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Green Under Saddle

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  • Green Under Saddle

    I'm currently starting my horse under saddle, with the help of a trainer. He's had less than 30 rides this past year. (And Ive only been on his back since about January.) We're riding in a sidepull currently, with two reins. I can turn fairly well, we're working on a few trot strides. He will be 4 in March. This is my first baby, he's a sweat heart, and always aims to please, which makes the process so much easier.

    So my questions to you,
    Where are you with your 3 year olds?
    How many rides etc?
    What is your training plan, do you play it by ear or have a written monthly/ yearly etc plan?

  • #2
    I took it pretty easy on my 3 year olds. Maybe 30 minutes rides, mostly walk and trot with a little lope thrown in. I am lucky in that I have regular lessons, so my instructor helps move us forward. I'd work on steering, lateral flexion, maybe introduce some baby collection when he's ready for it.

    With both of mine, they were started in the spring of their 3 year old year and then I kicked them out to pasture (at a friend's) for the winter to do some more growing.


    • Original Poster

      I'm debating riding over the winter. I know some others who give their 3-4 year old the winter off. My horse seems to be the same if I skip a month or a week, or am consistent. I have access to an indoor at my trainers, but not at my boarding farm.


      • #4
        If you dint want to quit all together riding and letting him grow up in the pasture for the winter maybe just ride him a few times a month.
        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by rabicon View Post
          If you dint want to quit all together riding and letting him grow up in the pasture for the winter maybe just ride him a few times a month.
          I am only riding a few times a month now, I get in about 6-4 rides a month.


          • #6
            My QH was 3 when I bought him, he had turned 3 in June, I bought him in August.
            That spring they had started him under saddle, and just trail rode, but did canter him some. He wasn't finished by any means, but had a good start under him.
            They didn't really do any "finish" schooling work with him, he was still what i would consider very green, but accepting tack and trail riding alone just fine.

            The following June, a week before his 4th birthday, we did a 14 mile trail ride (I had been riding him prior to that of course, I didn't just tack up and go!) and he was fine with all of it.
            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


            • #7
              Originally posted by SonnyandLacy View Post
              So my questions to you,
              Where are you with your 3 year olds?
              How many rides etc?
              What is your training plan, do you play it by ear or have a written monthly/ yearly etc plan?
              I bought my filly as a 2 yo. She had already been started under saddle with about 30 rides on her. I gave her the year off (but I would pony her everywhere) and started back up with her at 3 (this year) very light riding until July when she spent a month at my trainers, just for rides. He worked on getting her relaxed and moving out more. Then I'd ride for about 20-30 minutes a day. It is now up to about an hour - WTC, working on softness, a little bit with spins, but I also do some trail riding on her. Took her to the Apple Valley Equine Festival at the beginning of October to ride in my trainer's demo and she was stellar. Here's a pix of us there:


              No specific written plan, just alot more of the same. Next Year she'll be in the show pen (reined cowhorse), but probably not until summer. Still has a long way to go for that.


              • #8
                I started my gelding at 2 1/2 years old. Put about 10-12 rides on him.....just walk, trot and loping. Gave him the winter off and sent him to a reining trainer at 3 years old. He is 4 1/2 years old now and almost completely finished and will be ready to show next year in his 5 year old year in reining.
                RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                RIP San Lena Peppy
                May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


                • #9
                  We start our horses when they're 3 and they do 30 min sessions 3-4 times a week for a few months and then progress to trail rides. The trail rides usually last 1-2 hours, but are on easy terrain and mostly at a walk.


                  • #10
                    By 30 rides, regardless of age started, mine have walk trot canter halt back at the elementary level, and a bit of easy trail riding. 30 minute sessions tops, unless it's an easy hour or even two or three trail ride at 3. I prefer starting at 2 but find it doesn't make a huge difference. The big thing is not so much chronological age, it's where they are in mental and physical development. They don't necessarily need 'time off' if they are only being worked lightly 3-4 times a week, but 'time off' never does harm, we all like a break, and they'll always pick up where they left off.


                    • #11
                      I play it by ear, depending on the winter weather and how the horse is going. I don't see any reason to stop a horse's training unless there is a physical or mental reason to do so. I let the horse's physical and mental condition limit what I ask of them - I don't ask them do more than I think they can handle. I also find that the more you handle them, the more accepting they are of what you ask them to do.
                      Man plans. God laughs.