Backing 3/4yr olds

shortstuff99

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Thought this might interest some. This is potato, top picture at 3.5 years old (around 15.2) and second is 10 years later to the day ( thanks Facebook memories!). She is about 16 hands now. She has the biggest shoulder/barrel I have ever met on a horse, you can see the outline of her ribs in the picture but not sure she will ever look slim 😬. She is PRE x TB.

I will do a comparison of Bean soon as she herself is now 3.5.

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LadyGascoyne

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Thought this might interest some. This is potato, top picture at 3.5 years old (around 15.2) and second is 10 years later to the day ( thanks Facebook memories!). She is about 16 hands now. She has the biggest shoulder/barrel I have ever met on a horse, you can see the outline of her ribs in the picture but not sure she will ever look slim 😬. She is PRE x TB.

I will do a comparison of Bean soon as she herself is now 3.5.

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Gosh that’s amazing! She’s a gorgeous horse.
 

Caol Ila

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That gives me hope Hermosa will fill out.

We turned her and foal loose in the arena and showed them an umbrella. Let them both make their own decisions about investigating. Hermosa now thinks that when I wave bizarre objects at her, her job is to approach, touch the object with her nose, then recieve a treat. She considered the umbrella for a moment, then played the game. We opened it, closed it, held it over our heads, even got her to stick her nose under it. She could give Foinavon lessons on how to cope with umbrellas.
 

maya2008

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I need to locate an umbrella before I can introduce our little pony to one! She's learning to long-rein at the moment and walking out in-hand to see traffic and explore the world. Planning on just that for a good long time yet, so you'll all go way past us with all the ridden stuff I'm sure! Today she long-reined around the arena, weaving in and out of jump blocks and coping with the kids playing tag around her, in front of her, behind her... All good training to be a kids' pony, the more noise and jumping around the better. Best bit was where she took the initiative to divert slightly to avoid their current game - I allowed that, because I do want her to make sensible decisions when my daughter is eventually on board. She's likely to get sketchy instructions at best, so will need to be the grown-up in that situation!
 

daffy44

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Well, my four yr old signs off from this thread after a really good lesson yesterday, I'm very happy with where he is, he was backed in April, and is turning into a very nice horse. Easy to do in all respects, hacks out nicely, groundwork is good, and in our lesson yesterday did some much steeper leg yields which he made feel very easy, and his first proper medium trots which he absolutely aced! He is showing really nice natural ability, and more importantly, he has a fantastic willing attitude which makes him so trainable. I find it so rewarding having my horses from foals and helping them develop into good citizens.

He is a bit of a slow burner physically, and whilst he has good bone he is just a big empty frame at the moment, and both trainer and I think he wont show what he is really like until he is about seven. He is also just starting another growth spurt at the moment, so he is due a few easy weeks, just gentle hacking and a lot of eating and sleeping.

I am currently looking for a new horse, so I may have another youngster for this thread at some point this year, but for this guy, he is going to be too old!
 

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TheMule

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Well, my four yr old signs off from this thread after a really good lesson yesterday, I'm very happy with where he is, he was backed in April, and is turning into a very nice horse. Easy to do in all respects, hacks out nicely, groundwork is good, and in our lesson yesterday did some much steeper leg yields which he made feel very easy, and his first proper medium trots which he absolutely aced! He is showing really nice natural ability, and more importantly, he has a fantastic willing attitude which makes him so trainable. I find it so rewarding having my horses from foals and helping them develop into good citizens.

He is a bit of a slow burner physically, and whilst he has good bone he is just a big empty frame at the moment, and both trainer and I think he wont show what he is really like until he is about seven. He is also just starting another growth spurt at the moment, so he is due a few easy weeks, just gentle hacking and a lot of eating and sleeping.

I am currently looking for a new horse, so I may have another youngster for this thread at some point this year, but for this guy, he is going to be too old!
Great news, what a good boy! It's amazing how much time they need to develop and mature, you just have to keep being patient when they show so much promise
See you on the 5/6yrs olds thread 😁
 

daffy44

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Great news, what a good boy! It's amazing how much time they need to develop and mature, you just have to keep being patient when they show so much promise
See you on the 5/6yrs olds thread 😁
Absolutely! And they are all so different, its what keeps things endlessly interesting, this guys half brother looked like a grown up chunk at the same stage that this one is a lanky streak of nothing. But its fine by me, I have all the time and patience in the world for my horses, and I think a lot of this guy, he is well worth the wait.
 

TheMule

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So, my 2 officially graduate off this thread today (can’t believe I own two 5yr olds 😲). I'm so glad I started it as it has been so nice to share their journey with other people and to see the stories of lots of other young forum horses.

Quick summary-

Nova has been so easy from day 1. He has a bit of sass and I have no doubt there will be challenging times ahead as we start to venture out more but he is a real trier and I love training him. When I posted on this forum asking for stallion suggestions for his mother many years ago most of the advice I got was to not breed from her. But I won the genetic lottery with him as he has all of things I loved about her combined with what I really admire in his sire.
He is only just coming back into work after his winter break but he feels stronger and ready to do more so 🤞he'll begin his competition career later this year.

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And Emulate has ended 2021 by going to her first dressage show (and coming 5th out of 15- most likely our greatest ever competitive achievement 😂) and then an SJ show. She was a bit overwhelmed and shut down on me but we'll get there, she's just one that really thrives off confidence and is a bit donkey-minded when she doesn’t feel confident (read: stubborn)
She was much more sensitive to back and has been taken slower because of the above, but she is now generally a really easy little thing who is just great fun to do everything with. She's now having a winter break as she has had a busy couple of months so probably won’t get properly going again until Easter.

See you on the 5/6yr olds thread 😁

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j1ffy

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Chilli’s also graduating from this thread.

We celebrated his last official 4yo day with his first tinsel hack. Bless him, he’d had a month out 24/7 so you’d think it might be a bit of a shock to come in, have (some of) the mud scraped off and go for a hack. Add to that an I introduction to tinsel and some hi-jinx would have been forgivable.

My only moment of worry was when a string of tinsel began to rapidly disappear into his mouth 😂. He was hoof perfect and seemed happy to be out again, even a pigeon flying out of a hedge right in front of his head wasn’t a bother.

I’ll hack a bit in Jan then pick up properly in Feb. See you on the 5/6 yo thread!

https://youtube.com/shorts/LwgAkWi0MgQ?feature=share
 

alsxx

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I now have 4 year old! Fly is still chilling in the field, although likes to come and see what's going on particularly when the little people are about! I'm willing him to grow a bit more too, he's maybe 14.3hh at a push 🤣

He has 2 little wolf teeth that need to come out before the spring so a little day trip to the vets planned for Feb. I found one of his milk caps at the bottom of the trough the other day, a nice little keepsake. Weather dependant, re-backing for the spring and then see where we end up. I'm quite keen to put him on livery somewhere for the facilities (versus at home with none), however with his sticky stifle he might be better at home where he can live out but with some regular boxing to the local EC. I guess I'll just have to play it by ear and see how he's progressing at home.
 

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lannerch

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Probably my last update on this thread too since we'll graduate into the 5yos in January.

Isaac went to play xc on the technique arenas at Somerford today. He had an absolute ball and got to finish by doing lots of his favourite thing - jumping into water 😂

He's very natural xc - he's efficient over a fence, naturally brave and stays straight to a skinny too.

Do I dare to dream about what might be possible in the future??!

He looks absolutely superb rachelferd how exciting
 

lannerch

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Layla is graduating from this thread to, she is going through a little bit demoralising stage where out hacking she has lost a little bit of her confidence and she is also getting rather lazy in the arena.
Her work has been stepped right back so maybe she got too used to it and now I am asking her to do a bit more again she is struggling.
She was doing so well it’s so easy to forget she is still very young and sometime s I expect too much. She feels most of the time like an older horse to ride I have to remember she is not that she is a baby.
Will continue to follow this thread and look forward to seeing my fellow graduates on the next .
Thanks for all your help and support.
Not got a recent picture of Layla ridden but here she is a week ago a little bit different from the gangly 3yo shown in the last picture when we first joined the thread.
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windand rain

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Kitten moves up to the 4 year old bit having done very well yesterday walking straight onto the lorry she had never been in a 7.5 ton as a foal she arrived in a 3.5 and had to be carried on we had a trailer at the time so loaded her in that then Covid hit just after we bought the lorry so never got round to trying her. She is going to the vets on 19th with her mate to have her teeth done by the dentist, at the vets as we dont have usable indoor space in bad weather. The naughty one graduates to the 5 year old thread but she was a very late foal and very immature when she arrived age 3
 
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rara007

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Also graduating out, fluffy and happy, and onto her new home at the weekend. It’s been a great journey with her but it’s time for her to go and shine at what she was bred to do. I doubt I’ll afford something with her hind leg again! She’s a top class little horse and even enjoyed her foray into driving but sadly I don’t have the set up to make it work for something totally green I can’t ride (I’m still fat).

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j1ffy

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Also graduating out, fluffy and happy, and onto her new home at the weekend. It’s been a great journey with her but it’s time for her to go and shine at what she was bred to do. I doubt I’ll afford something with her hind leg again! She’s a top class little horse and even enjoyed her foray into driving but sadly I don’t have the set up to make it work for something totally green I can’t ride (I’m still fat).

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Sad to see that you're selling her as she's a beauty and it's been fun following your journey! I hope she goes on to good success and happiness in her new home, it's can't be easy saying goodbye
 

ycbm

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My dressage horse was a Riccione, he was the most beautiful mover and a very sweet character and she looks very like him.
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maya2008

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My little 3yo was very grown-up today. It was just me with her and my two children, walking down the busy main road (HGVs, coaches, buses…) then off onto the hacking. She decided that two children needed two adults looking out for them, so she had better be an adult today…and looked out for them the whole way round, worrying if they were ahead or behind, and even ‘telling off’ a lorry that whooshed past too fast on the way back!

It is nice to feel that she and I are a team, I hope that by the time we have finished all the months of in-hand stuff, that she will trust me enough to run to me if she is worried, like my daughter’s current pony does!

Oh…and how do you put photos up here?
 

windand rain

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Kitten is now a big girl as good as gold for the saddle fitter, an absolute star travelling to the vet to be sedated for her teeth. Small blip in her training to keep her feet on the floor then the vets handler grabbed at her head so up she went. Great for the dentist and coming home. Her biggest learning curve was the vets is on a farm with pigs (no notice) donkeys again not bothered but cows with frisky calves that popped up and down in a deep straw bed had her eyes on stalks. Ignored them eventually but she was funny
 

maya2008

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My little one has just come home from my friend’s yard. First time in the lorry with another horse and with the partition in. Was a little unsure, but food conquered all! Was very pleased to be home.

She no longer needs a secure space for long reining or learning to lead, as we can walk/trot/canter with no issue led off another horse and long-rein confidently. So now phase two begins - getting fit while being led off the others and learning about the wider world while she’s at it.

She has grown 2 inches since the beginning of December so I am very curious as to how big she will end up!
 

daffy44

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Out of a Riccione mare by the pony stallion Validos Highlight. I got her direct from warendorf and she’s just wonderful!
She looks so like the two I know by Validos Highlight! He obviously stamps his offspring very well, the two I know are absolutely gorgeous FEI dressage ponies, and one was on a few European teams.
 

Caol Ila

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We weaned Caso two weeks ago and I feel a bit down about Hermosa’s condition. She looks so weak and weedy compared to other 3 year old PREs I’ve seen. I’m really hoping she picks up soon now that she’s no longer expending tons of energy producing milk.

The BAPSH registrar advised me to wean at 4/5 months for this reason, but I don’t see how that would have been possible or safe. We’re not on a proper stud farm and didn’t have ideal weaning facilities- duh! I felt we had to wait until Caso was mentally independent enough to cope with the yard’s set-up. The weaning was totally undramatic so we got that right at least.

I’m just playing with a bit of groundwork these days. She’s seen the giant yoga ball and took it in her stride.

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daffy44

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Well it didnt take long, my lovely boy graduated from this thread, and now I have a new addition, a delightful rising four yr old mare who has been wth me now for just over a week. She is backed, which is earlier then I would have chosen, but not the end of the world, so far she is proving to be pretty much perfect in every way, her only flaw is that she is quite small, I have gambled on her growing, and certainly, given her age, filling out a lot, because I'll be gutted if she remains too small.
This year will be a very easy one, lots of field time, resting, eating, (and hopefully growing!) lots of hacking, some ground work, and later in the year hopefully some arena hires and a lesson or two, but my main aim for the year is for us to get to know each other, and start to build a partnership, because its odd for me to not have had the horse since a foal.
 

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maya2008

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We weaned Caso two weeks ago and I feel a bit down about Hermosa’s condition. She looks so weak and weedy compared to other 3 year old PREs I’ve seen. I’m really hoping she picks up soon now that she’s no longer expending tons of energy producing milk.

The BAPSH registrar advised me to wean at 4/5 months for this reason, but I don’t see how that would have been possible or safe. We’re not on a proper stud farm and didn’t have ideal weaning facilities- duh! I felt we had to wait until Caso was mentally independent enough to cope with the yard’s set-up. The weaning was totally undramatic so we got that right at least.

I’m just playing with a bit of groundwork these days. She’s seen the giant yoga ball and took it in her stride.

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I am sure she will put on weight (and maybe height) very quickly now Caso is weaned. We weaned our foal at five and a half months old at the beginning of December, and my 3yo has grown 2 inches and put on a lot of muscle and condition (she was thinner than Hermosa looks in your picture) in only a month and a half.

I am sure you will have pics of Hermosa looking truly amazing by March/April!
 
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