Backing 3/4yr olds

j1ffy

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Isaac, my 4yo, is making progress. His primary talent at the moment is hacking - he loves hacking both in company and alone and has graduated to having little canters where the ground is appropriate.

I've been struggling with contact/bitting slightly - he had the dentist last week who confirmed that there's nothing serious going on - so back to the cycle of trying to find a bit he's happy-ish with.

We haven't done much in the way of jumping, other than regularly popping a jump on the lunge, but we did have a quick play around some mini showjumps that we put out on the field last week because the ground was so good. His second time being ridden in the big field and he did think it was quite fun (bouncy!!) but he settled and was well behaved popping around some tiny stuff. He could definitely get a bit hot-headed, so just trying to keep it all very slow, boring and calm - although the bit was another one to go in the discard pile!!

He looks like he's loving that!
 

lannerch

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Isaac, my 4yo, is making progress. His primary talent at the moment is hacking - he loves hacking both in company and alone and has graduated to having little canters where the ground is appropriate.

I've been struggling with contact/bitting slightly - he had the dentist last week who confirmed that there's nothing serious going on - so back to the cycle of trying to find a bit he's happy-ish with.

We haven't done much in the way of jumping, other than regularly popping a jump on the lunge, but we did have a quick play around some mini showjumps that we put out on the field last week because the ground was so good. His second time being ridden in the big field and he did think it was quite fun (bouncy!!) but he settled and was well behaved popping around some tiny stuff. He could definitely get a bit hot-headed, so just trying to keep it all very slow, boring and calm - although the bit was another one to go in the discard pile!!

He looks a very useful type and is very handsome, has a lovely attitude too.
 

alsxx

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Lovely reading everyone's updates! Some lovely horses on this thread.

My threenager is in my bad books at the moment. We've been doing lots of in hand work and loading practice in preparation for some in hand shows before backing in the autumn. His first solo journey in the box yesterday involved him being an utter idiot and rearing and getting his feet up on the tack locker (I've got a 3.5t rear facing, completely blocked off rear but with shelf above lockers) and generally throwing himself about, interspersed with standing like a saint 🤦‍♀️ he's been back on this morning and loads calmly without any hesitation and was happy to stand until he felt it was time to start pawing and shoving himself around again. I think it's more teenage strop rather than fear as he will walk on and off and doesn't seem at all bothered otherwise.

Not sure where to go next with him, travel him with company or try and spend loads of time leaving him in there. He already eats his dinner in the box, but once finished is like, come on, get me off woman! So I will probably bin off the planned shows for June until I'm happier he will travel safely.

Here is the thug in question... butter wouldn't melt 🤔
 

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milliepops

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What a monkey, alsxx!

we should be starting loading practice this weekend, i think 3yo might have missed the boat for in hand shows really as there's not a lot on round here at all this year, but the yearling might get out somewhere. I'm mainly having an internal flap about bitting as some places seem to insist on it and others don't. Being a showing nobody I'd rather do non-show trips than bit a yearling o_O

anyway.... how do you know if your young horse is going to be as easy as they appear or will throw spanners everywhere? Young TB is an exceedingly laid back fellow. If he doesn't have another weird growth spurt he will be up for light backing in the autumn and I'm dying to find out whether he will be really easy or suddenly wake up and be a pickle :p
 

TheMule

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Lovely reading everyone's updates! Some lovely horses on this thread.

My threenager is in my bad books at the moment. We've been doing lots of in hand work and loading practice in preparation for some in hand shows before backing in the autumn. His first solo journey in the box yesterday involved him being an utter idiot and rearing and getting his feet up on the tack locker (I've got a 3.5t rear facing, completely blocked off rear but with shelf above lockers) and generally throwing himself about, interspersed with standing like a saint 🤦‍♀️ he's been back on this morning and loads calmly without any hesitation and was happy to stand until he felt it was time to start pawing and shoving himself around again. I think it's more teenage strop rather than fear as he will walk on and off and doesn't seem at all bothered otherwise.

Not sure where to go next with him, travel him with company or try and spend loads of time leaving him in there. He already eats his dinner in the box, but once finished is like, come on, get me off woman! So I will probably bin off the planned shows for June until I'm happier he will travel safely.

Here is the thug in question... butter wouldn't melt 🤔
He is rather gorgeous though!
 

TheMule

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What a monkey, alsxx!

we should be starting loading practice this weekend, i think 3yo might have missed the boat for in hand shows really as there's not a lot on round here at all this year, but the yearling might get out somewhere. I'm mainly having an internal flap about bitting as some places seem to insist on it and others don't. Being a showing nobody I'd rather do non-show trips than bit a yearling o_O

anyway.... how do you know if your young horse is going to be as easy as they appear or will throw spanners everywhere? Young TB is an exceedingly laid back fellow. If he doesn't have another weird growth spurt he will be up for light backing in the autumn and I'm dying to find out whether he will be really easy or suddenly wake up and be a pickle :p
Mine has been pretty easy all along and was a doodle to back. I do think he's probably go through a monster stage at 5 as his mother did!
 

TheMule

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Big milestone today- I wasn’t really planning it but I had help on the ground and it rained over night so the ground was perfect. So Nova had his first ride in the field, first time seeing dressage boards and a course of jumps and his first jump under saddle!
He came out quite jolly and I did wonder if I might get catapulted before we started but 10 mins of walk round the 'course' of poles relaxed him and then we did the same in trot and he was so cool about it all that we turned a couple into tiny fences and he was just super. He also popped the pipe and the tyres no issues. Just adore him!
Apologies for poor quality pic, but my helper was more focused on helping m if needed!
3E1911D0-CE0B-4B5F-ABD5-E4497F543B04.jpeg

And a video to show the process I went through to build up to his first little jumps if anyone's interested
 

ycbm

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I lay over Joe yesterday, wriggled and patted his offside and he couldn't care less. Going to try a quick sit soon :) It's nice that he is broken to drive and all the basic work had already been done, not that I think any of it would have been difficult with him.
.
 

milliepops

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Mine has been pretty easy all along and was a doodle to back. I do think he's probably go through a monster stage at 5 as his mother did!
Here's hoping then (for me) and not for you 😂
He was fairly hard of thinking about the lorry today but we always knew the filly was the brains of the operation 😄
 

lannerch

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Big milestone today- I wasn’t really planning it but I had help on the ground and it rained over night so the ground was perfect. So Nova had his first ride in the field, first time seeing dressage boards and a course of jumps and his first jump under saddle!
He came out quite jolly and I did wonder if I might get catapulted before we started but 10 mins of walk round the 'course' of poles relaxed him and then we did the same in trot and he was so cool about it all that we turned a couple into tiny fences and he was just super. He also popped the pipe and the tyres no issues. Just adore him!
Apologies for poor quality pic, but my helper was more focused on helping m if needed!
View attachment 73156

And a video to show the process I went through to build up to his first little jumps if anyone's interested
She looks so calm a lovely attitude and so brave you must be thrilled
 

shortstuff99

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Currently Cambridgeshire! (or where ever I fancy)!
I tried my late, great mare's saddle on the Baby Spanish today (she's never had one on before). Very pleased that she didn't even notice, and even better doesn't look a terrible fit so going to have my saddler check it out :).

ETA this was me shaking treats at her for ages to try and get a nice face 🤣

FB_IMG_1623007650993.jpg
 

alsxx

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What a monkey, alsxx!

we should be starting loading practice this weekend, i think 3yo might have missed the boat for in hand shows really as there's not a lot on round here at all this year, but the yearling might get out somewhere. I'm mainly having an internal flap about bitting as some places seem to insist on it and others don't. Being a showing nobody I'd rather do non-show trips than bit a yearling o_O

anyway.... how do you know if your young horse is going to be as easy as they appear or will throw spanners everywhere?
We don't have many here either, a couple in June and that was it. Oh well, I'm sure they will get some life experience elsewhere!?

And to answer your question, I have no idea.. mine has been really good up until travel-gate and that was certainly not expected! 🤣🤔
 

GG13

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My 4yo has been making good steady progress over the last couple of weeks. We had our first big hack round the village over the bank holiday. Typically I think we met everything you could think of! Fortunately she was good as gold and more interested in checking out the road markings than anything else.
We also had our first jump under saddle this week. Must have been feeling brave as I have booked onto our RC clinic in July
 

ahml100

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Had a lovely weekend catching up with my boy. He is still keeping his halo nicely polished and firmly above his ears....long may it last 😅.

On Saturday, I was there to witness his first canter under saddle. My trainer was over the moon with it. Goes without saying, it was raw and not much in the way of steering but he just popped quietly into canter with no dramatics. You could tell that even with it being raw, there is a lovely jumping canter ready to be developed.

The most exciting part for me though was riding him for the first time this year! Just a little walk and trot round the village but I could not stop grinning.

https://youtube.com/shorts/IWcA1u-b1TQ?feature=share

This weekend, the plan is to hack with my father and his old hunter (his horse lives in the same village where my trainer is based), and have a little go in the school.
 

j1ffy

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Jamie is looking great!!

Chilli's also been polishing his halo. I took him up to our top field on Saturday to see what he's like in a big open space (all good!) and play in the grass arena set up there (a bit of a look at the boards from a distance, then absolutely fine). We had our first few strides of canter of his 4yo year too ☑️

Into our smaller, bumpy, sloping arena for a school last night and he coped well. Did a little bit of canter up the long sides and he's so cute - I've not ridden such a Spanish canter for a long time and it really made me giggle, he's all knees! Definitely need to do it in the open so he can take the energy forward rather than out now.
 

daffy44

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TM, I loved your video, so quietly ridden, and Nova looked really confident and happy, such a happy, positive experience, brilliant.

My 4yr old is still coming along nicely, hes been home from backing about two months now, and all good, today before hacking I decided to go in the school briefly to show him my daft despooking stuff as I havent done it since hes been backed. Well, I had nothing to worry about, he was totally relaxed and still weirdly fond of the umbrella, he marched straight up to it, picked it up and started swinging it around, daft pony! We went hacking after that, although I have made a mental note to never hack in the rain, as I have a nasty feeling he'd just grab some poor unsuspecting persons umbrella just for fun.
 

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chaps89

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What a monkey, alsxx!

we should be starting loading practice this weekend, i think 3yo might have missed the boat for in hand shows really as there's not a lot on round here at all this year, but the yearling might get out somewhere. I'm mainly having an internal flap about bitting as some places seem to insist on it and others don't. Being a showing nobody I'd rather do non-show trips than bit a yearling o_O

anyway.... how do you know if your young horse is going to be as easy as they appear or will throw spanners everywhere? Young TB is an exceedingly laid back fellow. If he doesn't have another weird growth spurt he will be up for light backing in the autumn and I'm dying to find out whether he will be really easy or suddenly wake up and be a pickle :p
Can I be selfish and say I hope he's a doddle and that you find him too boring so he can come and have a home with me instead please? ;) there's just something about him I really like!
Joking aside hope you manage to find somewhere to take them both for a nice low key outing
 

TheMule

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TM, I loved your video, so quietly ridden, and Nova looked really confident and happy, such a happy, positive experience, brilliant.

My 4yr old is still coming along nicely, hes been home from backing about two months now, and all good, today before hacking I decided to go in the school briefly to show him my daft despooking stuff as I havent done it since hes been backed. Well, I had nothing to worry about, he was totally relaxed and still weirdly fond of the umbrella, he marched straight up to it, picked it up and started swinging it around, daft pony! We went hacking after that, although I have made a mental note to never hack in the rain, as I have a nasty feeling he'd just grab some poor unsuspecting persons umbrella just for fun.
That is amazing- what a brave baby!
 

ahml100

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The rideability jumping keeps on improving. Last night's session he really started to feel like the penny has dropped - calmer, straighter, more careful... And a bit he's much happier with:

Wow! you must be thrilled. I loved his expression, really looked like he was enjoying himself
 

RachelFerd

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He seems to have an unexpected strong preference for single jointed bits... and he seems happier in a loose flash rather than a loose grackle (which is not what I was expecting on an over-sensitive type) - so this video is in a single jointed fulmer, but I do have a Sprenger sensogan eggbutt on order for trial.
 

ahml100

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So another mile stone ✅ off!

Saturday and Sunday I hacked Jamie with My father for the first time, without my trainer accompanying us. Also, Sunday was the first time I mounted him unaided. Sounds so silly writing it down but for me, it was a very big deal!

He was foot perfect, striding out confidently and even if there was something spooky, no antics just cocked an ear looked at it then strode on by.

What made it extra special however, is that my fathers horse is 27 this year, we have owned him for 20 of those years and he has always nannied us on our ponies and new horses.

So, it was lovely to have the old boy out again doing what he does best!

Also, after 20 years I am now looking down at my father which was rather peculiar!

Not a great photo and video but something!

https://youtube.com/shorts/6BV5UnVITrQ?feature=share

3936E023-6D6A-4FDE-BBE8-2BE1837F7213.jpeg
 

RachelFerd

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Sorry - yet more Isaac spam! His first XC schooling experience went really well. Keeping it all as quiet and calm as I can at the moment. Lots of trot and pop over tiny obstacles. He loved the water and was bold up and down a step. Jumped off him and lunged over a ditch, then hopped back on and popped it both ways. Ended with far more confidence than he started with. Will probably try and do another XC trip next weekend to consolidate before he has a 2 day camp at Vale View... then a well earned easy few weeks when the older horse is back out eventing again.

 
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