Backing 3/4yr olds

TheMule

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The mule had a bit of a makeover yesterday- the weather has been so mild and she's so fluffy so I haven’t been able to rug her but she is a mud monster so I wanted to get a bit of hair off so I have half a chance when I'm short on time and want to ride. She was as good as gold to bath and clip ⭐️
And today I took her to a test riding session just to give her a bit more exposure to working around other horses and she was great again. She's entered for her first dressage test in a fortnight. It will be a rough approximation of Intro A as we have a definite left drift still 😂
She finished up by popping a few new fences with fillers etc without batting an eyelid

6110B260-C6D6-46B9-B9E0-BB886186BB89.jpeg
 

ihatework

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Very exciting- are they booked into school yet?
Not really! Millie will only go once she is very much in foal, but my preferred ‘school’ is still pretty bust up.

Turnip has drawn the short (money saving) straw and will be going to IHWs home schooling academy (assuming she remains as bombproof as she has been so far)
 

TheMule

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Not really! Millie will only go once she is very much in foal, but my preferred ‘school’ is still pretty bust up.

Turnip has drawn the short (money saving) straw and will be going to IHWs home schooling academy (assuming she remains as bombproof as she has been so far)
Millie baby 😍 Baby daddy chosen yet?
I think Turnip will be good fun to watch you educate
 

j1ffy

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(Whispers) I think we may be through the other side of the napping phase. Fingers and toes all crossed. We had a lesson at home two weeks ago with no napping and some much more relaxed walk and trot, so we left it there. Been in the school three times since with similar results and not even the smallest hint of thinking about napping. I'm going to continue with that for another week or so then hopefully another lesson and maybe reintroduce some canter.

Hacking continues to be brilliant. We boxed out for a cafe hack yesterday and the first bridleway turned out to be a nightmare - heavily rutted, overgrown and a semi-fallen hedge in one place. I ended up flat against his neck gripping the bottom of the next strap to get through a particularly narrow and low section and he kept walking, negotiated it all then waited for his buddy on the other side. Led a couple of trots and canters while his 'wing man', 16yo Pocholo, bounced and leapt behind him, and led P past some scary geese on the road.

Brilliant at the cafe, he stood quietly and only very politely tried to steal cake 🤣. He was lovely with a big family who wanted to pat him. Wasn't keen on me mounting from a concrete 'mushroom' but stood still for me to mount from the ground - it's the first time I've tried to do so and was good to know that I have enough bounce to do it when needed! I was beaming from ear to ear when we got back, I love a good hacking horse, it's a great mental break from work and schooling.

A few photos from our hack (sorry for the random blocking out of faces, I don't like to share other people on a public forum without explicit permission).

Childrey hack Nov 2021.jpg
 

RachelFerd

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Hacking photos look great @j1ffy ... And loving the Mule as ever!

Isaac did a BD combined training comp at the weekend and finished mid-div with a 65% dressage and a clear round 80cm SJ, although very green with the shock of how quickly things come up indoors!

Still having niggly contact issues - but nothing as dramatic as a few weeks ago, so I'll keep plugging away and hope it all improves with strength. On the plus side I enjoy jumping him now - I really didn't back in May/June time!!
 

TheMule

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(Whispers) I think we may be through the other side of the napping phase. Fingers and toes all crossed. We had a lesson at home two weeks ago with no napping and some much more relaxed walk and trot, so we left it there. Been in the school three times since with similar results and not even the smallest hint of thinking about napping. I'm going to continue with that for another week or so then hopefully another lesson and maybe reintroduce some canter.

Hacking continues to be brilliant. We boxed out for a cafe hack yesterday and the first bridleway turned out to be a nightmare - heavily rutted, overgrown and a semi-fallen hedge in one place. I ended up flat against his neck gripping the bottom of the next strap to get through a particularly narrow and low section and he kept walking, negotiated it all then waited for his buddy on the other side. Led a couple of trots and canters while his 'wing man', 16yo Pocholo, bounced and leapt behind him, and led P past some scary geese on the road.

Brilliant at the cafe, he stood quietly and only very politely tried to steal cake 🤣. He was lovely with a big family who wanted to pat him. Wasn't keen on me mounting from a concrete 'mushroom' but stood still for me to mount from the ground - it's the first time I've tried to do so and was good to know that I have enough bounce to do it when needed! I was beaming from ear to ear when we got back, I love a good hacking horse, it's a great mental break from work and schooling.

A few photos from our hack (sorry for the random blocking out of faces, I don't like to share other people on a public forum without explicit permission).

View attachment 82782
🤞 all napping out the system- cute hacking photos!
 

TheMule

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Hacking photos look great @j1ffy ... And loving the Mule as ever!

Isaac did a BD combined training comp at the weekend and finished mid-div with a 65% dressage and a clear round 80cm SJ, although very green with the shock of how quickly things come up indoors!

Still having niggly contact issues - but nothing as dramatic as a few weeks ago, so I'll keep plugging away and hope it all improves with strength. On the plus side I enjoy jumping him now - I really didn't back in May/June time!!
He's really cute- he clearly takes his confidence from you which is lovely to see
 

alsxx

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Lovely to see all these grown up 4 year olds, something to aspire to! My boy is very much enjoying his holiday as you can see 😁 but can't wait for next year!

We seem to have a bit of an issue with a slightly locking stifle. I think where he was largely stabled while being broken its brought it to light. He came in a night last week as had farrier first thing and it kept locking, but touch wood he seems fine when out 24/7. Not ideal as he'll need to come in at night once the weather turns wet as our grazing gets too wet. I know it's quite common in youngsters but can't help but worry it'll be an issue 😕
 

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ycbm

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I rode Joe today, first time since November 4th. I wonder how many 3 year olds would be completely blasé about that?

I'm working on relaxation and suppleness so there are a lot of one rein, nose towards my knee, cowboy turns going on, each time he sets and stomps. That worked really well in walk and then translated directly to trot. He's finding a bounce in the trot now that he isn't piling into his forehand, and his neck just naturally arches and his head drops. I'm beginning to have some quite high hopes of his paces.

But he's lost his canter. Last time and the time before he just popped into canter on each rein. This time he went into driving trot and that is very fast but it really isn't fun! I tried a few times but canter just wasn't happening today, so I went back to balancing the trot and finished after a lovely few strides on each rein. The canter will come back some time, I'm in no rush.

He's gone down a gullet plate size as his wither starts to rise, so now he's "only" in a 5, 8 sizes up from the narrowest one. He's a solid boy, really deep through the girth, table top back, huge ribcage and already a lot more bone than Ludo, who is 16.2. Super solid feet, lovely temperament, I'm still waiting to find out what the catch is for what he cost ........ 🤷
.
 

RachelFerd

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@ycbm I think it's pretty normal for the canter to come and go a bit with the babies as they grow and change shape and have to find new balance. His temperament sounds wonderful though.

Isaac returned to the same venue for a BS show at the weekend. I know I'm biased but I think he's a quick learner as feel he immediately looks more grown up and confident. Unfortunately we had a tack malfunction when his martingale attachment snapped. I'm blaming the pole he had down on having a big flap of leather hitting him in the legs. What a good boy for carrying on without a fuss!


Video carries on to show older horse jumping bigger classes - that is not baby horse doing 3 rounds 😂
 

TheMule

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Lovely to see all these grown up 4 year olds, something to aspire to! My boy is very much enjoying his holiday as you can see 😁 but can't wait for next year!

We seem to have a bit of an issue with a slightly locking stifle. I think where he was largely stabled while being broken its brought it to light. He came in a night last week as had farrier first thing and it kept locking, but touch wood he seems fine when out 24/7. Not ideal as he'll need to come in at night once the weather turns wet as our grazing gets too wet. I know it's quite common in youngsters but can't help but worry it'll be an issue 😕
Thats a bit of a pain- I would try to do lots of in hand strengthening exercises if you can when he has to be in. Mine doesnt lock his stifle but he has a slight weakness that I do loads of 'physio' for- lots of backing up, slow walking over raised poles and shoulder in/ out work
 

TheMule

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I rode Joe today, first time since November 4th. I wonder how many 3 year olds would be completely blasé about that?

I'm working on relaxation and suppleness so there are a lot of one rein, nose towards my knee, cowboy turns going on, each time he sets and stomps. That worked really well in walk and then translated directly to trot. He's finding a bounce in the trot now that he isn't piling into his forehand, and his neck just naturally arches and his head drops. I'm beginning to have some quite high hopes of his paces.

But he's lost his canter. Last time and the time before he just popped into canter on each rein. This time he went into driving trot and that is very fast but it really isn't fun! I tried a few times but canter just wasn't happening today, so I went back to balancing the trot and finished after a lovely few strides on each rein. The canter will come back some time, I'm in no rush.

He's gone down a gullet plate size as his wither starts to rise, so now he's "only" in a 5, 8 sizes up from the narrowest one. He's a solid boy, really deep through the girth, table top back, huge ribcage and already a lot more bone than Ludo, who is 16.2. Super solid feet, lovely temperament, I'm still waiting to find out what the catch is for what he cost ........ 🤷
.
I agree with RF, I've found the canter can come and go. My mule has temporarily lost left canter. I'm just leaving it alone and she'll find it again. The joys of babies! He sounds super otherwise
 

TheMule

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@ycbm I think it's pretty normal for the canter to come and go a bit with the babies as they grow and change shape and have to find new balance. His temperament sounds wonderful though.

Isaac returned to the same venue for a BS show at the weekend. I know I'm biased but I think he's a quick learner as feel he immediately looks more grown up and confident. Unfortunately we had a tack malfunction when his martingale attachment snapped. I'm blaming the pole he had down on having a big flap of leather hitting him in the legs. What a good boy for carrying on without a fuss!


Video carries on to show older horse jumping bigger classes - that is not baby horse doing 3 rounds 😂
He has really improved from the previous time, great to see him learn so fast!
 

TPO

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A ray of sunshine 🌞
Thats a bit of a pain- I would try to do lots of in hand strengthening exercises if you can when he has to be in. Mine doesnt lock his stifle but he has a slight weakness that I do loads of 'physio' for- lots of backing up, slow walking over raised poles and shoulder in/ out work
Tarrsteps shared a post on fb from Vet Physio Phyle the other day about strengthening groundwork. VPP is selling an ebook with a programme of works for £20.

Her page is definitely worth a follow
 

TheMule

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My mule went and did her first bit of arena xc last week. It was a bit spur of the moment and we only had 20mins arena time which wasn’t enough but we jumped the full course of SJs with a couple of new fences in no problem- especially pleasing as the sun was very low so there were shadow monsters! We ended up with a few of the rustics conquered too, though it did take a bit of bribery to get over the first log. Once she understands she's fine forever so I just need to help her recognize the solution to new questions without resorting to getting off and coaxing over with pony nuts 😂

She has her very first competition on Sunday- Intro A dressage test 😳

C90E9109-EE0B-407E-BDEF-7261A266A193.jpeg
1C9D1108-30C6-476B-8280-ABC6B2738371.jpeg
 

RachelFerd

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My mule went and did her first bit of arena xc last week. It was a bit spur of the moment and we only had 20mins arena time which wasn’t enough but we jumped the full course of SJs with a couple of new fences in no problem- especially pleasing as the sun was very low so there were shadow monsters! We ended up with a few of the rustics conquered too, though it did take a bit of bribery to get over the first log. Once she understands she's fine forever so I just need to help her recognize the solution to new questions without resorting to getting off and coaxing over with pony nuts 😂

She has her very first competition on Sunday- Intro A dressage test 😳

View attachment 83078
View attachment 83079
It must be really interesting from a training perspective having a slightly different take on how to get the messages to work! She does look great though!
 

TheMule

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It must be really interesting from a training perspective having a slightly different take on how to get the messages to work! She does look great though!
She is interesting- you can’t just kick her over like you would a horse because she's genuinely worried, but if you show her the way (which, as I'm normally on my own, currently consists of me getting off and hopping over it myself) then she's fine with that one and all others like it. In the Spring she can just go follow a horse around lots of little xc fences and she'll get the hang of it. I suspect ditches and water will be a long project though 😂
 

alsxx

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Thats a bit of a pain- I would try to do lots of in hand strengthening exercises if you can when he has to be in. Mine doesnt lock his stifle but he has a slight weakness that I do loads of 'physio' for- lots of backing up, slow walking over raised poles and shoulder in/ out work
It is really, we don't have a school so come the depths of winter I think I might have to get imaginative on the driveway! I may just have to leave his stable door open so he can mooch in and out on the yard.. Luckily he doesn't fully lock with it stuck out backwards, he still stands on it but slightly base wide on that leg, he seems to have figured out how to unlock it by stepping back, but still a pain nonetheless. Vet coming next week for the girls so will mention it then.
 

Caol Ila

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That's tractors, off the list. Over the summer, we had negotiated a few tractors when walking Hermosa and Caso between the turnout field and the barn. It was a bit heartstopping, at first.

Today, we took them on a walk and two tractors were going back and forth, between one farm and another. They were big ones, dragging big trailers full of muck. Hermosa was cool as a cool thing. Didn't even tense up. Nibbled at some grass while we were standing on a verge as one rolled past. She's so smart and brave. The baby was more worried but he was fine so long as we parked him up against mum. I see why PREs are so popular for TV.

Some very nice ones on the new Wheel of Time series.
 

MarvelVillis

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I had my first canter on my 4 year old out on a hack which was very exciting. Is it the best feeling ever?! Did try it a couple of months ago but he threw in an almighty buck going into canter and I came off. Wasn't able to try it again for a couple of months (due to not so great hacking at the last yard), but we've since moved and now have Dartmoor to explore. He went into canter straight away after asking, no bucks, and he felt nice and controlled the entire time. He felt strong and balanced too, such an improvement from a few months ago. Just need to invest in a Go Pro now to get some footage!
 

Hormonal Filly

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Times flies!!
I’ve got 2 to join this thread soon 😱
Do you class them as a year older from 1st Jan or from their birthdays? Mines ‘technically’ 4 in May 2022.. but lots of people class them as a year older from the start of the year!

My filly (3) has been going out on walks once a week and long lined once a week. We usually only do straight lines on the private land and walk around the arena to get her use to it, but I did do a few circles in the arena and was super chuffed with how she went. Contact was very loose, although photo appears not.

When she arrived from Ireland as soon as the bridle went on her head was up in the air, and she just wanted to run. She now walks and trots to voice and has started to accept the contact and froff on the bit. I also bought a new bridle last week, a Collegiate Comfort and it fits nicely.

I also got my trailer out for some practice fully accepting it might take a while. She walked straight in! No sniffs, no anticipation.. gob smacked. Lots of treats were involved. I might box her up the road just to eat some fresh grass soon, all good experiences!

How do you all post photos without coming up with a error they’re to big?

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