• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Pony Breeders, when to start ponies?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Pony Breeders, when to start ponies?

    Is it really any different than the timetable with horses?

    I have been looking for a unstarted or barely started 3-4 year old horse, because my personal philosophy is to not start doing "dressage" work with a horse until they are in the early part of their 4 year old year. The simple fact is, I want to ride. I have lost so many years, am getting older, and I have goals, plain and simple.

    That said, I have started looking at ponies and pony crosses and have heard from multiple people that they often back them late in their 2 year old year, spend time hacking them, then start them properly in the spring of their 3 year old year.

    Are ponies really different? The health and soundness of my horse trumps all my "goals", but with all these nice 2 year olds available it's hard to not be tempted by them.
    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

  • #2
    I start my ponies the same as my warmblood horses...my ponies all have some WB in them, and GRP's are quite late to mature. I ussualy back at three and get more serious about dressage work at four. I would never start riding a two year old personaly. I do not think they are mature in mind or body and I want my ponies to last for the long haul!
    Whispered Wish Weser-Ems: Breeding quality German Riding Ponies!
    Standing the stallion Burberry


    • #3
      Sometimes we sit on our larges in the fall of their two yr old year. Just sit and maybe do a bit of walk, trot. Then we put them away until the spring of their three year old year.

      I have some that were born mature and some that mature later. We deal with what we think we have and never, ever push them.

      It seems to me, after doing this for 25 years now, that the fillies are easier to start and mature faster. JMHO
      hunter/jumper ponies


      • #4
        I would not start them until 3. But your late 2 year olds are almost there anyway. You might even be able to work out a deal with a seller to participate in some of the board costs until then.
        Roseknoll Sporthorses


        • #5
          We sit on our 2 yr olds in the fall of that year - they learn to go forward, stop and turn. Then they just play until the spring of the next year when they learn walk, trot and canter. After a couple of months(depending on how they progress), they will start going over small crossrails at the trot. We don't jump anything over 12 to 18 inches until they are 4.
          Quicksilver Farms, LLC
          "Welsh Hunter Ponies"
          Welsh Sec. B Stallions and
          Fancy Show Pony Prospects


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sugarbrook View Post
            Sometimes we sit on our larges in the fall of their two yr old year. Just sit and maybe do a bit of walk, trot. Then we put them away until the spring of their three year old year.

            I have some that were born mature and some that mature later. We deal with what we think we have and never, ever push them.
            My thoughts exactly---some are more ready to do "more" and some are not. Some are more mentally mature than physically--and vice versa.

            Our Native ponies tend to be completely mature by 7 (like horses) but at three are much more balanced and capable than most young horses--by three these youngsters tend to slow down growing in Height considerably... they continue to grow but so much more slowly. We keep our early lessons short and to the point. I also don't tend to jump our three year olds other than single natural obstacles as one would meet on a trail---small ditches, small up/down banks, small logs and introduction to water---nearly everything I can step over/through or on. Im very lucky I have a fantastic Cross Country course nearby with just what I need. We also tend travel out with them so that they are exposed to the real world and traveling.
            Last edited by goodpony; Aug. 30, 2010, 07:09 PM.
            Redbud Ranch
            Check us out on FB


            • #7
              I have welsh cobs both Cs and Ds. I tend to back them when they are 3 and start them with real training at the age of 4 with a whole lot of hauling here and there, getting them out to hang around with the big boys and trail riding in between and during those times (and continue that as they mature). Not all of them mature at the same rate so how much and how fast I ramp up their training is dictated by the individual 'cause I'm the test dummy. Over facing a young pony has no advantages and only causes me long standing problems I have to fix if it is allowed to occur (saying that as someone who has been given those "mistakes" to fix for others).
              Ranch of Last Resort


              • #8
                Correct me if I'm wrong, but what difference does it make how physically mature the horse *looks* when the main reason we wait til 3 or 4 or whatever is because of what's happening inside? Joints closing and so on? The only reason I could see not working one horse at 3 vs. working another horse at 3 would be if one is significantly downhill in their growth at the time.

                Occasionally I will teach walk, steer, halt, and maybe trot right when they turn 3, but if I do they then have the rest of the summer off. I usually sit on them in the summer or fall of their 3 year old year and they learn w/t and maybe canter if they're ready. Then they hang out all winter, and start real work in the spring of their 4 year old year. I free jump a handful of times late in their 3 year old year, jump a couple crossrails under saddle at 4, and jump for real at 5. I do things like long lining, going for trailer rides, etc as much as possible when they are young - most yearlings I've had could long line around the farm in a halter well. I know that I take it slower than many, but it's what I believe in. I'm appalled that anyone even sits on a 2 year old, and don't get me started on the 2 year old QH's, TB's, etc that are in real work by then! Ugh!


                • #9

                  one of the most common since approaches to breeding and raising horses I have ever seen....
                  Redbud Ranch
                  Check us out on FB


                  • #10
                    I back mine at three, sometime wait until the fall of their third year. Mine all have warmblood in them, and are slow to mature.
                    I have a lovely three year old small horse/large pony that I have just started to back. She is mentally ready and physically ready at this age.
                    I have had great luck with them, and I don't mind waiting. My five year old Sport Pony Gelding is now doing some heavier dressage work and is just showing that he is ready for it.
                    I don't believe in rushing things. Just my opinion, really means nothing to anyone but me, lol.


                    • #11
                      We will start ground work late in their 2 yo year - Nov or Dec. and then they usually have some time off during the holidays and start back in with ground work and then backing beginning of their 3rd year. Nothing serious - just getting on and walk/trot in a small area and then moving up to w/t/c in a large arena by spring. Add in some hacking and free jumping low cross rails. If we feel for some reason they aren't ready for that schedule we just push it back several months.
                      Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                      "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


                      • #12
                        We usually start ours at 3, though we've had a few over the years that I didn't think were quite ready, so we waited a bit longer on those.

                        Ponies live a very long time. It is my goal to do what I can to ensure that they have a lifetime of soundness.

                        We don't push them at 3. They learn the basics, and then get the winter off and we go back to work with them as 4 year olds.

                        I understand that this doesn't work for everyone, however.
                        Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
                        Click here to buy: A Guide To In Hand Showing of Your Welsh Pony


                        • #13
                          I'm with Hluing on this, we start ours as 3 yr olds but don"t get serious with training until they are 4 yr olds. Often will give them a couple months off during Jan and Feb before starting them up again in the spring of their 4th year.
                          I've noticed a huge difference in their strength and mental capacity in just a few months when we bring them back into work in the spring. Much more ready to get down to business.
                          Follow us: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tre...1609022?ref=ts
                          Breeders of Sport Horses & New Forest Sport Ponies


                          • #14
                            I try to stick fairly close to the U.S.Cavalry training model. They didn't back their horses until age four They did do a lot of good, basic groundwork first. I will start one at three and a half. However, I spend almost 90% of the time working on the walk and teaching the aids. I will introduce the trot and canter just to teach the aids ... and to instill a firm NO if there is a buck sprouting from the canter I will begin using the trot more as the horse turns four ... walk work 80% trot 18% canter 2% ... by 4 1/2 I can do some basic trot sets and will begin to work on the canter .... walk 50% trot 40% canter 10% ...

                            That is for if you want to have your horse stay sound throughout it's lifetime ... even if the conformation is not perfect.


                            • Original Poster

                              Thanks everyone, I thought as much. This is the main reason I have been looking at unstarted or barely started 3 year olds with the plan to just do some light hacking and trail riding until next spring when they are 4. I am friends with an MD who has trained horses for years and has done a lot of research in physiology and biomechanics, she is a firm believer that horses are not mature enough to really go to work until they are 5 (and that they should be started as late 3 yo/or 4 yo).

                              I may end up at the end of the day with a 2 year old, but will obviously have to change my plans.

                              Thanks again.
                              On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                              • #16
                                this thread is so encouraging! I tend to keep my mouth shut about my ideas regarding starting ponies later because people around here look at me like I'm crazy! There was a lady at my daughters trainers barn, who decided to breed her mare last year, since both our girls were in foal at the same time we got to talking about our plans. I COULD NOT hide my disgust when she told me she planned on sitting on him at one, so at two walk/trot/canter to "get him going", this is a warmblood colt (now gelding). Best part is she is working with a fairly well known trainer, don't know if trainer was aware of her "plans" but God if so I hope they educated her a bit more!! Needless to say we don't really talk about our plans anymore, or anything at all for that matter.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by barnbum81 View Post
                                  she told me she planned on sitting on him at one, so at two walk/trot/canter to "get him going", this is a warmblood colt (now gelding).
                                  I have had more than one (although not a lot) of breeders try to sell me a yearling this year, telling me I could back them next year.

                                  I suppose in a sense I am part of the problem in a roundabout way. I want a horse I can ride sooner than later. These breeders want to sell their horses.
                                  On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                                  • #18
                                    it's a wonder why there are so many horses with lameness issues