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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 11/26/2005 :  7:52:03 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
Funny the subject on what age to start a horse under saddle has come up at this particular time. Donna & I rode at Salamonie State Forest, today, and just as we were getting ready to head for home after a wonderful, relaxing ride (more on this in the "Trails" forum), another trailer pulled in. Two guys got out of the truck and unloaded two nice looking colts. I asked the ages and the man told me they weren't even two but had brought them to SSF for their first trip away from home. Needless to say my eyebrows rose an inch or two at his reply. Now there is some relatively flat riding to be had at SSF, but I couldn't help but wonder what kind of riding they had in mind. Personally, I thought they were both nuts to ride a youngster that age under saddle under any circumstances.

I'm a small person, but I usually start saddle training anytime after the horse's actual 2nd birthday. So, if the horse was born on March 9, I wouldn't swing a leg over him until March 9 of his second year. I keep 2 year olds in an arena and training down to 10 to 15 minutes in any one session. By 3 years of age, I'll take them on trail ride of about an hour or a little more on fairly flat ground with no hills if possible. By 4, I'll start riding hills and go out for 2 or 3 hours. By the time they're 5, I'll usually ride them like any other horse. Of course all this depends on how mature the horse is physically and mentally to handle the work and will be subject to change to meet that individual horse's requirements.

I do feel the horse ought to be started slowly and gradually be more challenged as he matures and can handle what is being asked of him to do. Some can take it sooner and some later. It just depends on the horse. I, too, feel that 6 is a little old to wait to start training for saddle. In my honest opinion, it shouldn't hurt to start a horse at 2 or 3 if using a good dose of common sense and not rushing him too soon into something he's not ready to handle.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2005 :  08:04:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
If you must, for showing purposes start them as early two year olds, please make sure that their knees have been X-rayed and are closed and keep the work session limited as the Hawk advises. Quarter horses have been bred to mature early and depending on the horse can be ridden a bit early. Hook was trained lightly as a three year old but due to his size and extended growing period it is only in the last year that he has really mautured phyically and mentally, ( well mostly mentally, he did dump me and my ribs still hurt)

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2005 :  08:04:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
If you must, for showing purposes start them as early two year olds, please make sure that their knees have been X-rayed and are closed and keep the work session limited as the Hawk advises. Quarter horses have been bred to mature early and depending on the horse can be ridden a bit early. Hook was trained lightly as a three year old but due to his size and extended growing period it is only in the last year that he has really mautured phyically and mentally, ( well mostly mentally, he did dump me and my ribs still hurt)

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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paintedbliss
Trainer



USA
618 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2005 :  10:09:58 AM  Show Profile Send paintedbliss a Private Message
I plan to send sweetie fro training next spring, but don't really to plan on riding her for a while. I consider myself very green when it comes to training horses, and think a professional is best when starting formal groundwork and start undersaddle. I probally won't actually trailride til she she is over 3, which is why i bought my other horse bliss. I think also she will probally learn more from bliss,and just plan on pony her with her for awhile. Bliss is a very well trained former reiner with the quietest dispostion, and has taught yearlings and young horses in the past with her former owner who was a trainer.
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paintedbliss
Trainer



USA
618 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2005 :  10:09:58 AM  Show Profile Send paintedbliss a Private Message
I plan to send sweetie fro training next spring, but don't really to plan on riding her for a while. I consider myself very green when it comes to training horses, and think a professional is best when starting formal groundwork and start undersaddle. I probally won't actually trailride til she she is over 3, which is why i bought my other horse bliss. I think also she will probally learn more from bliss,and just plan on pony her with her for awhile. Bliss is a very well trained former reiner with the quietest dispostion, and has taught yearlings and young horses in the past with her former owner who was a trainer.
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Dixiesmom
Beginning Rider



145 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2005 :  11:27:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Dixiesmom's Homepage Send Dixiesmom a Private Message
Welcome to the forum and congrats on the new horses!! I have a 2yr old paint filly that I have been training, so I know what you have gotten into.....LOL It has been GREAT fun working with a young horse, and I love how Dixie is turning out. I am planning on sending her to a trainer next spring for 30 days. Good luck with your girls!!

Melissa

Dixie--black & white paint mare, 3yrs in April
Pete--roan missouri foxtrotter gelding, 21yrs in April
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Dixiesmom
Beginning Rider



145 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2005 :  11:27:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Dixiesmom's Homepage Send Dixiesmom a Private Message
Welcome to the forum and congrats on the new horses!! I have a 2yr old paint filly that I have been training, so I know what you have gotten into.....LOL It has been GREAT fun working with a young horse, and I love how Dixie is turning out. I am planning on sending her to a trainer next spring for 30 days. Good luck with your girls!!

Melissa

Dixie--black & white paint mare, 3yrs in April
Pete--roan missouri foxtrotter gelding, 21yrs in April
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paintedbliss
Trainer



USA
618 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2005 :  6:41:54 PM  Show Profile Send paintedbliss a Private Message
Dixie is absolutely gorgeous! I've always liked the tricolored tobaino vs the black/white but yours is beautiful, what nice markings she has. Boy those babies are alot of work, but i would not trade my experience i've had with training this baby for anything. She has a long way to go, but it's been really fun seeing all her changes over the last year or so. my girls are coming home on saturday, both nervous and very excited about the many adventures i'm sure we will be having. Keep me updated on dixies training.
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paintedbliss
Trainer



USA
618 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2005 :  6:41:54 PM  Show Profile Send paintedbliss a Private Message
Dixie is absolutely gorgeous! I've always liked the tricolored tobaino vs the black/white but yours is beautiful, what nice markings she has. Boy those babies are alot of work, but i would not trade my experience i've had with training this baby for anything. She has a long way to go, but it's been really fun seeing all her changes over the last year or so. my girls are coming home on saturday, both nervous and very excited about the many adventures i'm sure we will be having. Keep me updated on dixies training.
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