Backing 3/4yr olds

ycbm

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Brilliant! He looks a lovely size for you! Like you fit together well, glad he took it all in his stride.
I'm amazed how small I look on him. I'm 5ft 8 and last time I measured he was no more than 15.1 in front. He felt big to ride, but I thought he would as he has such a rangy stride. He felt very "right" for me, I was instantly at home, he'll be staying quite a while at this rate....
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TheMule

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My 2 were flung out on their winter break but now my older horse has picked up an injury so they're both back on the riding list. So they will hack 3x per week until November when we lose the light and then have a proper break. But they're both fat and mischievous when not doing anything so I don’t think it will harm them!
 

ycbm

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Great to see you on board- well done! He looks a total sweetheart
He is. I was more confident of getting on him than I was of just about any other horse I've backed. In 3 months he's been an absolute gentleman, and of course he was broken to drive, so there was no reason to expect any trouble. I might even do him outside tomorrow :)
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j1ffy

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It's lovely to see all the babies progressing well as we head into Autumn! Chilli and I are both having a two week holiday at the moment.

RF - Isaac looks like a real pro!!
YCBM - great to see you on board, he's turning into a brilliant bargain purchase ;)

I have a question…!
‘Schooling/small trot’ vs swinging forwards. Lottie has (almost) unlimited trot which means even very green you have a huge choice of gear. With the ponies/cobs/jumping bred WBs this young phase has always been about forwards forwards forwards. For her that means we look like we’re taking part in a young dressage horse class (who’d have thought it!) but the balance is not there so the rhythm is super fragile and we get a lot of breaks into canter. To stop the hind leg over powering her she needs to be at only 25% power which then helps her control her body, but you totally lose that ‘flare’ (and the lateral balance is still quite weak).
thoughts?!
Chilli's also got an impressive trot (albeit a very very different one - all knees and hocks rather than the floaty warmblood length!) and we're focusing on developing a small 'boring' trot that allows him to balance and means I can influence him more. The energy and power is all there once the balance and strength have developed, but he's got to learn to use his back and coordinate properly first. I'd aim for the 25% power in your situation - it will pay off in the medium-longer term and also help protect her joints as she continues to grow.
 
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Re the trot stuff, I'm fine with toning down the flare because I can get that back later. I want the rhythm, balance, and tempo established. The horse also learning to work over their back and be supple. When the horse is stronger and can use its body/topline correctly, then it's time to get the flare back, really engage the hind end, and you might even have better movement than before ;)

Mine (he's 9 now, so no longer a youngster) was all knee action, winging, a "false" set neck/head and a locked back, sort of holding himself in place and moving his legs. Very, uh, "Spanish" I suppose. After establishing the things I mentioned above, the winging is hardly there, he's not marching like a sewing machine, he uses his back, and his movement is more long and relaxed. I then started asking for more, and the more/flare he then gave was a far different/better flare than what we started with. So he never "lost flare" but enhanced and changed it a bit. He takes longer steps, longer and slower steps, and actually has a wee bit of suspension (naturally he has zero and is inclined to give zero 😅).

He's always been an extremely balanced individual, and I also value forward, but also knew he needed some more skills before I could focus on flare. If done right, they won't lose it ;)

You can also push her just a bit during some sessions and see where you're at/what the limits are to get a feel, but it's a slow and steady wins the race type deal.
 

ycbm

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Second day. I can't believe he looks so big and takes up my leg so well without feeling wide to ride. He's maybe 15.1, I'm 5ft 8. I went outside, the first time I've ever done that on the second day. I got on from a block, moving him to it and not it to him. That's also exceptionally fast for it a learner. I used the stirrup to mount, then rode him round in walk for about a minute and called it quits. He's been ace.

Screenshot_20210911-115116_Gallery.jpg
 

rara007

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She has loads of cadence naturally and a fair bit of knee for a warmblood. That goes and the back comparatively tenses when you make it ‘small’. It’s still as over the back as my other one ever is but it’s not as swingy as powering through, but that’s compromises the balance so much.
 
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Sometimes horses with more knee action are actually more difficult to engage over the back as well as in the hind end. Some people (not saying anyone here, just in general) see high knees or flinging front limbs and seem to forget the whole other half of the horse 😅 I sort of flinch when I see a leg mover with a wooden board for a back. Unfortunately, many ride Iberians this way, but I am going off on a tangent.

I had to teach mine to come back and keep his neck in a lower position and his back up, it wasn't so easy, but he also got it relatively fast. He didn't realize he could slow down and still be round at first. Definitely takes some strength and possibly coordination too. Small steps. Do some forward and back, transitions within the gait, play around and reward any glimpse of success/what you're ultimately looking to achieve.
 

lannerch

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Well Layla has had a busy week, on Thursday she went to her first sj competition, she did a lovely clear in the first 70cm class the only clear so she won, but then had 7 down in the 80cm was a little later and she had been standing on the box and I think she switched off, a class too many in the day.
Yesterday the local hunt was doing hound exercise with the meet in the farm of my yard so I took the opportunity to take her in this, mostly walk and trot on the roads but some good canters in the fields , and shr even popped a small fence . She was a star all be it excited behaved impeccably. Attached photos from both . I think she has deserved some days off
 

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milliepops

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She has loads of cadence naturally and a fair bit of knee for a warmblood. That goes and the back comparatively tenses when you make it ‘small’. It’s still as over the back as my other one ever is but it’s not as swingy as powering through, but that’s compromises the balance so much.
I guess it depends on whether you can ride positively forward and improve her balance while doing that, or not ;) if not, decision made. if you can... I think it's a bit more borderliney from what you've said about her getting tight, but then I'm used to seeing big moving young horses bowling along under a pro so it's easy to say that when I'm not the one having to do it!

Quiet week for 3yo Frank this week... did a recap of leaning over yesterday as he's not done anything for a while, with OH at the helm, first time doing anything with a helper but thought it would be handy training for OH more than anything, haha. Then this morning he had an argument with the fence so has got himself a sick note :rolleyes: will try and pick up again later in the week.
 

daydreamer

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Today I had my second sit on my 3 yo Morgan. First sit on was about 2 weeks ago and we didn't move, just let him experience being sat on. Today we did a bit of sideways off my leg and a bit of forward and back off the halter. He coped really well.

I'm taking it super slow as he is my first youngster so I don't really know what I am doing! I'm also in no rush and enjoy just pottering with him. Most of the time I work with him alone. I hadn't planned to sit on him until he was 4 so these bits are just a sneaky peak.

He seems to have accepted the bit now (still need to work on softness when opening his mouth for the it though) so I will continue to work on back and turning from the bit with me on the ground and hopefully work up to a bit of long reining again (we did a bit off a head collar earlier this year).

It is interesting watching all the youngsters progress. Nearly everyone is faster than us but I'm putting faith in the fact that we will catch up eventually!
 

TheMule

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Well Layla has had a busy week, on Thursday she went to her first sj competition, she did a lovely clear in the first 70cm class the only clear so she won, but then had 7 down in the 80cm was a little later and she had been standing on the box and I think she switched off, a class too many in the day.
Yesterday the local hunt was doing hound exercise with the meet in the farm of my yard so I took the opportunity to take her in this, mostly walk and trot on the roads but some good canters in the fields , and shr even popped a small fence . She was a star all be it excited behaved impeccably. Attached photos from both . I think she has deserved some days off
Sounds like brilliant education for her. Definitely earned her short break
 

alsxx

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My 3 year old went off for breaking today. He travelled really well and stood quietly on the box until he was unloaded. I was slightly worried that I might get a repeat of show-gate once he was unloaded (waving his front legs in the air), but he was a good boy and eyes on stalks, behaved all the way to the stable. First time in a barn too bless him.

Excited he's started this journey, and looking forward to seeing how he progresses.
 

j1ffy

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Looking forward to hearing about his progress alsxx!
rara - she looks beautiful and I can see why you're so proud
ycbm - I followed your purchase thread of Joe and it's great to see how he's developing!

Chilli's had two weeks in the field while I've been on holiday and seemed happy to be back in the stable and working yesterday. I lunged him to begin with and he was very fresh in the cutest way, a few humps and bucks and some extravagant trotting but with barely a tug on the lunge line and stopped as soon as I told him to. We then hacked around the village with his usual wing man and he was lovely. It's good to know I can pick him up after a short break with no issues.

Unfortunately I'm away with work for two days so will start again on Thursday, and then we have our second little yard competition on Sunday and I've thrown us in at the deep(er) end with Prelim 18. After all, we need to work on our centre lines and it has three of them!
 

ycbm

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I keep thinking I'm going to jinx this but I'm mounting Joe from the block using a stirrup like a horse twice his age, and he's not putting a foot wrong. Steering is wobbly, of course, but stop and start, walk and trot, are coming along really well. He's gone terribly bum high again, so there's a limit to how much I'm prepared to do with him, but as an start this really can't be beaten. He's a star.
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ImmyS

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First hack for Finn today with anyone other than his field mate. My friend rode over to our yard then we went round the block together. Finn stood like a rock to mount despite having new friend around and then lead the whole hack - good as gold with the traffic including double deckers and a few noisy lorries. He has been doing a bit of ground work but I haven’t ridden him for around a month so was pleased with how well behaved he was. Such a dude!

He’ll probably tick over for the next month before complete holiday until spring.

 
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