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Young horse training thread

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    Young horse training thread

    Hello all! I wanted to reach out and share/commiserate with stories about training our young/green horses! I myself have a 5 year old Morgan mare who is so sweet but has been rather tricky to train. She's uber sensitive and a total overachiever. She's also very stiff tracking left, and is very mouthy with her bit. We are progressing slowly but surely and every day is a new challenge.

    I would love to start this thread as a check in for the ups and downs of young horse training!

    http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h3...psprlfozzx.jpg

    #2
    OK, I will join you. I have a 3 yo Knabstrupper gelding we just started under saddle this summer. He likes to please, but isn't overly sensitive. Forward will be a lifetime challenge for me to keep him from just ambling along. He is also mouthy with the bit - he is in a Happy Mouth single jointed full cheek right now.

    We had our first ride off the longe line this past weekend (just walk-trot). Aside from forward we worked on steering. We aren't working on bending at all at this stage.

    "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

    Comment


      #3
      I have a cheeky 5 YO. I am hoping it is a stage. He gets one training ride a week and I take an occasional lesson on him (mostly I lesson on my older horse). He is not a super-fancy warmblood but is a nice mover and gets 8s on his gaits when he's not tense (he can be spooky at shows--especially around anything with wheels!). He's done 1 recognized show where he won his first class and got eliminated in his second...So we are sticking to schooling shows until he is more consistent. It's been a lot of fun bringing him along.

      Here is a picture from a schooling show last year with his trainer.

      Click image for larger version

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        #4
        I'll play along because I'll never pass up an opportunity to talk about the cutest pony in the world (who happens to be mine)!

        Said Pony, Annwylid D'Lite, aka Princess Fancy Pants, is four now and I lightly started her almost a year ago. Maybe for her one-year anniversary of being started I'll show before and afters!

        Anyway, I've done various things with her, as I want her to have a well-rounded education. I think I did a good job with my plan of getting her started enough to feel safe trail riding (solo and with company), doing basic flatwork, some pole work, and jumping her just a couple times. When I felt like she was steady enough, I started dressage lessons. That was six weeks ago and she has come so far so fast! Then two weeks ago I started jumping lessons and she has been a CHAMP!!!! She's already adjustable to the little cross rails or ground poles and will move up and come back. She's so far brave about things that I would think would bother her. In her dressage lessons she's learned to handle being in the arena with a stallion (she is a big flirt) and with multiple horses/riders (she's at home so we almost always ride solo). I now trailer her out twice a week for lessons.

        It has been so fun and rewarding training her. She was clearly bred with much consideration as she has lovely conformation and an exceptional mind. She's athletic and fun and always tries for me.

        The only "problem" I've had with her is she freaked out about walking over a tarp (since resolved) and she doesn't want to go over/through/across an irrigation ditch that has running water. It is a tricky crossing because in some places the ditch is narrow enough to jump from a stand still but it looks deep; or, the water runs really fast and makes noise; or, it is wide enough to walk through but a bit of a big down-step to get into. The water will be turned off soon so I can work on walking through that area without the distraction of the water. She will walk through a big puddle in my pasture (with me mounted) no problem.

        Here's a picture of how cute she is. Of course I have a million more!

        http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/...ps5xkolgp5.jpg
        "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

        Comment


          #5
          Five year olds are hard.

          I don't get on them until four (though they do everything before that.) Four is OK. they're still new to it all, trying to find their balance and spend a lot of energy trying to keep focused.

          Five is hard. They are feeling pretty good about themselves and can use their bodies, but aren't really strong, and depending on the horse, worry about trying to do the work, or make you do all of the work because they are a teenager, and it's all about them.

          Six gets better because they've matured a bit and are stronger, so can actually start to feel good about themselves doing the work.

          My now six year old turned six in May. She was not a fun five year old. She is and was super talented and strong and is on springs. As a four year old we'd get 70's on those springs. As a five year old, we got WAY too occupied with wanting to look at everything and be melodramatic and use our strength in a bad way. I just put her in a double, which was the key for her. It gives me enough leverage to harness that power and control it, and she's feeling really good about herself now that she's focusing better and I'm feeling good about doing 3rd level next month.

          Her older sister is the super sensitive type, but five was harder, with her being preoccupied and worried about doing everything once she stopped having to concentrate on just getting her feet in the right place when she was four.

          Comment


            #6
            i'll join in....

            got a 4yo KWPN stallion (Charmeur x Kennedy). He was NOT easy to back and ended up sending my flying, breaking my collarbone in 2 places and displacing all the ligaments, he went to a super cowboy he gave him a really good start and turned him from a hot mess to a pretty chilled, safe, 4yo.

            did a fair few of the 4yo YH classes this spring, didnt set them on fire as was very green comparative to some of them (he mainly hacked until July this year) was a GOOD boy and took me round some busy,buzzy rings without turning a hair.
            He also stabled away from home and never gave us a moments worry.

            the biggest issue with him was getting him to take the contact forward, he can be shy and curl BTV and as he is built very stocky and short coupled he literally can look like its rollkur! however i swapped his plastic snaffle for the sprenger novocontact single joint and that was a turning point-he now reaches out nicely and evenly and isnt so shy of my hand

            just this last month he has grown, put on topline, lost puppy fat and got a bit of an attitude! he is NEVER work shy, but i have had a major battle baout napping AWAY from home (i did a long thread on it).....................kinda thought i had that nailed but he was BAD last night again however i think ive finally got the solution to it and he schooled beautifully this AM so all in all feeling positive.

            young horses were sent to test us!

            he is going out on sat to do a 1st level test just HC for a low key outing as he hasnt been to a show since June.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post

              Five is hard. They are feeling pretty good about themselves and can use their bodies, but aren't really strong, and depending on the horse, worry about trying to do the work, or make you do all of the work because they are a teenager, and it's all about them.
              Ha ha, this pretty much described my 5 YO! It's definitely all about him. Am I going to do what your asking today? No, I don't think so. Then the next day he is an angel.

              Pocket Pony, what's the breeding on your girl. She is adorable!

              Comment


                #8
                Speaking of the ups and downs of training/riding the young horse. I took my 5 year old Connemara cross to a schooling show this past weekend. All on our own, no assistance or ground crew.

                Intro B, he was a star scoring a 71% with great comments. Intro C? He jumped out of the ring when I asked for our first canter.

                *sigh* Ponies...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by kcmel View Post

                  Pocket Pony, what's the breeding on your girl. She is adorable!
                  Thanks! She was bred by exvet. She is 3/4 Welsh Cob and 1/4 Morgan. According to exvet she is the spitting image of her daddy (whom I have seen in pictures and agree!) and has his wonderful temperament.

                  Training her is such a joy. She has been so easy and fun. And it shows what a thoughtful breeding program will produce.
                  "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Totally agree about the five year old thing!!

                    I got my guy as a 4 year old last fall. He is super chill and last winter I even hacked him out on the roads when the weather drowned our arena and kept the horses confined to their stalls. He was super super super green so our biggest challenge was really basic stuff like steering and balance.

                    This year, he's definitely had his moments although overall I'd say he's still pretty straightforward, thank goodness. He is *much* stronger and definitely feeling pretty good about himself

                    He is good about the contact and although he will sometimes express an opinion when he thinks he's working harder than he should (!) he does stay rideable. I showed him half a dozen times and got good scores at training 3, so we'll give Regionals a shot and see how it goes.
                    **********
                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                    -PaulaEdwina

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Oh, dear. I think maybe I should stop reading this thread. You guys are starting to scare me about the 5 year old year!

                      DressageChic - I might look into the novocontact bit. Mine also has more of a tendency to curl under along with being very mouthy.
                      "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by kcmel View Post
                        Ha ha, this pretty much described my 5 YO! It's definitely all about him. Am I going to do what your asking today? No, I don't think so. Then the next day he is an angel.

                        Pocket Pony, what's the breeding on your girl. She is adorable!
                        SO glad to hear this. Mine has been such a snarkmonster the last couple of weeks. Yesterday it was to the point where I aaaaalmost got off thinking something was wrong with him. Then suddenly I got through it and got some really lovely work and the most beautiful loose, ground covering free walk at the end. I've stepped up the difficulty a tad so I think I just have to resign myself to the attitude until he's stronger

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by MissAriel View Post
                          Oh, dear. I think maybe I should stop reading this thread. You guys are starting to scare me about the 5 year old year!
                          .
                          Don't worry...6 is starting off (late baby) to be even worse! The physical ability is going much better for me than at 5, but the ATTITUDE!!!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Another cheeky 5 year old here...got him off the track as a late 3 year old, and have been doing a little bit of everything with him. He's finally filling out and getting some muscle. Yup, we're experiencing some teenage attitude, but I'm absolutely smitten and am having a blast.

                            I found a great trainer about the time I got this horse, and have been working with him as consistently as I can (which is somewhat inconsistently). Over the past 6 months or so I've really had some breakthroughs when it comes to correct flatwork/dressage -- my trainer is finally getting through my thick skull (hunter/jumper background)...and it's So.Much.Fun!!

                            https://scontent.fsnc1-2.fna.fbcdn.n...6c&oe=583C5220

                            https://scontent.fsnc1-2.fna.fbcdn.n...6a&oe=584347CE

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I'll join, my 3 year old has been a delight so far, but every time I hop off after a lovely ride, I think to myself, "treasure this, he's going to be hell on hooves in a year and a half." Womp womp.

                              But I'm enjoying him greatly right now, riding 2 or 3 days a week, getting ready for a clinic in a week and a half. It's both groundwork and riding and I'm pretty excited to do new things with him!

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by Dutchmare433 View Post
                                I'll join, my 3 year old has been a delight so far, but every time I hop off after a lovely ride, I think to myself, "treasure this, he's going to be hell on hooves in a year and a half." Womp womp.
                                Ha, I feel the same way about my 3-year-old. He's so easy going and has been a joy to train. I can give him a week off then ship out for a trail ride and he's totally fine. We even went "cross country schooling" for the first time last week--meaning we walked over a ditch, up and down a bank, and through the water. He was so unfazed by it all that the first time over the ditch he actually stepped down into it, lol! Love him. Hopefully he doesn't turn into too much of a jerk because he keeps getting bigger and bigger (17.1-17.2 right now, and butt-high ).

                                Here he is on his first trail ride, contemplating the stream: https://libby2563.shutterfly.com/pictures/38
                                Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

                                Comment

                                  Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  So glad i started this thread

                                  Your babies are all so beautiful and look like they are all coming along superbly!! It's not an easy process so kudos to you guys.

                                  I am having a tough week with riding time. I'm a teacher and I have been busy with open house all week in the evening. I'm sure pony doesn't mind lol.

                                  What I'm hoping to focus on in my lesson this weekend is how to strengthen her canter. She has a beautiful, balanced right lead, and a strung out, weaker left lead. Last ride we focused on trying to get a half circle of nice, balanced, straight canter on the aids. I am journaling about the process of improving her canter since it's an issue I haven't run into before. I'm finding that a solid outside rein is really helpful for her so she has something to help balance her, as well as some shoulder fore to bring her into a state of straightness. At first she would drop into the trot then refuse to pick up the left lead when we started. Every ride i'm seeing improvement in her strength.
                                  I'm finding she is improving in her balance DURING canter, but our transitions are still hollow and scrambly. I'm going to board out for the winter so we can keep schooling and working at it so hopefully in the spring we have a beautiful canter both directions.

                                  She's such a sweet horse and tries so super hard. So far she has been an absolute joy to work with...and honestly is my favorite horse i've ever had in my life.

                                  She has a gorgeous trot and does a great job of all her lower transitions...walk-trot-walk-halt. She has even started doing some baby shoulder-in and walk-halt transitions. http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h3...psllxngtbb.jpg

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Here is a thread I can hop in on. I have a 3 year old GOV filly that is sort of stuck in the backing process right now. She launched me about three weeks ago. She was cool with walking under saddle, but had a panic attack the first time we tried to trot. Luckily I escaped with just a sprained ankle and some bruises, but it's been back to desensitizing by lunging with a western saddle, and then weights/floppy things on her back. I don't like to lunge her more than 2x a week, so the timeline is a little attenuated, but she was a good girl when I added a 10# sack of potatoes to the mix last night. Once she is as calm lunging with the stuff on her back as she is without, and I can bribe a competent ground person, we will try again with the trotting under saddle. She did learn quickly that it's better to stop than to take off bucking if she doesn't like what's up on her back, so I think she's safer already. In the meantime, we have been doing a lot of ground driving and lateral work in hand, and I'll probably start getting on and riding at the walk. Was going to send her to a trainer for the winter, but not sure if that is going to work out with the trainer I want. I think once we get over this hurdle, she is going to be a blast to work with, as she has a great mind and is very willing and talented, without being a crazy-extravagant mover in a big package (currently just a shade under 16H). Usually her idea of protesting is snaking her neck, and her idea of shying is just spooking in place, so I'm hoping that will continue under saddle.

                                    http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p...psvqvh2ttx.jpg
                                    http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p...psjpt58epx.jpg

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Libby2563 View Post

                                      Here he is on his first trail ride, contemplating the stream: https://libby2563.shutterfly.com/pictures/38
                                      Love that picture - he is a BIG baby! Wow!

                                      Originally posted by luvmydutch View Post

                                      She has a gorgeous trot and does a great job of all her lower transitions...walk-trot-walk-halt. She has even started doing some baby shoulder-in and walk-halt transitions. http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h3...psllxngtbb.jpg
                                      Pretty! And she's so SHINY!!!!

                                      Originally posted by outerbanks77 View Post
                                      Usually her idea of protesting is snaking her neck, and her idea of shying is just spooking in place, so I'm hoping that will continue under saddle.

                                      http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p...psvqvh2ttx.jpg
                                      http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p...psjpt58epx.jpg
                                      I know that snaking-the-neck move!

                                      I also got the shake the head and squeal move . . . nope, not gonna work. How about the drop the shoulder move? Nope, that won't work, either. Fine, then I'll run out the outside shoulder! Nope, don't think so.

                                      It has been fun, for sure. Good thing pony is sweet and not an evil mare pony. Once she realizes a trick won't work, she'll move on to something else, not try the same trick over and over. But she's so sweet and good-natured that I couldn't even call any of her tries naughty - just cute and funny!

                                      Had an awesome lesson yesterday. Got a couple "wow-s" from trainer when we worked on baby extensions (just moving more forward, obviously!). Pony is a fancy little thing. We're just starting to get a good canter whereby the departs aren't a hot mess and we can actually hold it for a few circles. She actually has a really nice canter with a big step for a little girl (she's 14.2 and a hair). I was talking to my jumping trainer (we're just doing ground poles and some cross rails right now) and we were talking about future possibilities for Pony. She said she'd make a good eq horse. I asked if they had adults-on-ponies divisions (jokingly). We got out the stick to measure her as trainer though that with her step and how I look on her that she was bigger than she is.

                                      LOVE my pony!!!!
                                      "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Last night I rode my 3 y/o with just a neck strap. (Had a halter and lead on for emergency brake.) He was so good, and it forced me to rely only on my legs for steering, which was great. Mostly we worked on steering at the walk, but he's so good with downward voice commands I ventured into trot and canter, and by the end I was cantering around grinning like an idiot and he was stretching over his back and licking and chewing. It was COOL.

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