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Young Horse Question?

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  • Young Horse Question?

    How long did it take your young horse to move well under saddle or on the longe? My 4 year old has lovely movement out in the field. On the longe with or without sidereins or sliding sidereins he just doesn't move the same. Ditto under saddle. The horse is plenty forward and in front of the leg. A bit discouraging. The horse was broken last spring, ridden sporadically and had the winter off. He was restarted a month ago. I'd like to hear some positive stories please

  • #2
    this really varies a lot! My just turned 3 year old has been lunged twice in side reins. Both times there were consideral improvement of trot and canter (about 40 percent in trot and 20 percent in canter). He went from a nice prospect in the field to a prospect when beginning to carry himself.


    • #3
      My coming 5 year old, started like your own with some time off after backing and hacking, took a few months to move into the bridle and step confidently through. Then he grew again and it all went "down hill". Literally, his butt went up almost 2 inches this winter and the front end is still catching up. He is just starting again after his second hiatus and is still not swingin through the back or pushing off from behind under saddle like he does at liberty. I ride him 2 - 3 times a week, pny once on a trail and ground drive him 2 times if I have enough time so his training and muscling keep going but I am not doing endless circles, either.

      I think it just takes time for muscling, confidence and balance. On the other hand, he is happy to work, the chiro says his back is sound and is pleased with his symmetry. So, go slow, enjoy, lots of transitions, lotso hacking to make him forward and move through and be patient.
      bad decisions make good stories


      • Original Poster

        Thanks guys.

        "Bad experiences make good stories" Love it! So true


        • #5
          I find it changes with the growth spurts. And they're all so different. My 3yo is nice enough in the field. Has natural rythmn and balance, but nothing wow about her. On the lunge, with or without sidereins she still displays very pleasant, rythmic gaits. Very ho hum. Undersaddle-she turned into a wow! Shes got a trot that you wouldn't have believed was in there. Her canter isn't much better under saddle than in the field, but she doesn't have the strength yet to canter well at all. I'm hoping that will improve as well. However, when she goes butt high-all bets are off.
          Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!


          • #6
            Great post! I was dimly thinking this while longing the other day.... How can I get that MASSIVE trot that I see when she is playful in the field..... (3 y/o)

            In the field she looks majorly like a mid-high level dressage prospect but u/s and longe I get the daisy cutter hunter trot....I don't get it!'

            (I am thinking it will come in time and balance...)


            • #7
              My mare looked like a WOW filly as a yearling (when I bought her). Shortly after the purchase, her butt shot up and her movement took on a nice hunter daisy-cutting quality. She was backed at 2.5 years, put out, then started again at 3.5. The movement didn't improve until she was 4.5 and then, WOW did it improve....especially the canter. She consistently receives 8's for gaits and has even snuck in a 9 here and there-when I ride her well. The key was her figuring out how to pick up her shoulders and me figuring out that I can't ride her long and low ALL the time.....that eventually I had to ask her to pick up and work.


              • #8
                Lunging in a circle is really hard for horses to find their balance, they just don't travel in circles out in a field! I find that they won't show off that "wow" trot that is hiding in there until they feel balanced and confident moving in a circle with gear on. It should come back with more miles on the lunge and under saddle.