Backing 3/4yr olds

milliepops

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this mane! :oops:
Quietly tinkering along together. yesterday he went outdoors as the key to continuity is being able to use either school ;) we just stuck to groundwork outside as it's still slightly exciting with so much to look at. But today it was really quiet inside so a good time to hop on again. i need to keep up the momentum now i think, even if it's just baby steps each time. today we had a steering failure but he ambled down the long side quite happily so we just repeated that a few times. Next time I'll be firmer about turning :p as we are flying solo atm we both need good experiences so aiming quite low on the ambition scale ;)

 

alsxx

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Feel like I'm making very slow progress here with my rising 4 year old compared to everyone 🤣

We've been pootling along at home doing some baby lunging sessions over the past few weeks. Been a bit stop start, illness on my part, rain meaning the field was too wet etc, but actually that might be a good thing as when life gets in the way and if I can't ride him for a week, he needs to deal with that. Definitely feeling that his trust and confidence in me is much improved and he's been making steady progress, hoping to progress to introducing an extra line this week before moving on to longlining.

I have decided to send him away again though for the rebacking part and getting him going, I just don't have the help and our environment isn't the best set up, we are straight out onto roads. He should be going end of month so just going to continue plodding along until then, and see where we get to. Maybe by the time he's 5 I might actually be riding him 🤦‍♀️ 20220410_190910.jpg
 

milliepops

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Mine is already 4!
we stalled for the same reason as you, i had no facilities last year and although i now have a suitable place for backing, i still have pretty much no help. it felt completely insurmountable to begin with, like, he couldn't figure out what i was on about when i started trying to lunge on the right rein, he just didn't get it. having someone to lead him round a bit would have made that SO much easier.
Anyway, they catch up well enough, a bit of a slow start won't matter in the long run.
 

alsxx

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Mine is already 4!
we stalled for the same reason as you, i had no facilities last year and although i now have a suitable place for backing, i still have pretty much no help.

Anyway, they catch up well enough, a bit of a slow start won't matter in the long run.
They do, and I'm sure having a slower start isn't the end of the world, they are still physically developing I guess.

It's so hard without help and facilities! The facilities isn't so much the end of the world but the lack of help definitely can be. Luckily he was backed in the autumn so it's just been a refresher so easy enough to do, but with his tendency to go up when stressed, I just can't face taking him out by myself. At best I think I'll get as far as long reining round the fields. Once he's been rebacked and schooled on a bit I'm 90% sure I'll put him at a livery yard rather than at home until he's got a little bit more mileage under his belt.
 

milliepops

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Lack of help is the reason I put mine up for sale, I couldn't see a way through it that would guarantee (as much as possible) that he'd get the start that he deserves. But there were
so.
many.
timewasters 🙄🙈

so here we are. It has helped me having a slightly tricky older horse to ride because its given me the self belief I needed to overcome the helper problem. Moving to a yard sounds like a good option. Hopefully you'll find some nice people to nanny you etc then 😁
 

Caol Ila

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Your progress is faster than mine, alsxx! My rising four-year old hasn't even been backed yet. Not even bitted up! I have some long reins coming in the post next week, but then I will have to wait until I can round up another person to help me start her in them. She does single line lunging (on a cavesson) like a pro, but I'd rather have someone at her head when I first start her in the long reins.
 

shortstuff99

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Don't worry, they all go at different rates! To be honest I haven't done that much with Bean (4 in May) as my older horse has been going so well I've been focusing on her. I can now lean over and walk up and down the school. Lunging is still a work in progress as all she wants to do is stand next to me so I rope dad in to walk her round the outside whilst I stand in the middle.
 

alsxx

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I shall cease feeling like I'm holding him up in that case! I think he needs a slow and steady year anyway, he's weak in his stifles and he'll definitely benefit from lots of slow and steady hacking and building up his strength. I'm praying we don't run into any issues with them!!
 

ycbm

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I shall cease feeling like I'm holding him up in that case! I think he needs a slow and steady year anyway, he's weak in his stifles and he'll definitely benefit from lots of slow and steady hacking and building up his strength. I'm praying we don't run into any issues with them!!
I hardly rode my 7 year old at 4 much. I bought another horse to get him through to 5 before we asked him to do much work. I was unhappy with how my trainer was asking me to push him at 6 and backed right off training him, and this year at 7 he is feeling like a different and far more powerful horse.

Less work at 4 isn't going to hurt him.
.
 

daffy44

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I'm very pleased with my little 4yr old,we have been going slowly and getting to know each other, her work in the school is good, but she was only used to hacking in company, so with me she has to learn to hack alone. She was not convinved at first, and was stopping every few minutes, so I've given her time and as we have gained confidence in each other she was got better and better. Now she has remembered that she loves hacking and she is marching along very cheerfully, with no stopping at all, I'm proud of her, and so pleased that our partnership is coming along well.
 

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lannerch

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I'm very pleased with my little 4yr old,we have been going slowly and getting to know each other, her work in the school is good, but she was only used to hacking in company, so with me she has to learn to hack alone. She was not convinved at first, and was stopping every few minutes, so I've given her time and as we have gained confidence in each other she was got better and better. Now she has remembered that she loves hacking and she is marching along very cheerfully, with no stopping at all, I'm proud of her, and so pleased that our partnership is coming along well.
Wow that is really good daffy , sounds like you’ve built up a lovely partnership.
 
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Freya had been doing so well 🤣 until she had a little break after having her wolf teeth out. It seems she thought her ridden career had finished and was enjoying retirement at the grand old age of 4!

I can't say I'm not disheartened as she had started to really work forward and off my leg in the school

She has had a couple of nice hacks, but gets very confused when we trot and would rather stand and watch the nannying horse trot around the fields rather than join in 🙈

I suppose I can't complain, she has been SO easy to this point. I'm thinking she's just going to be one that needs consistent work 2-3 times a week rather than having lots of mini breaks (that or she is just very reluctant to work when in season!)


Any tips for dealing with sticky babies are much appreciated!
 

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maya2008

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Freya had been doing so well 🤣 until she had a little break after having her wolf teeth out. It seems she thought her ridden career had finished and was enjoying retirement at the grand old age of 4!

I can't say I'm not disheartened as she had started to really work forward and off my leg in the school

She has had a couple of nice hacks, but gets very confused when we trot and would rather stand and watch the nannying horse trot around the fields rather than join in 🙈

I suppose I can't complain, she has been SO easy to this point. I'm thinking she's just going to be one that needs consistent work 2-3 times a week rather than having lots of mini breaks (that or she is just very reluctant to work when in season!)


Any tips for dealing with sticky babies are much appreciated!
I would triple check that nothing hurts (saddle, hijinks in the field…) then get going nicely on the ground again before you do so under saddle.

Young horses can change shape saddle-wise so so fast, that it is very likely it could be the saddle. That would be your simplest solution! I would also get her mouth looked at again/see if she will go forward ridden/lunged off a cavesson given the coincidence with the dentist visit.
 
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maya2008

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And a post just for our gorgeous little pony. My daughter, whose cantering confidence was destroyed by the Shetland (who hates her) begged to canter ‘one more time’ today on our lovely youngster. She is so so sweet, spends the whole ride keeping an eye on the child, and has sent my daughter’s confidence shooting to an all-time high. All after only being backed this year! She may have her moments when being handled by adults (still a little wary) but is a complete gem with my kids - I couldn’t ask for more.
 

daffy44

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Loading practice for my little 4yr old yesterday, but I think it was utterly unnecessary! She marched up the ramp with no hesitation, stood politely to be tied up and have the partition closed and unloaded as easily as she loaded, I did it a couple of times and she was perfect each time, so we can go and do some arena hires etc soon.
 

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ImmyS

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Finn’s been away at a trainers yard for some schooling and ‘life experience’. He’s kept on a private yard with one other horse and no facilities so I just wanted him to experience a slightly busier environment, going in the school and some group hacks.

He has been away a week so far and has been pretty foot perfect! Working nicely in the school and been in his first group hack on roads and across fields and he was a superstar!
Planning to maybe take him to his first show end of the month to do a couple of novice classes for some experience.
 

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alsxx

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Mr Fly has quietly progressed on to the baby long lines this weekend, and has been very chilled about it so pats all round. We had a little play yesterday after a quick lunge, he was a little wary about the second line lieing over his back and out the side, and on one rein suddenly forgot what 'walk on' meant but he gave it a good shot for a quick walk round in each direction. Today though he was super, just happily got on with it so we did a couple circuits in each direction of our schooling paddock, complete with6 sheep who had decided they weren't going to vacate, and ended on a very good note. At least he'll be sheep proof!

Tomorrow going to hopefully move on to second line fully round the bum if he's as chilled as he was today, and then repeat Tues before having a couple of days off again.
 

lannerch

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Finn’s been away at a trainers yard for some schooling and ‘life experience’. He’s kept on a private yard with one other horse and no facilities so I just wanted him to experience a slightly busier environment, going in the school and some group hacks.

He has been away a week so far and has been pretty foot perfect! Working nicely in the school and been in his first group hack on roads and across fields and he was a superstar!
Planning to maybe take him to his first show end of the month to do a couple of novice classes for some experience.
He’s looking such a sweetheart, how exciting for you . Love him
 

TheMule

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Finn’s been away at a trainers yard for some schooling and ‘life experience’. He’s kept on a private yard with one other horse and no facilities so I just wanted him to experience a slightly busier environment, going in the school and some group hacks.

He has been away a week so far and has been pretty foot perfect! Working nicely in the school and been in his first group hack on roads and across fields and he was a superstar!
Planning to maybe take him to his first show end of the month to do a couple of novice classes for some experience.
Finn is looking fab!
 

Caol Ila

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Eventful day for Hermosa in a non-event sort of way. I lunged her, which she's good at so no bother. Then did some in-hand classical groundwork, which I suck at, but she's used to that -- also no bother. I have been practicing throwing ropes around her body and legs in preparation for long lining and general life things. She went through a stage of panicking when she got something around her leg or her bum, so I have been doing a lot with ropes, flags, etc. Today, I wrapped her up in the lunge line (slid it over her hindquarters and slowly tightened it a bit), and she scooted away at first. Then I tried again, and she stood, perfectly calm. Tried again from the other side, and she stood. I was very excited and yelled to a couple liveries who were standing nearby, chatting, "Look at this!" They looked baffled.

Then, I p1ssed around with the mounting block. Getting her to stand next to it, etc. My friend suggested, "Try leaning across her." Why not? Once she'd accepted standing next to it, I leaned over her back and put a little weight on her, carefully. No problem at all.

There's a lot of work yet before we do this in anger, but if she's already accepting the human leaning over her back, it's a great start. IMG_1200.JPG
 

MarvelVillis

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Marvel my rising 5 year old has had a busy month or so. Visit from the dentist, new saddle, schooling lessons, lots of hacks on Dartmoor, and a loading lesson with a natural horsemanship trainer which was fab. I couldn't get him to load onto the box when we moved yards last year, and after trying for 2-3 hours we gave up, and I had to resort to riding him to the new yard, which took us about 2.5 hours! One of the liveries recommended this natural horsemanship trainer and he was brilliant with Marvel, and got him happily walking in/out of the box. Fingers crossed he does the same for when we go to our first fun ride next month!
 

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Rosietaz

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Anybody else find it really exciting when they can finally do a “through the ears” shot with their youngster?
Hoped on yesterday for a little ride after doing a few weeks of groundwork. Straight out to the paddock, mounted for the first time without a holder! Did some walking and a couple of trots on each rein. Don’t think he’s overly keen on the bit so going to switch it up for next time.
Was nappy at the gateway but nothing we couldn’t work through! He also doesn’t really understand my leg yet but luckily for me he’s super with voice commands so I’m sure that will come with time! I’m really pleased with him
 

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daffy44

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Loving my little 4yr old, she is 19hhs of power and personality in a little body, and weirdly I'm getting a much better understandng of her by realizing she is very similar in character to my cat, the same levels of self possession and belief, it constantly amuses me. She has also been giving me lots of mini challenges, which are reminding me how much I love mares, I think she just checking me out and getting to know me as much as i am getting to know her. We are three months in now and I feel she is really listening to me and on my aids, which is feeling great.
 

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ImmyS

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God I can’t ride!! 🙈🙈

Apart from pottering around the block a few times I haven’t ‘ridden’ in nearly two years and god it shows!!
I went to ride Finn at the trainers yard this afternoon and he was such a star. He tries so hard and he feels so lovely under saddle despite obvious wobbly babyness. There is SO much potential there and I can’t wait to see how he progresses.

Just a few stills from today -

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alsxx

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Steering failures anyone? I've been very lightly long lining my rising 4 year old the past week, he's lovely and forward but we have terrible steering to the left. I had also noticed on the left rein on the lunge he needs to go larger and seems to struggle to bend compared to he other rein. I'm trying not to worry at this but I do have the niggle of a weak stifle that mildly locks when kept in too much, which would be the outside hind on that rein.
 

HufflyPuffly

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Baby Beryl had been learning about being a grown up horse. She’s been bitted, had a roller on, saddle on, learnt about steering and generally being told what to do and keeping her sass in check.

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This weekend was a biggy though, her first party! I think it was only her fourth time in a trailer and literally the first show she’s been too. Due to covid she was unshown before I bought her.

She was an absolute star, was super intrigued by the mirrors in the indoor, didn’t like the patch of sunlight on the floor but had a great reaction of wanting to go up to it and check it out! She said hello loudly to the other horses but was otherwise super well behaved, (we won’t talk about the trying to go for a wonder when I was taking her bridle off 🙈).

The judge must also have liked her and placed her first out of 6, I think she’s going to like showing as she loved her sash 😂🥰 definitely got another diva on my hands! Bring on a summer of washing and chalk, I’ll buy her a proper show bridle now I know she’ll be a good egg.

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TheMule

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Steering failures anyone? I've been very lightly long lining my rising 4 year old the past week, he's lovely and forward but we have terrible steering to the left. I had also noticed on the left rein on the lunge he needs to go larger and seems to struggle to bend compared to he other rein. I'm trying not to worry at this but I do have the niggle of a weak stifle that mildly locks when kept in too much, which would be the outside hind on that rein.
Been there, had the same worries, turned out absolutely fine! I did get a good physio to take a look and got some strengthening exercises
 

alsxx

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Been there, had the same worries, turned out absolutely fine! I did get a good physio to take a look and got some strengthening exercises
Thanks TM, that's reassuring! Having had a horse taste always had a niggle, I think I've started looking for problems that may not be there 🤦‍♀️
 
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