Backing 3/4yr olds

ahml100

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8 December 2012
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409
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Oxon
Thanks @TPO and @j1ffy ... It always feels a bit risky posting WiP! But also nice to be realistic. Sad to think we'll have graduated this thread shortly!
we will all have to post graduation photos on Dec 31! This whole thread has been so lovely, been wonderful seeing everyone’s horses and to have such support.
 

TheMule

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14 October 2009
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The little mule went to her first arena hire today and was, as per usual, just a total delight. It's her first time seeing other horses do anything and she was quite fascinated but she focused when it was her turn and popped so sweetly round a small course- didn’t bat an eyelid at fillers, banners, dressage boxes etc- all the things that cause my proper event horse to have a total meltdown 😂

I’ve booked her in again next week so we'll jump a little bigger as she was so confident with it all today, and then she's back at the same venue for an Intro dressage test at the end of the month

 

TheMule

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She is so lovely ❤️ Does she ever show the stubbornness mules are renowned for ?
Yes! She's a bit like a native pony- you just have to bribe your way around it and then she's compliant again. Luckily I've ridden lots of native ponies and both my proper eventers were part pony so I'm well rehearsed 😂
 

ycbm

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30 January 2015
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Another milestone today! I fell off 🤣 ! I was sending Joe forwards to stop him setting on my hands and we had a communication breakdown. He thought we were going left at the boards and I thought we were going right. Splat! I got back on and he was as if nothing had happened, bless him he doesn't have a bad bone in his body.

It's very different doing a horse who has been in shafts instead of a blank sheet. He is as stiff as a board laterally, he doesn't have a clue about bending or leg yielding. I did get some leg yield but I had more trouble achieving it than any other youngster I've started.

On the other hand he gets canter easily and always on the correct leg.

He looks like he's going to be a lot of fun to produce in the next year.
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CanteringCarrot

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1 April 2018
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Another milestone today! I fell off 🤣 ! I was sending Joe forwards to stop him setting on my hands and we had a communication breakdown. He thought we were going left at the boards and I thought we were going right. Splat! I got back on and he was as if nothing had happened, bless him he doesn't have a bad bone in his body.

It's very different doing a horse who has been in shafts instead of a blank sheet. He is as stiff as a board laterally, he doesn't have a clue about bending or leg yielding. I did get some leg yield but I had more trouble achieving it than any other youngster I've started.

On the other hand he gets canter easily and always on the correct leg.

He looks like he's going to be a lot of fun to produce in the next year.
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Ah, that's better than the first time I tumbled off mine as a youngster (I reached for a phone that was mid air falling from my pocket, he spooked, my balance was already compromised, and I just sort of came off 😅), he was terrified. He didn't know a dismount could be accidental or spontaneous 🤣 he was nervous when I went to re-mount, but we worked through it and continued training on the matter.

Do you do any ground work and/or yielding to pressure from the ground? I've taught leg yield and shoulder in from the ground first a few times and it translated easily to riding. It's interesting sometimes, almost as if you have to show them what they're body can do, on purpose, but of course there are 101 exercises for lateral movements and suppling so you have your work cut out 😉 how's his growing these days, still shooting upward?
 

ycbm

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30 January 2015
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Yes, I always teach them to move away from my hand sideways, he's surprisingly good at it. It didn't translate to when he's moving forwards, where, especially on the right rein, he might as well still be in shafts 😁

It doesn't help that the particular style of driving he has been taught is to fling himself into the harness as hard as he can and run fast with the legs trailing out behind.

It's the first time I've backed a horse that wasn't a blank slate and it's really interesting.

He's put his latest growth into substance not height, still 15.2 on the bum but a rug size longer and a girth size deeper. . He's a really solid little horse, going to be a proper sporting weight carrier. The kind nobody breeds any more. If I decide he's not a keeper I'm going to have my hands bitten off for him if he stays sound and as quiet as he is now.
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ycbm

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30 January 2015
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Poor little Joe is terrified of the clippers. He came with a driving clip but I was pretty sure from the look of some of it that he wasn't happy about it, and I was right. They must have twitched him to get what they did done. He's been very good. In 2 sessions of bribery I can now touch him with the running clippers on his upper front half. I'll be desensitisation training all this winter in the hope of getting a clip done without sedation next year.

I had tried him in a nice lozenge bit but he sticks his tongue over it constantly. I went back to a mullen snaffle today (curved with no joint) and he's much happier.

He's the stiffest horse I've ever trained! He seems unable to move in a straight line without throwing himself forward as if to push on a collar. We're spending a lot of time doing small walk circles to keep him relaxed and swiging. It's going to take some time to transfer that into straight lines and even longer into trot. That doesn't matter, he's only 3 and still bum high, he doesn't need any pressure at this point.

Blsnk slates are easier by far, but I love these new challenges, they are what keep me in horses :)
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Northern

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28 February 2013
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802
Miss B continues to grow up. Currently riding out twice a week, no lunging required 🙂 took her into the ménage today and was so pleased, no napping or baulking and we even cantered a few laps. Hoping to take her out to a few lessons and clinics this side of Christmas!

It was super humid so have a photo of the sweaty mess 😂

8CD952E1-2992-42E0-ACA7-CDD407024D89.jpeg
 

lannerch

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19 July 2008
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3,166
Location
Shropshire
Miss B continues to grow up. Currently riding out twice a week, no lunging required 🙂 took her into the ménage today and was so pleased, no napping or baulking and we even cantered a few laps. Hoping to take her out to a few lessons and clinics this side of Christmas!

It was super humid so have a photo of the sweaty mess 😂

View attachment 82321
Your making it look like summer northern how? She’s growing and filling out really nicely ❤️
 

lannerch

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19 July 2008
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3,166
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Shropshire
Poor little Joe is terrified of the clippers. He came with a driving clip but I was pretty sure from the look of some of it that he wasn't happy about it, and I was right. They must have twitched him to get what they did done. He's been very good. In 2 sessions of bribery I can now touch him with the running clippers on his upper front half. I'll be desensitisation training all this winter in the hope of getting a clip done without sedation next year.

I had tried him in a nice lozenge bit but he sticks his tongue over it constantly. I went back to a mullen snaffle today (curved with no joint) and he's much happier.

He's the stiffest horse I've ever trained! He seems unable to move in a straight line without throwing himself forward as if to push on a collar. We're spending a lot of time doing small walk circles to keep him relaxed and swiging. It's going to take some time to transfer that into straight lines and even longer into trot. That doesn't matter, he's only 3 and still bum high, he doesn't need any pressure at this point.

Blsnk slates are easier by far, but I love these new challenges, they are what keep me in horses :)
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Well done with you clipper training , my other horse ( now 18 ) who I bought as an unbroken 3yo from stud so no bad experiences ) never got used to the clippers , I tried everything including clicker training , desensitising starting with an electric toothbrush, working up but nothing worked as when I started clipping the hair even though he would let the clippers touch him on he freaked. After he permanently bent my finger I gave up, he had a very fine coat so mostly got away with it, he was clipped once in his life fully sedated but that was it and he’s now happy and retired.
 

alsxx

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7 January 2006
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3,077
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Kent
My boy came back home during the week from backing, he's now having a holiday in the field. Being away seems to have done him the world of good, he's definitely grown up a lot and not such a prat with my others in the field 🤣

Interestingly he took a bit longer through the lunging and long lining, but then sailed through the ridden work really quickly. He turned 3 in June so plan now is winter off and then pick up again in the spring when he'll be rising 4.
 

ycbm

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30 January 2015
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39,679
Well done with you clipper training , my other horse ( now 18 ) who I bought as an unbroken 3yo from stud so no bad experiences ) never got used to the clippers , I tried everything including clicker training , desensitising starting with an electric toothbrush, working up but nothing worked as when I started clipping the hair even though he would let the clippers touch him on he freaked. After he permanently bent my finger I gave up, he had a very fine coat so mostly got away with it, he was clipped once in his life fully sedated but that was it and he’s now happy and retired.
Unfortunately Joe is a proper woolly bear, with masses of very fine silky coat. He sweats up in walk, so a clip next year is going to be vital. I'll do my best to desensitise him, but he really is frightened and I have a horrible s feeling he's going to cost quite a lot in Domosedan!
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MarvelVillis

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25 July 2019
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142
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Devon
My 4 year old feels like he's come on leaps and bounds since moving yards a few weeks ago. We had our first canter in the school which was really exciting! It wasn't pretty but it's something else ticked off. We've been going on lovely hacks on Dartmoor, and I've felt confident enough to take him out by himself now we have some quiet country lanes for hacking. He had his first grown up clip and stood like a lamb for it, I didn't have to tie him up for it either, he just stood nice and quiet and had the odd munch on his hay. Plan on dropping the school work for winter and hack out 2/3 times a week to give him a bit of a break this year. Think he is going a bit bum high again too.
marvel.jpg
 

lannerch

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19 July 2008
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Shropshire
My 4 year old feels like he's come on leaps and bounds since moving yards a few weeks ago. We had our first canter in the school which was really exciting! It wasn't pretty but it's something else ticked off. We've been going on lovely hacks on Dartmoor, and I've felt confident enough to take him out by himself now we have some quiet country lanes for hacking. He had his first grown up clip and stood like a lamb for it, I didn't have to tie him up for it either, he just stood nice and quiet and had the odd munch on his hay. Plan on dropping the school work for winter and hack out 2/3 times a week to give him a bit of a break this year. Think he is going a bit bum high again too.
View attachment 82420
That’s exactly my plan with Layla to , he’s maturing into a very fine looking animal ❤️
 

daffy44

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12 August 2011
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Warwickshire
Every video you post I fall more in love with the Mule!

Another lesson for my 4yr old yesterday, and I was so proud of him, I just love his attitude, he hasnt done much since the last lesson due to his poorly eye taking much longer than expected to clear up, but every time he goes out he just gets better. He trys so hard to please, and he worked really well, our first lesson where I felt we were doing proper training rather then drunken wobbling, I also had slightly rubbish traffic both ways, so he was on the lorry rather longer than ideal, and not a peep out of him, I was delighted with him, hes growing up just as I would like.
 

TheMule

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14 October 2009
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4,113
My 4 year old feels like he's come on leaps and bounds since moving yards a few weeks ago. We had our first canter in the school which was really exciting! It wasn't pretty but it's something else ticked off. We've been going on lovely hacks on Dartmoor, and I've felt confident enough to take him out by himself now we have some quiet country lanes for hacking. He had his first grown up clip and stood like a lamb for it, I didn't have to tie him up for it either, he just stood nice and quiet and had the odd munch on his hay. Plan on dropping the school work for winter and hack out 2/3 times a week to give him a bit of a break this year. Think he is going a bit bum high again too.
View attachment 82420
He's looking really grown up- definitely going up a bit behind though!
 

TheMule

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14 October 2009
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Every video you post I fall more in love with the Mule!

Another lesson for my 4yr old yesterday, and I was so proud of him, I just love his attitude, he hasnt done much since the last lesson due to his poorly eye taking much longer than expected to clear up, but every time he goes out he just gets better. He trys so hard to please, and he worked really well, our first lesson where I felt we were doing proper training rather then drunken wobbling, I also had slightly rubbish traffic both ways, so he was on the lorry rather longer than ideal, and not a peep out of him, I was delighted with him, hes growing up just as I would like.
You can’t not love the mule!
Sounds like your boy is coming on really well. I love it when they just come out straightforward and willing to try, makes the whole thing so enjoyable.
 
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