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What is your 4 year olds doing?

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  • What is your 4 year olds doing?

    What training is your four year old hunter prospects doing at this time?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Fharoah; Mar. 26, 2012, 05:55 PM.

  • #2
    I have a nice dutch/TB gelding coming 4 in May. He walks, trots, canters and jumps crossrails at a trot and canter. He does leg yielding, backs up and does turns on the forehand. He's pretty immature, I won't push him, but would like him cantering small courses by the end of the summer. I'm an amateur so I'm sure he could do more in a pro's hands, but it's ok, I'm not in a rush. I saw a previous post about what people are doing with their 3 year olds and was quite impressed at how much they were capable of. Each one is different mentally and physically though so I don't think anyone should really expect too much at this age.


    • #3
      I have a four year old OTTB (officially five according to the Jockey Club, but he's got a very late birthday in June.) Its a little different with an OTTB versus a complete greenie since we have to work on getting rid of some of the old habits (slow canter? whats that?) He's also only had about 3/4 months of hunter jumper training, and only about a month with me.

      But my guy right now has a very consistent walk/trot, leg yields pretty well, nice bend, and a really relaxed way of carrying himself. He'll poke his nose out and trot around the ring on a loose rein with me legging every stride. He'll frame for a few moments on a circle or leg yield if I really push with my leg but I wanted him to really relax and stretch down before we asked him to go on the bit. His canter is coming along. He's great about picking up his leads, and his left lead canter is pretty nice. He bends well, is rate-able and responsive (most of the time) and relaxed. To the right he's still stiffer but its getting there. His upward transitions in general are very good, although he still relies on a voice command in addition to leg for the canter (but he canters right off with no trot steps most of the time.) His downward transitions are better but still a little sloppy. He is very very brave over fences and he has a great natural eye. He's trotting and cantering cross rails and verticals, and he's also done some small cross country jumps. He's got pretty much an auto swap after the fences and most of the time lands on the lead.


      • #4
        I never know how to answer these questions concisely and without background, so here's the background. My boy is a 4 1/2 year old Holsteiner (July 2007 baby). I started him just prior to his 3rd birthday and spent 90 days on him (which ended with 3 days of jumping in a clinic setting) before turning him out to pasture. I worked with him for a few months last summer/fall, took him to his first couple one-day schooling shows, got around a 3'3" jumper course, and then turned him back out for the winter again. I just started him back up a few weeks ago and am thrilled that he picked up right where we left off. He'll tag along with my other horses to his first show in mid-April and the plan is to put him in the 1.0m (3'3") jumpers.

        So not a hunter prospect, but since he hasn't shown in anything at a rated show yet I figure I can't call him a jumper yet either

        At home we focus mostly on going in a forward stretchy frame and staying straight. We're doing some leg yielding, serpentines, and just starting some shoulder-in work, and spend maybe 1 lap around the ring in a collected(ish) frame. I need to pick up my lessons with my dressage trainer again, but that doesn't seem to happen most years until we get to a slightly less wet time of year.
        Flying F Sport Horses
        Horses in the NW


        • #5
          What is your 4 year olds doing?

          My four year olds is schooling. Learning grammar. Then learning editing. After that they write long winded advice to topics on this forum.


          • #6
            Originally posted by babecakes View Post
            What is your 4 year olds doing?

            My four year olds is schooling. Learning grammar. Then learning editing. After that they write long winded advice to topics on this forum.

            THIS. And to that I would add... Please tell us, OP, that english is your second language! (Otherwise, I have just lost all faith in the US educational system.)


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by springer View Post

              THIS. And to that I would add... Please tell us, OP, that english is your second language! (Otherwise, I have just lost all faith in the US educational system.)
              Sorry, no English is my first and only language. Actually I have fancy hunter prospect turning four in May just going back into training and was wondering how others were school there four year old's are up to. At what age do most show there baby green season?


              • #8
                I have a 4 year old that is in his Baby Green year now. He hacks out in the field, jumps courses, flats super, and is off to a Peter Leone Clinic in a few weeks
                "If you are nervous you arent focused-if you are focused, there is no room for nerves!"


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Fharoah View Post
                  Sorry, no English is my first and only language. Actually I have fancy hunter prospect turning four in May just going back into training and was wondering how others were school there four year old's are up to. At what age do most show there baby green season?
                  My girl turns 4 in May. W/T/C. She has a natural lead change (yeah for me). She goes to little schooling shows to tool around. She'll be at YH at Devon. She has jumped little itty bitty just to break up her routine. She hacks around outside the ring, trailers everywhere. Basically getting her as much exposure as I can w/o frying her brain.

                  We always keep in mind she's a baby. It is easy when they are such solid citizens to forget..

                  I'm not in a hurry w/ her. Just enjoying her good brain and good looks!
                  Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by babecakes View Post
                    What is your 4 year olds doing?

                    My four year olds is schooling. Learning grammar. Then learning editing. After that they write long winded advice to topics on this forum.
                    LOL I was waiting for someone to comment on the grammar!


                    • #11
                      My filly is coming 4 in May, in December I put 60 days on her, walk/trot/canter and bopped over a few tiny jumps. I gave her a few months off and am just starting her at walk again with a little trot working on light lateral work and stretching her topline.


                      • #12
                        My 4yo TB is currently learning to use his back & hind end, plus other basic flat work. Rounding up at the canter was a bit of an issue with him, but last week he decided it is much easier than fighting, and is now quite lovely at the canter.
                        He is jumping small courses (with flower boxes and gates) - we usually only jump once every 2 weeks or so - sometimes the gap between jump schools is longer. We haven't gone above 2'6 or so, but if you saw the pic I posted of him a while ago, he is definitely capable of going higher! (here is the pic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bugzar/...in/photostream)

                        I'm basically trying to make everything simple and fun, so he keeps the amazing mind he has. He has never stopped, no matter what we put under the jumps, and has been relatively willing with each new concept we introduce to him.

                        Just this past weekend he was carting around my 4 year old nephew...I have also taught a beginners lesson on him. He was bought as a sales project, but it is definitely going to be hard for me to let him go. He is a saint!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Fharoah View Post
                          Actually I... was wondering how others were school there four year old's are up to.
                          LEGADO DE RIOS


                          • #14
                            Ours is having a foal.
                            Inner Bay Equestrian


                            • #15
                              Mine is turning 4 "physically" in May, but "techincally" he's four, so.

                              Right now I'm working with him at home on the dressage training scale, introducing him to moving off my leg in various ways, introducing him to truly getting on the bit (his old owners only taught him to "frame up"), continuing to work with calvettis, and as of last week, we're throwing in an occasional 18" crossrail, maybe about one per week at the most. I'm also trying to throw in a couple things to assist with learning flying changes much farther down the road, and we do bending exercises at the walk each ride. Our main concern is straightness and clean transitions.

                              At shows, he does a w/t division with three classes that's about the easiest, lowest-level class our show offers, and occasionally an extra w/t green horse/rider class. Once we accidentily (long story, haha) entered a green horse/rider w/t/c eq. class and a green horse/rider w/t/c HUS class, too, and he did surprisingly well in them. So far we've been to three shows, and have gotten two Reserves and a Champion.

                              Sorry, I know I'm just bragging now, I'm just really, really proud of him!

                              P.S. I've had a couple people (not my trainer, random people at shows and people I tell about him) tell me this is too much for a three year old, but he takes it all very well, does it all very well, and I haven't done any of this without making sure he's plenty ready first.
                              Last edited by JukeboxHero; Mar. 27, 2012, 04:08 PM. Reason: Left something out. :)


                              • #16
                                My 4 YO mare is currently in a four day a week program with my trainer. Short sessions, working on transitions, using herself properly, learing to accept small amount of contact--good flatwork. She's cantered poles and jumped a few crossrails, but nothing too significant.
                                She went to her first schooling show under saddle a couple weeks ago (she's a hunter breeding graduate so this was no big deal) and we're aiming her for a few more young hunter flat classes and then YH at Devon!
                                Overall, as great as she is, it's about baby steps: sometimes they're forward and sometimes there's one or two back, but it's been so much fun to watch her figure it all out! I'm fortunate that she's just for me, so we're in no hurry.
                                "It is the tragedy of the world that no one knows what he doesn't know--and the less a man knows, the more sure he is that he knows everything." Joyce Cary


                                • #17
                                  My 4y/o DWB X mare (April), is currently working on reaching for contact rather than balancing on me, basic lateral work to help her stretch out and lift her back, transitions within the gate to help her learn to 'sit' and push, started over fences once a week and is great with 2' and under, 2'3 and up catches her off guard and she gazelle's a bit yet, raised trot poles, walk/halt-canter, turn on forehand and haunches....

                                  Flying changes are at about 80%.

                                  At this point I am not searching for perfection. I want effort and a quiet mind.
                                  Sadly, I believe she is destined to be a DQ and not my little hunter-princess, so we are looking to rehome


                                  • #18
                                    I didn't breed for a hunter - I bred for an eventer/jumper, but my 4 year old (April) was started when he turned 3 for 90 days. We spent the rest of summer/fall trail riding and some light arena work. Winter he has just been a pasture puff who gets ridden once or twice a month on trail or some light arena work. He is so easy going you can not have been on him for a month, pull him out of pasture and hop and and go. Love him!

                                    He went back into training this month and has been started over fences now that he is turning 4. It's wonderful to see them progress and grow up. He is bold and likes the challenges of the jumps, as long as they are over 2' or he just trots them like we are wasting his time. We are aiming for his first show in April.
                                    Cloverfox Stables


                                    • #19
                                      I have a 4 y/o (well, 4 in May) Oldenburg who was started in August of last year. We are now jumping baby courses with simple changes - we are not pushing the changes yet but he has done a few full changes. Starting baby shoulder-in and other lateral work. Focusing on smooth, clean transitions without falling apart in front. He is awesomely balanced and probably one of the easiest horses I've ridden, so this has been really fun work for me because I actually see a result.

                                      He is starting to get to that........cheeeeeeeky 4 year old stage that I hear about. So much fitter and stronger than even 3 months ago and is looking like a real horse rather than a baby - so he's starting to formulate adolescent-type plans when I don't keep him focused enough

                                      He will hopefully debut in the baby greens at some point this summer and then the baby weenie adults with me later. I'm in no rush so I will probably wait until the weather is warm enough to just hack around at some of the spring shows.

                                      This is my first baby that I have done most of the work on and I'm totally hooked
                                      **Member of the Ocularly Challenged Equine Support Group**


                                      • #20
                                        Oh my gosh! My 4(In May) year old has had someone on him 3 times. He lunges like a pro but he's only ever walked undersaddle with a leader. I did that much in November and then December-May he's on vacation with light lunging. But mainly we just do ground work. He's MASSIVE with MASSIVE bones. One of his knees is starting to close a little bit but both of them are way too open! Can't believe some of you are already clocking around courses! Hopefully we'll mature a little bit so we can catch up!