Originally posted by RainWeasley View Post
                                ​​​​​​
                                At any rate, not a fancy pony, but he tries hard. And our highest score (a 7 lol) was on his stretchy trot, which we couldn't even get a couple of months ago so I call that a win!
                                Good job! Sounds like you had some moments of brilliance. And no meltdowns is always a win!

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                                • #56
                                  This is my first time posting, but I'll join in! We're definitely going to need support! Click image for larger version

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                                  Name: Leila
                                  Age:​​​​ 6 years
                                  Breed: rumored to be Lusitano x Andalusian, for what that's worth
                                  Size: 15.1
                                  Origin: rescued from a field

                                  My friend rescued two horses from a pasture about two months ago. The owner had stopped paying board and the barn owner claimed then but wasn't feeding them. One was a TB gelding who had some dressage training and the other was this mare who was supposedly green broke. I started working with them to help my friend out and fell in love with the mare. The farrier who trimmed her last time knew her from her old owner and got really wide eyed when I said I'd been trail riding her and told me she'd never been ridden before. I did have to very briefly explain what leg meant the first time I got on, but I thought she just needed a refresher!

                                  She is the smartest, sweetest creature I've ever met. She picks up new things so quickly. We just trotted under saddle for the first time today and I was shocked how balanced she was. I've worked with OTTBs before, but never actually started a horse, so I'm lucky she is so sensible. Because I thought she'd been ridden before, her first under saddle rides were actually trail rides across some decent terrain and through a stream!

                                  Our goals are eventually 3rd/4th level and some lower level eventing. For this year I'd just like to get her out at training level at a couple of schooling shows and maybe hop around a BN course too. More than anything, my goal is not to mess up her willing, inquisitive personality!!

                                  ​​

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                                  • #57
                                    I definitely need support also. 3 weeks ago I acquired "Ky" a 4 y.o., 16 h, OTTB who has had 2 months off in a pasture due to a minor injury. I have been doing lunging and ground work so far. I won't be riding much until Dec 1 because I want to keep him eligible for the Thoroughbred Makeover Project. So far, I am amazed by how LITTLE he knows. He couldn't stay balanced enough to canter a 20 m circle on the lunge when I got him, and he doesn't comprehend ANY contact with the bit. But he is very sane, loves attention, and and a quick learner. This weekend I am taking him in-hand to a trail horse obstacle familiarization.
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                                    • #58
                                      All these chestnuts have me drooling

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                                      • #59
                                        Name: Denali
                                        Age: 7. I might have the oldest baby, lol
                                        Breed: Friesian x QH (off the track)
                                        Size: 17 hands ish
                                        Origin: Homebred, his dam was my first horse

                                        I had some drastic life changes and Denali got chucked into a field from 3 to 6. Got my life sorted out and brought him to a boarding facility last fall. I backed him myself this summer. He’s been a real treat to work with. He’s got basic WTC brakes and steering. He “jumps” small cross rails and does a fair bit of ground pole work easily. We are working on polishing our canter depart, it’s kinda ugly right now, and actually using the corners of the arena. Those are progressing fairly well. We are struggling more with suppleness. He tends to counter bend. He was stiff going to the right today. Friday he was stiff to the left. Consistent contact is also a work in progress. Above the bit some times, curling sometimes, and sometimes just right and really over his back. I love the moments I feel his back come up. We lesson once or twice a week. Had our first clinic a couple of weeks ago. Hauled out to his first show in September. I couldn’t have asked for a better boy!

                                        2020 goals: go to a few more local open schooling shows, go on more trail rides, and hopefully enter our first rated dressage show.

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                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by WildLittleWren View Post
                                          All these chestnuts have me drooling
                                          You're in luck because I came back to post pics of my read heads. :P

                                          I already introduced my 3 yo, but since several people are posting about their 6 year olds, I'll introduce mine too:

                                          She is a 15.3-ish appendix mare I've owned for 2.5 years. I'd just gotten her quite solid at training level, getting a 65% last fall, when she came up lame. Over the past year we've been dealing with a fractured coffin bone wing and then a DDFT injury. We are getting towards the light at the end of a very long tunnel, and I'm hoping to have her back in regular work in the next few months, and hopefully ready to show first level next summer.

                                          Here is a pic from when I bought her at age 4, and an "after" pic from her first real show last July. The other pic is my 3 yo Westfalian a couple months ago.
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