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Giving youngsters a break

Welshie Squisher

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Joined
31 October 2011
Messages
614
Who gives their youngsters a break from work once backed?
If you do, how long for and what are the benefits in your opinion.

Who continues with work and if so at what level?

I'd just like to get a general feel for what others do as I have 2 3 year olds, I know much depends on the horse's maturity so no hard and fast rules as such.

Thanks :D
 

Sparkles

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Joined
4 April 2009
Messages
7,572
The 'break' for me, is back them at 2 1/2 [ie, sit on, mooch round, basic steering/stop/start. Then leave until just after 3, and carry on progressively from there :) So not a 'break' at all, but just time that they shouldn't be doing anything much ridden wise anyway.
 

Echo Bravo

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Joined
6 August 2009
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6,753
Location
bedfordshire
When I've backed mine,I like to take them on slowly,as it takes time for them to ajust to someone on their backs,muscles balance exctra and give them the winter off and bring back into work slowly the following spring and take it from there. Some take more time than others, I always think you should never rush youngstock as it's the rest of their lives you are working on.
 

Littlelegs

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Joined
25 February 2012
Messages
9,355
Either back late summer/ autumn after they're 3 & turn away till spring & then start light work as a 4 yr old. Or just back as a 4 yr old. Depends on horse really.
 

babymare

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Joined
24 June 2008
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3,497
Location
cheshire
dependent on horse but I would back late summer/early autumn have them walk/trot& canter calmly away and also lightly hacked with older horse then turned away for winter to then begin schooling in spring - I was taught and still firm believer that it allows the horse to grow in its mind and body - can be old fashioned view by many nowadays but has never failed for me :)
 

millitiger

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Joined
16 March 2008
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6,574
I like to back them and get them going walk and trot in autumn of their 3yro year.

Then they have a break until spring of 4yro year where they will work for summer, mainly hacking out before having winter off again.

Work 'properly' as a 5yro and then generally work through with a small break in winter.

I've always worked youngsters with lots of breaks, I feel it helps them to mentally take things in and gives them time to process things.
Also, it is easier for me to have less horses working through winter with no daylight to ride in!

My now 6yro (18hh) has just come back from his 3 month winter holiday and he is like a different horse- so forward going and bold, he has certainly benefitted :)

I like all of mine to have at least a month or so off EVERY winter, regardless of age.
I like to take their shoes off and chuck them out 24/7 to be feral and chill out on good grazing and find they come back much fresher and raring to go again!
 

maisie06

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Joined
31 March 2009
Messages
3,617
I get mine started in the august /september then I turn away over the winter purely because I am a fair weather owner these days!! I am really pleased I have hung on with my current youngster as he has matured mentally and physically over the winter and it's done him the world of good. I have laid back native types though, If I had a strapping, sharp WB I would probably keep it ticking over!
 

brown tack

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Joined
24 February 2011
Messages
1,121
I've got a very sharpe sec d, who had no handling till I got him 5months ago as a early 3yr old. With him I've been taking things slow and trying to get him used to being handled and going about on walk, getting used to scary things. I think with him I will continue as I am till mid summer then break and ride away. Get him going abit an give him a break in the spring, he needs conasnt work as its the little things, if I havnt done something for a few days he goes backwards, so we keep moving forwards
 

winchester

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Joined
1 September 2008
Messages
559
Depends on the horse - i currently have 2 3yo's one is a Traditional cob - very developed with a laid back temperament and and one is a big warmblood who is a little cold backed.

The aim is to back the Cob end of Summer and fingers crossed (how laid back he is) it should go smoothly so he can be turned out over the Winter months and brought back in January to get him ready for the Novice ridden showing that Summer.

The Warmblood will wait until after the Cob and will probably take it very slowly with him and either give him a break after Christmas or keep him going all year and give him that following Winter off
 
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