Backing 3/4yr olds

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4 May 2022
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Had my first proper sit on Baby Bean yesterday!!! No picture so hopefully next time, she was as good as gold, didn't bat an eyelid :D.

Does anyone else back without all the lunging and long lining? Bean isn't a big fan of lunging, she just stands next to me and she isn't even fussed by a bag at the end of a stick 😂. Instead I just walk around a bit and then hop on and she seems okay with that?

Think she will get the lunging after the riding really.
I've personally never started a horse that took or understood how to go on the lunge right away, training to lunge is a process all on it's own and I always got someone else to hand walk them round on the lunge while I stayed in the centre so they started to understand what I was asking of them. Also it will always be harder to start a horse be single line lunging (which I hate, never do it myself nor advise anyone to lunge this way), they go straight away on double line lunging which Is always better generally for them but also it's like having reins so you can guide the horse out and away from you.

You can back by free schooling as well if you have the facilities! You don't necessarily need a round ring I never did, I either sectioned off 2/3rd's of the area using jump wings and poles straight across or if the outside arena was in use I used the small indoor arena and closed the arena door.
I've never broken anything in without either double line lunging, long reining or free schooling purely because I wanted the youngster to go off my voice and understand my voice before getting on and I wanted them to feel and get used to the hand to mouth contact. I also wanted them to learn to take steps backwards when I ask which can only be done either on them or long reining.

No matter how you do it as long as there's no violence or cause stress to them and you you create a safe, respectful, happy horse then you do what ever way works for you and the horse!
 

shortstuff99

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23 September 2008
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Currently Cambridgeshire! (or where ever I fancy)!
I've personally never started a horse that took or understood how to go on the lunge right away, training to lunge is a process all on it's own and I always got someone else to hand walk them round on the lunge while I stayed in the centre so they started to understand what I was asking of them. Also it will always be harder to start a horse be single line lunging (which I hate, never do it myself nor advise anyone to lunge this way), they go straight away on double line lunging which Is always better generally for them but also it's like having reins so you can guide the horse out and away from you.

You can back by free schooling as well if you have the facilities! You don't necessarily need a round ring I never did, I either sectioned off 2/3rd's of the area using jump wings and poles straight across or if the outside arena was in use I used the small indoor arena and closed the arena door.
I've never broken anything in without either double line lunging, long reining or free schooling purely because I wanted the youngster to go off my voice and understand my voice before getting on and I wanted them to feel and get used to the hand to mouth contact. I also wanted them to learn to take steps backwards when I ask which can only be done either on them or long reining.

No matter how you do it as long as there's no violence or cause stress to them and you you create a safe, respectful, happy horse then you do what ever way works for you and the horse!
I decided to pull my finger out and taught her to lunge/ longline. Took me one session of 10 minutes, no stress and she got it straight away. The upside of this though is I am able to get on her without lungeing beforehand as she doesn't know that should even be a thing 😂.
 

daydreamer

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15 January 2006
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Colchester, Essex
Very happy today! We had our first ride out of the field. It's only abut his 5th proper ride (and 2 of those have been saddle fittings) with a break of a couple of months whilst waiting for his saddle.

We just did a 10 min loop with another lovely livery coming on her horse to escort us. Yesterday I got anxious and decided that my first ride off lead maybe shouldn't also be our first "hack" and our first time riding with another horse so I asked a friend if she would come and lead us.

It is really hard not to feel like being led is a cop-out or failure but I keep trying to tell myself it is our journey and no-one else's and it doesn't really matter how slowly we go.

Duncan was great! He was a bit anxious and jogged a little to start, then settled into a fast walk and then in the final stretch realised he was heading home and relaxed and walked very calmly :)
 

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ihatework

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7 September 2004
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I’m seriously falling in love with Turnip the 3yo. She has been a little bit in the shadow of my other 3yo. I sat and got led around on Turnip in March and since then she has been out in the herd.
Sent her 4 weeks ago to pro breakers to be ridden away and she came home last week with a glowing school report and WTC installed. This week I’ve taken up the reins and been hacking her about. She is seriously AWESOME.
Probably the easiest/nicest 3yo I’ve sat on.
Big grins in IHW land
 

j1ffy

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27 January 2009
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Oxon
I’m seriously falling in love with Turnip the 3yo. She has been a little bit in the shadow of my other 3yo. I sat and got led around on Turnip in March and since then she has been out in the herd.
Sent her 4 weeks ago to pro breakers to be ridden away and she came home last week with a glowing school report and WTC installed. This week I’ve taken up the reins and been hacking her about. She is seriously AWESOME.
Probably the easiest/nicest 3yo I’ve sat on.
Big grins in IHW land
I've always liked the look of Turnip (and the name!!), it's great to hear that she's doing well. What's the longer-term plan with your 3yos?
 

ihatework

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7 September 2004
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19,675
I've always liked the look of Turnip (and the name!!), it's great to hear that she's doing well. What's the longer-term plan with your 3yos?
It’s a bit fluid at the moment.
Turnip had been on the transfer list as I hadn’t been convinced she was going to be worth investing too much in. I’m changing my mind. Will prob aim to long term loan her to a competitive JR/YR to event, then have her back for breeding.

Millie is a wait and see. It will partly depend if she gives me a filly next year (which will then give me more options), and whether she will be safe enough for me to ride a bit or if she is a pro only prospect.
 

daffy44

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12 August 2011
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952
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Warwickshire
First time out for my 4yr old today, took her to a local arena hire and I couldnt be happier with her! She was perfect from start to finish, loading, traveling, faffing about on the lorry, all so easy. She stood like a rock for me to get on and then walked on a long rein, a little sassy mane toss when we first went into trot, and then worked like she does at home, finished with a stretch and didnt even get warm. She was so bold and sensible, and a pleasure to take out, I'm so pleased with her, such a great attitude, and such a sweetheart.
 

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